How to Replace the Starter in Cars

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

If your Mitsubishi car has been struggling to start or is not starting at all, you may have a faulty starter. If you suspect that your starter may be to blame for your troubles, you can have it tested at most auto parts retailers once you have removed it from the car. Replacing the starter requires a few simple hand tools and a torque wrench. If you do not have a torque wrench, many auto parts retailers will rent them. You can buy a starter for your Mitsubishi car at an auto parts retailer, a Mitsubishi car dealer or a salvage yard.

Under The Hood:

 How to Replace the Starter in a Hyundai Sonata

Park your Hyundai Sonata on a level surface, activate the emergency brake and place blocks behind the back tires for safety. Disconnect the negative battery cable with a terminal puller and wait at least three minutes before proceeding. Raise the front end of the car with a jack for easier access to the starter.

Disconnect the speedometer and shift cables from the transaxle, followed by the starter motor wires.

Unfasten the starter mounting bolts and place them in the jar for safe keeping. Remove the starter from the engine.

Take your malfunctioning starter to the parts store with you. Aftermarket distributors remanufacture most of the starters they sell, so you can likely obtain a partial credit toward your new starter by exchanging your old one. Be sure that you take care not to damage the starter in transit, because the better condition it is in, the more you can get for it.

Purchase a replacement starter that has the same or higher cranking capacity (power rating) as the original starter in your Hyundai Sonata. Also, match the bolt patterns, drive gears and electrical connections. Your owner's manual may list specifications or the auto parts technician will help you determine them. Download a owner's manual at for 2003 or newer models on My Hyundai.

Reverse the removal process to install the new starter motor. Torque the starter mounting bolts between 20 and 25 foot pounds (27 to 34 Nm). Lower your Hyundai Sonata back to the ground. Reconnect the negative battery cable. Turn the key in the ignition to see if your new starter motor functions correctly.

Items you will need

  • Battery terminal puller

  • Car jack

  • Wrench

  • Baby food jar

  • Torque wrench

 How to Change a Starter on a Cadillac DeVille

Raise and support the vehicle on jack stands. Raise the hood and remove the negative cable from the battery.

Using the 13mm socket, remove the nut holding the large diameter wire to the terminal on the solenoid on top of the starter. Pull the large wire off the solenoid. Using the 10mm wrench, unbolt the nut holding the small wire on the solenoid, then pull the small wire off the solenoid.

Using a 15mm socket and ratchet, remove the two bolts that run through the starter into the transmission. These are the bolts that hold the starter to the transmission. Lift the starter out of the hold in the transmission with care, as it is heavy. Angle the back of it down and remove it through the bottom of the vehicle.

Insert the new starter up through the bottom where it came out and nose it into the hole in the transmission. Insert the two bolts through the starter and into the transmission and tighten securely.

Put the large wire on the terminal of the solenoid. There is only one terminal on the solenoid that would accept the large diameter wire. Put the nut on the terminal to hold the wire on and tighten it with the 13mm wrench. Place the small diameter wire on the last terminal and put the small nut on it and tighten.

Locate the negative terminal for the battery and put the negative terminal on the battery using an 8mm wrench. Do not overtighten the nut on the terminal.

Raise the vehicle and remove the jack stands. Place them out of the way. Turn the handle on the floor jack counterclockwise to lower the car to the ground. Remove the jack stand from under the car.

Items you will need

  • Set of 3/8-inch sockets 3/8-inch ratchet Set of wrenches Floor jack Jack stands

 How to Change a Starter in a Montero Sport

Removing the Old Starter

Disconnect the negative battery cable from the battery terminal with a wrench. Set the battery cable aside so it is unable to come in contact with the battery while you are working.

Jack the front end of your Montero up enough that you can comfortably work under it. Secure the front of the vehicle on jack stands.

Remove the electrical connection from the BAT terminal on the rear of the starter solenoid. This is a red wire with a ring connector and is secured to the back of the starter solenoid with a nut. Use a wrench to remove the nut and remove the connector from the terminal.

Unplug the wiring harness connection from the starter solenoid. The wiring harness should disconnect easily if you pull straight out.

