How to Change the Starter on a Ford Explorer

by Gregory CrewsUpdated November 07, 2017
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Items you will need

  • Socket wrench

  • Socket set

The Ford Explorer uses an electric starter to turn the crankshaft and start the truck. The starter can actually be removed beforehand and brought to most automotive parts stores for a bench test. The bench test will determine if the starter is faulty or not. Replacing the starter is not complicated, as it is easily accessible under the truck, mounted between the engine and the transmission.

Ensure the truck is on a flat and level surface. Raise the hood for access to the engine compartment.

Locate the battery on the driver side of the engine compartment. Disconnect the positive and negative cables with a socket wrench.

Crawl under the passenger side of the Explorer to locate the starter mounted between the engine and the transmission. The starter is secured by two bolts.

Unbolt the nut on the stud at the top of the starter to release the positive cable. Slide the lead off the stud.

Loosen the two bolts with a socket wrench. Place the wires that are bolted to the bottom bolt to the side.

Pull the starter down from the engine compartment. Replace with the new starter. Start both bolts by hand. Ensure the negative lead wire is pushed onto the bottom bolt before tightening. Secure both bolts with a socket wrench.

Unscrew the stud on the top with a socket wrench. Push the remaining lead onto the stud. Tighten the nut over the lead with a socket wrench.

Connect the positive and negative cables to the battery with a socket wrench. Close the hood once the battery is connected.

Start the truck to ensure it starts correctly.


Take the old starter back to receive the "core" credit. The "core" charge is added to the bill of the new starter to ensure that the old starter is returned to the automotive parts store.


Use caution working on an electrical component. Always isolate the battery to prevent electrical shock.

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