Car Repairs: How to Replace a Starter
Learning How To Replace a Starter
Just about every one of us has a horror story about starter car repairs. For some us, we noticed that it took longer for the car to start then boom! You are on your way home after a long day at work, and the car will not start. The car makes a clicking noise like it wants to start, you are getting sufficient power for the radio and lights, but you cannot get the engine to turn over. And just when your mouth was set for a cold beer, you end up immobile and having to call a tow truck or mechanic- which means you won’t be having that beer for a few more hours at least.
But you can be back on the road in less than an hour if you know how to repair a car starter- assuming you can get your hands on a replacement starter quickly. While we cannot quite help you with that, we can, however, break down the process and tell you how to fix a car with a broken starter. That way, you can complete the job yourself, and you won’t have to spend your beer money, paying a mechanic to do such simple car repairs.
Removing the Old Starter
First things first, with the engine off, set the emergency brake, and then elevate the car using jack stands. Refer to the car repair manuals when you perform car repairs, which will tell you where the starter is located on your particular car. Get under the hood and remove the negative battery cable, which is black in color, and make sure not to let the connector touch any part of the car, and especially not the battery. Then remove the covering and locate the solenoid that the starter terminals are connected to.
Because not all cars have starter terminals, refer to your manual that covers car repairs specifically for your make and model to determine if this step is necessary. If it is, remove the starter terminal cover and the battery cable. Also, take note of the solenoid connection wires so that you replace them in the exact order they are in when you install the new starter. Use a wrench, or small socket, to remove the starter trigger wire that is connected to the solenoid. Now you can remove the bolts that hold the starter in place against the brackets. Using a bigger wrench or socket, remove the remaining battery cable, which should be the positive terminal.
Next, remove the mounting bolts and remove the starter from the bell housing area. Inspect the condition of the flywheel to make sure there is nothing that looks broken or cracked. Now it is time to install the new starter, which is just as quick as removing it. That means you are half way done with car repairs and you are not far from pulling out of the parking lot.
Installing The New Starter
Match the replacing starter, aligning it so that the mounting holes are matched against each other and handling it carefully due to brittle parts that can crack when mishandled. Install the mounting bolts, hand-tighten them until all bolts are in place. Then us a wrench or socket to tighten the bolts evenly. Reconnect the positive battery cable back on to the starter solenoid, then insert the starter trigger wire back into the starter solenoid, tightening the nuts only enough to secure it so that you do not break the solenoid end cap.
Now that those components are connected, put the terminal cover back in place, then recheck all of the wiring one last time to make sure there are no contacts between any wires and no part of the engine block, frame or another part of the ground of the vehicle, then lower the car to the ground- because you are done!
Test The Starter To Ensure Your Car Repairs are Good to Go
Now, instead of just reconnecting the negative battery cable to the battery terminal so that t you can check to see if you installed the starter correctly, check for a short circuit. Tap the terminal with the cable and make sure you do not hear a large zap, which would indicate the installation went wrong somewhere. Now that the battery is connected fully, turn the key in the ignition and start up your car- which, if you did, everything a instructed, will start up quickly.