How to Change the Starter on a Nissan Altimaby Christian Killian
The starter motor on the Nissan Altima is located on the front of the engine and can be changed from the top of the engine compartment. Symptoms of a faulty starter motor can be intermittent functioning of the starter, clicking with no function of the motor when the key is turned and dragging of the motor when trying to start the car. A new starter motor can be purchased from most auto parts stores or the Nissan dealer's parts department. You can also get a used starter from many salvage yards.
Disconnect and isolate the negative battery terminal using a wrench or socket and ratchet to loosen the bolt. The cable needs to be set aside in a spot that will not allow it to fall back and make contact with the battery.
Remove the air cleaner and duct work from the engine on models with an automatic transmission. This step is not needed if your car is a manual transmission model. This will allow more clearance to better reach the starter and connectors.
Remove the protective cover over the starter motor harness to allow access to the harness connector. Remove the electrical connector from the rear of the starter motor by unplugging it and lay it aside for now.
Remove the two mounting bolts from the starter motor with a socket and ratchet. Slide the motor out of the bell housing and lift it straight out of the engine compartment.
Position the new starter in the bell housing and install the two starter mounting bolts. Tighten the bolts with a socket and ratchet until the starter is secure. Insert the electrical connector into the socket at the back of the starter and snap it into place.
Install the protective cover over the harness connector. The cover snaps on and must be used to protect the wiring harness and connector on the back of the starter motor.
Reinstall the air filter and duct work on the engine if you removed it, and reinstall the negative battery terminal on the battery. Tighten the bolt using a wrench or socket and ratchet. Tighten it until it is secure but do not over-tighten it, or you could damage the battery terminal.
- Many auto parts stores will test your starter for no cost if you have it out of the car and bring it to the store. If you are not sure that the starter is bad, this is a good way to determine whether to buy a new starter or look further into the starting system for problems.
Things You'll Need
- Metric wrench set
- Metric socket set
Christian Killian has been a freelance journalist/photojournalist since 2006. After many years of working in auto parts and service positions, Killian decided to move into journalism full-time. He has been published in "1st Responder News" as well as in other trade magazines and newspapers in the last few years.