Remove the upper and lower mounting bolts from the starter. The bolts are fed from the transmission side of the bell housing. Use a wrench to remove the bolts and set them aside. Pull the starter free from the vehicle and set it aside as well.

Installing the New Starter

Position the new starter with the same orientation as the old one. Secure it with the upper and lower mounting bolts. Feed the bolts through from the transmission side and torque them to the manufacturer's specification with a torque wrench.

Plug the wiring harness connection back into the starter solenoid. It should click into place when it is fully seated.

Reconnect the electrical connection to the BAT terminal and secure it with the nut. Tighten the nut with a wrench.

Jack the Montero up enough to remove the jack stands from under the vehicle. Return the truck to the ground. Reconnect the negative battery cable, tightening it with a wrench.

Start the truck to check the operation of your new starter.

Items you will need

  • Jack

  • Jack stands

  • Wrench set

  • Torque wrench

 How to Replace the Starter on an Infiniti QX4

Pop the hood of the Infiniti QX4, and disconnect the negative terminal from the battery using an open-end wrench. Then disconnect the positive terminal in the same manner.

Lift up the vehicle using the jack, and place the vehicle on jack stands. Make sure everything is secure before you crawl underneath the vehicle.

Unbolt the shield that protects the underside of the SUV, using a 3/8-inch ratchet and socket. Place the shield to the side.

Disconnect the wiring harness that leads to the starter motor, using your hands, and unbolt the power wire using an open-end wrench. Then hold the starter with one hand and unbolt the starter from the engine using the 3/8-inch ratchet, extension and sockets.

Hold up the replacement starter motor in the stock location, and bolt it in place using the factory hardware and the 3/8-inch ratchet, extension and socket. Reconnect the wiring harness and power wire.

Reconnect the under-engine shield, using the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket, then lower the vehicle off the jack stands. Reconnect the positive terminal to the battery, then the negative, using the open-end wrench.

Items you will need

  • Jack

  • Jack stands

  • Open-end wrench set

  • 3/8-inch ratchet, extension and socket set

  • Replacement starter

 How to Replace the Starter on a Buick Regal

Disconnect the negative battery cable from the battery with a wrench.

Loosen the air cleaner cover screws with a flat screwdriver. Pull the cover and filter off the base. Remove the air hose, crankcase breather tube and all sensor connectors from the base. Remove the base screws with a wrench and lift the base out of the engine compartment.

Remove the oil cooler lines from the radiator with a flare-nut wrench. Remove the top bracket and cooling fan with a wrench.

Set the parking brake, then lift the front of the vehicle with a jack. Support the vehicle with jack stands.

Get under the car, then remove the flywheel inspection cover bolts and oil splash shield with a wrench. Disconnect the engine wiring harness from its hangers near the starter and push the harness clear of the starter.

Note the location of the electrical connections on the starter and solenoid. Remove all of the connecting lock nuts and washers from their studs with a wrench, then pull the terminals off the studs.

Remove the two starter mounting bolts with a wrench. Hold the starter firmly and support its weight with your hand to remove the bolts. Note the location of any shims behind the starter housing. Save the shims to reinstall with the new starter.

Reverse the disassembly process for reassembly.

Items you will need

  • Wrench set

  • Screwdriver set

  • Flare-nut wrench

  • Jack

  • Jack stands

 How to Replace a Starter in a C4 Corvette

Put the emergency brake on and jack up your C4. Slip jack stands underneath the frame and lower the car on them. Also pop your hood and remove the negative battery cable with a socket set.

Access your C4's starter by sliding underneath the driver's side of the car. The starter on your C4 will be located just to the left of the oil drain pan. It will be bell-shaped.

Remove the wire running to the starter's solenoid with the socket set. Also remove the wire running to the starter. Mark one of the wires with tape so that you do not cross the wires when you install the new starter

Remove the two retaining bolts at the base of the starter with the socket set. Hold the starter in place firmly with one hand while you loosen the bolts with the other. Although starters are small, they can be deceptively heavy. Once the bolts are loose pull the old starter away from its mounting area.

Set the new starter in place and start the bolts by hand. Finish tightening the bolts with the socket set.

Replace the marked wire to the new starter's solenoid. Attach the other wire directly to the starter terminal. Tighten the connections with the socket set.

Replace negative battery cable. Remove jack stands and lower your C4 down.

