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How to Change the Starter in a 98 Chevrolet Prizm

by Don Bowman

The starter on a 1998 Chevrolet Prizm is located on the radiator side of the engine and is bolted to the bellhousing; a fuse and relay are located in the fuse and relay box on the driver’s side fender well. The Prizm starter has a top-mounted solenoid to actuate the starter. The solenoid has two wires: a main battery power cable from the battery straight to the solenoid mounted on the top large stud, and a small wire from the ignition switch that activates the starter solenoid. A female blade connector secures the small wire.


Disconnect the battery terminals with a wrench, starting with the negative terminal, to prevent shorting or arcing. Remove the battery hold-down clamp, using a wrench. Remove the battery from the car.


Raise the car with the floor jack and place the jack stands under the sub-frame. Lower the car so that it rests on the stands. Remove the two splash shields located under the radiator, using a socket. Remove the electrical connectors to the two fans. Remove the bolts securing the fans, using a socket, then remove the fans.


Remove the two bolts securing the starter to the bellhousing, using a socket. The bottom starter bolt is installed through the starter into the bellhousing; the top bolt is installed through the bellhousing into the starter.


Pull the starter out of the bellhousing and remove the two wires connected to the solenoid. The large battery wire is held on the top post on the solenoid by a nut, and the small diameter wire just pulls off. Connect these wires to the new starter.


Install the starter and tighten the bolts to 38 foot-pounds of torque. Install the two fans and connect their wiring harnesses. Install the two splash shields under the radiator. Lower the car to the ground. Install the battery and hold-down clamp. Install the positive battery terminal and tighten it with a wrench, followed by the negative terminal.

Items you will need

About the Author

Don Bowman has been writing for various websites and several online magazines since 2008. He has owned an auto service facility since 1982 and has over 45 years of technical experience as a master ASE tech. Bowman has a business degree from Pennsylvania State University and was an officer in the U.S. Army (aircraft maintenance officer, pilot, six Air Medal awards, two tours Vietnam).

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