How to change a starter motor

How to change a starter motor article
This is an image of a typical starter motor.

Please note that this article is only a basic outline of what is involved and needed on order to remove a starter motor. We will be providing ‘car-specific’ starter motor removal guides as soon as possible (see bottom of page), and if do know of any useful ones then please share them with our other readers by using the comments section at the bottom of this post – Thanks !!

Starter motors are most typically found in very awkward places in the engine bay.
They will most likely only be held on by 2 bolts, but these may be difficult to get too, or to get tools in to.  Also, other parts may need to be removed in order to access the starter motor and solenoid.

I have always purchased a Haynes Manual for every car I have owned.  They are only £15-20 and pay for themselves in a very short time.

Replacing a starter motor is certainly one of those jobs where a Haynes Manual could prove invaluable in saving you time and avoiding scrapped knuckles. It will give you instructions that are specific to your particular make and model of car.

All that we can do in this article is give you some general pointers that should show you the places around the engine to look for your starter motor and what to expect when you find it.

How long does it take ? 
Well that’s the million dollar question, they are only normally held on by 2 bolts,  and the time it takes to get the starter motor off will be determined by where it is mounted and how easy it is to get access to it .  I have owned other cars where the only means of access have been from underneath the engine.

One job took 10 minutes the other took over 1 hour.

starter motor onto flywheel
This images shows the starter motor in relation to the flywheel and housing (starter motor at top).

So how do I remove the starter motor ?
As we mentioned, the starter will most likely only be held on with 2 bolts.

These could be normal ‘hex’ bolts like this ; Hex bolt starter motor




These can be undone with a open-ended or ring spanner like this ;
car starter motorring spanner for car starter

Or the bolts could be ‘Torx’ type like this ;
torx boltcar starter motor

These can be undone with ‘Torx’ tools like this ;
starter motor
This is a typical Torx set that will fit onto the end of a ratchet like this ;

or the bolts could be ‘Allen’ bolts like this ;
allen bolts

These can be undone with ‘allen keys’ or ‘allen sockets’ like ;
allen keysallen socket

The allen socket is an attachment for your ratchet.

Once you have removed the bolts and the starter if loose, all that is needed is to undo the wiring from the terminals at the back of the starter.
Make sure you remember where is wire goes.
Fitting of the replacement starter will be a direct reversal of what you did to get the old one.

Price up a starter motor for your car

ALWAYS – disconnect the battery terminals before starting any engine work .
If you have to work under the car, do it safely and tell someone what you are doing. If an accident does happen and you are unable to move for a period of time, at least people will know where to look to find you.

Make safety your first priority, read our article on How to safely jack up a car.

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