Items you will need

  • Jack

  • Jack stands

  • Socket set

  • Tape

 How to Replace a Starter in a Mazda 626 LX

Removing the Starter

Disconnect the black (negative) battery cable with a wrench. Move the cable away from the battery or wrap a shop rag around the cable terminal to keep it from accidentally touching the battery post as you work on the starter.

Unplug the air cleaner assembly electrical connectors. Remove the assembly and air duct using a ratchet and socket.

Locate the starter motor at the rear of the engine, right next to the transmission. If you need more clearance to gain better access to the starter, remove the bracket from the intake manifold with a ratchet and socket.

Unplug the wire from the rear of the starter solenoid, which is the small cylinder mounted on top of the starter. Disconnect the heavy wire from the rear of the solenoid using a wrench.

Shift the transmission to neutral. Raise the front of your Mazda with a floor jack, and lower it onto two jack stands for support.

Apply the parking brake and chock the rear wheels.

Slide under your vehicle and remove the lower starter mounting bolt with a ratchet and socket.

Loosen the other two starter mounting bolts with the ratchet and socket. Holding the starter with one hand, use your other hand to remove the two mounting bolts and take the starter out of the vehicle.

Installing the Starter

Place the new starter in position and align the mounting bolt holes. Finger-tighten the two upper mounting bolts.

Install the lower mounting bolt and tighten it to 33 ft.-lbs. with a torque wrench and socket.

Tighten the two upper mounting bolts to 33 ft.-lbs. with the torque wrench and socket.

Raise your Mazda and remove the jack stands. Lower the vehicle and remove the chocks from the rear wheels.

Connect the heavy wire to the rear of the solenoid with the wrench. Plug the wire to the rear of the solenoid.

Install the bracket to the intake manifold, if you removed it, with the ratchet and socket.

Install the air cleaner assembly and air duct with the ratchet and socket. Plug the electrical connectors to the assembly.

Connect the black (negative) battery cable with the wrench.

Items you will need

  • Wrench set

  • Shop rag (optional)

  • Ratchet

  • Socket set

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stands

  • 2 chocks

  • Torque wrench

 How to Replace the Starter on a Hyundai XG350

Open the engine compartment of the Hyundai, and disconnect the negative ("-") battery cable using a wrench. Place the wheel chocks behind the rear wheels of the Hyundai. Raise the car on the driver side using the automobile jack. Place a jack stand under the car near the jacking point, and raise it to the frame.

Crawl underneath the car, and locate the starter close to the transmission. Disconnect the speedometer and shift control cables using a wrench. Label the electrical wires on the starter using the marker and masking tape. Disconnect the wires using a wrench. Unplug the wiring harness from the starter.

Remove the mounting bolts from the starter using a socket and ratchet. Take care when removing the last one that the starter does not fall on you. Pull the starter away from the engine. Place a new starter on the engine, and tighten the mounting bolts with the socket and ratchet. Connect the electrical wires, and secure them with a wrench.

Jack up the car and remove the jack stand from under the Hyundai. Lower the car to the ground. Start the Hyundai to test the new starter.

Items you will need

  • Wrench set

  • Automobile jack

  • Jack stand

  • Wheel chocks

  • Socket set

  • Masking tape

  • Marker

 How to Replace the Starter on a 2001 Mercury Sable

Raise the hood and disconnect the negative battery cable with the battery wrench. Position the cable in such a way as to prevent it from contacting the battery terminal prior to reinstallation.

Raise the right front of the Sable up with the floor jack and place a jack stand under the passenger side frame rail. Make sure you do not place the jack stand in a position that will prevent you from accessing the starter.

Slide under the Sable and use the socket set to disconnect the wiring from the back of the starter, which is located at the side of the engine where the transmission bell housing is bolted to the back of the block.

Unbolt starter with one hand while supporting its weight with your other hand. The starter is very heavy, so do not let its weight hang from a bolt that isn’t fully installed as this can damage the starter. Be ready to support the weight fully when the bolts are removed, so that you don’t drop the starter on yourself, either.

