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How to Change a Starter on a Nissan Maxima

by Dan Ferrell

The starter motor in your Nissan Maxima is hidden inside the engine compartment, but once you remove the air intake assembly, changing the motor is a simple task. You still have to take certain precautions. However, following these easy steps, you will be able to replace the starter in a matter of minutes.

Park your car in a safe place with enough room for you to work around the front of the car. Open the hood.

Disconnect the black, negative battery cable.

Unplug the mass airflow (MAF) sensor electrical connector, if your particular model is equipped with one. The sensor is located on the air duct of the air intake assembly. Just press the lock tab to release the connector form the wiring harness.

Remove the air intake assembly. On some models, you will have to remove hose clamps and mounting bolts securing the air intake assembly to the engine and engine compartment. Depending on your particular model, you may need a screwdriver, Phillip's screwdriver, a wrench, or a ratchet and socket. Once you remove the assembly, you should be able to see and have access to the starter motor.

Disconnect the power or battery cable form the starter solenoid using a wrench or ratchet and socket. The starter solenoid is mounted on top of the starter. To have access to the cable connector, lift the protective rubber boot, then unplug the electrical connector form the wire coming out of the starter solenoid. Just press the lock tab to release the connector from the harness.

Remove the two mounting bolts form the starter motor using a ratchet and socket. On most Maxima models, take note of each particular mounting bolt location since one is shorter than the other one and can only be reinstalled on the same location. You might need a ratchet extension to reach the mounting bolts.

Remove the starter motor off the engine compartment and set the new motor in place. Make sure the motor mounting surface is flush against the surface mounting base. This will avoid the starter pinion gear grinding against the flywheel gear and subsequent damage to the starter motor and flywheel.

Install and tighten the two mounting bolts. Plug the wire electrical connector and install the power cable to the starter solenoid.

Install the air intake assembly, and plug the MAF sensor electrical connector. Then connect the black, negative battery cable.

Items you will need

About the Author

Since 2003 Dan Ferrell has contributed general and consumer-oriented news to television and the Web. His work has appeared in Texas, New Mexico and Miami and on various websites. Ferrell is a certified automation and control technician from the Advanced Technology Center in El Paso, Texas.

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Photo Credits

  • Photo courtesy of Willdre at Wikipedia.org.