Compare the old starter with the replacement starter to make sure they are identical. If the replacement starter is longer or wider, has different wiring connections, has a solenoid located in a different position or has bolt patterns that don’t match, return it for the correct starter. Due to the myriad of engine applications and mid-model year changes, coming home from the local auto parts store with the wrong starter is not an uncommon occurrence.

Hold the replacement starter in position with one hand and thread the bolts in with the other hand. Tighten the bolts down with the socket set. Do not stop supporting the weight of the starter until the bolts are fully installed.

Reconnect the starter wiring with the socket set. Lower the Sable off the jack stand and reconnect the negative battery cable.

Items you will need

  • Battery wrench

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stand

  • Socket set

  • Replacement starter

 How to Replace the Starter on a Lexus Ls400

Remove negative battery cable from battery. Locate starter on your Lexus Ls400. It should be mounted to the firewall, in the center under the intake manifold. Begin by removing the V-Bank cover on the back of the engine.

Remove the air cleaner inlet and intake air connector. You will see both of these located on back of engine. Remove throttle body assembly and then remove left hand timing belt cover. Note: Do not remove timing belt itself.

Remove the intake manifold assembly located on the top, left side of the engine from the front, along with the hoses, wires and tubes connected to the manifold. Again, make sure to mark each piece for easy reinstalling.

Detach electrical cables on starter and loosen bolts on starter by using metric socket wrench. Remove starter from engine compartment. Connect new starter to firewall and secure bolts with metric socket wrench. Attach electrical cables to starter.

Reinstall intake manifold assembly with hoses, wires and tubes. Make sure all parts are attached to manifold before moving to another part. Reattach left hand timing belt cover, throttle body assembly, intake air connector and air cleaner inlet. When everything is reattached, double check to make sure you haven't missed anything. Attach negative battery cable to battery. Remove all tools from engine compartment and close hood.

Items you will need

  • Metric socket wrench set Screwdrivers Pliers Open-end metric wrenches Starter for Lexus Ls400

 How Do I Replace the Starter in a 2002 KIA Sedona?

Jack the Sedona's front end off the ground using the jack supplied with the vehicle. Place a jack stand under each A-arm and secure the vehicle on the jack stands. Place a wheel chock behind the rear tire to prevent the Sedona from rolling off the jack stands while you are under it.

Disconnect the negative battery cable using a crescent wrench. Wrap the cable connector with a cotton towel to prevent the cable from accidentally touching the battery terminal while you work on the Sedona.

Disconnect the ground wire from the side of the starter. The wire connects to a threaded post. Remove the nut from the threaded post with a crescent wrench and pull the wire off the threaded post.

Remove the three bolts that secure the starter to the engine with a 14 mm socket. The upper bolt is difficult to reach. Use a swivel attached to your ratchet to gain access to the upper bolt.

Pull the starter off the engine and rotate it counterclockwise to expose the wiring harnesses on the starter solenoid. Disconnect the wiring harnesses. Remove the starter.

Place the new starter in proximity of the wiring harnesses and then reconnect the harnesses to the solenoid.

Slide the starter into place and replace the bolts. Thread all three bolts into place with your fingers to ensure they all thread in properly. Once completed, tighten with the socket.

Reconnect the ground wire to the threaded post on the side of the starter and then reconnect the negative battery cable

Items you will need

  • Jack

  • Jack stands

  • Wheel chock

  • Crescent wrench

  • Shop towels

  • 14 mm socket

  • Ratchet

  • Swivel

 How to Replace a Starter on a 1998 Mustang

Raise the front of the Mustang with a jack. Position the vehicle on jack stands placed underneath the frame.

Locate the starter motor on the passenger's side of the engine, where the engine attaches to the transmission.

Tag the wiring with masking tape to avoid incorrectly installing the wires upon reassembly.

Disconnect the wiring at the starter by using a deep-set socket wrench to remove the nuts that secure the wires against the starter motor.

Unfasten the starter's two mounting bolts with a socket wrench. Lower the starter out of the transmission's bellhousing.

Position the new starter motor against the transmission's bellhousing, ensuring the mounting bolts on the starter align with the holes on the bellhousing.

Install and tighten the starter's two mounting bolts with a socket wrench.

Position the starter's wires onto their threaded rods. Install and tighten the nuts with a socket wrench.

Peel the tape pieces off the wires. Lower the car to the ground.

Items you will need

  • Jack

  • Jack stands

  • Masking tape

  • Deep-set socket wrench

 How to Replace the Starter on a 1998 Buick LeSabre Custom

Disconnect the negative battery cable, using the appropriate wrench. Set the cable aside, ensuring that it does not touch any metal. Raise the vehicle with the floor jack and support the car with jack stands.

Remove the splash shield if it is in the way of the starter (on some cars, it may be missing). Remove the flexplate inspection cover bolts, using the appropriate socket, then remove the cover.

Remove the wiring from the starter, using the appropriate wrench. Put the nuts back onto the studs, so that you don't lose them. Remove the starter bolts, using the appropriate socket, then lower the starter from the vehicle.

Place the starter in position and install the starter bolts. If the starter uses shims, be sure to put the shims in the same place from where they came. Tighten the starter bolts to 32 ft.-lb. of torque.

Remove the nuts from the old starter's studs. Attach the wiring and the nuts on the new starter. Tighten the nuts to 12 ft.-lb. of torque. Reinstall the flexplate inspection cover and tighten the bolts to 62 inch-pounds of torque. Reinstall the splash shield. Lower the vehicle off the jack stands, using the floor jack. Reattach the negative battery cable.

Items you will need

  • Set of wrenches

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stands

  • Set of sockets

  • Torque wrench (foot-pounds)

  • Torque wrench (inch-pounds)

 How to Change the Starter On A 1998 GMC Sierra

1998 GMC Sierra starter removal

Using a socket wrench, disconnect the negative battery cable. Bend the cable away from metal to prevent spark.

Locate the starter bracket, and shield. Using a socket wrench, remove the two bolts holding the starter bracket and shield over the starter. One bolt is on each side of the bracket.

Disconnect the positive, and negative battery terminal wires from the solenoid using a socket wrench.

Remove the two starter mounting bolts using a socekt wrench. There is one bolt on each side of the starter. Let the starter drop out into your hand.

1998 GMC Sierra starter replacement

Position the new starter behind the front passenger wheel well where the previous starter was located. Using a torque wrench, tighten both starter mounting bolts to 33 foot-pounds.

Replace the existing starter bracket and shield and torque the bolts down to 53 inch-pounds.

Place the existing positive, and negative battery terminal cables on to the solenoid. Using a torque wrench, tighten each nut to 53 inch-pounds.

Reconnect the negative battery cable, and start the engine to verify proper installation.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench set

  • Torque wrench

 How to Replace the Starter on a 2001 Saturn SL1

Remove the Starter

Park your 2001 Saturn SL1 on a level surface. Engage the parking brake and open the engine hood.

Remove the negative cable from the battery by loosening the bolt on the connecting end with an open box wrench and pulling the cable off the battery post.

Locate the starter. The starter in a 2001 Saturn SL1 is located on the passenger side of the car, to the rear of the engine block, just beneath the intake manifold (where the exhaust pipes join the engine block).

Remove the intercooler pump bracket (it has one bolt at its base) which is blocking access to the starter. The pump bracket looks like a metal swing arm with a slot in the center and supports the intercooler pump. Remove the bolt with an open box end wrench and pull the pump and bracket out of the way.

Remove the nuts from the front two posts of the starter that hold the wires from the ignition coil and alternator in place. Pull the wires off the starter.

There are only two bolts holding the starter in place. Remove the bottom bolt of the starter first. Use an open end box wrench due to the small access area. Pull the bolt out.

Support the starter with one hand and remove the top bolt. Pull the starter from the engine.

Install Starter

Install your replacement starter by holding it in position and inserting the top bolt first. Do not tighten the top bolt all the way. Push the bottom bolt into place and hand tighten the bolt. Once both bolts are hand tight, use a torque wrench to apply the right amount of torque. For the starter bolts, tighten to 37 lbs.

Reconnect the wires to the posts at the end of the starter. Make sure to put them on the correct post; the coil wire goes on the upper and larger post.

Reinstall the intercooler pump bracket. Torque the bolt to 15 lbs.

Reconnect the battery and close the hood.

Items you will need

  • Box wrench set

  • Replacement starter

  • Torque wrench

  • Cell phone with camera (optional)

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.