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How to Install a Starter in a 2002 Buick Century

by David McGuffin

If you notice that your 2002 Buick Century is having difficulty starting, chances are that this condition is due to a bad battery or a starter that is about to fail. One way to tell for sure whether or not the problem rests with your starter is to jump-start the Buick, if it is not starting at all. If the jump-start does not work, then the problem is not your car battery, and it most likely is your starter.

Disconnect the negative terminal cable from the car battery. This will disengage the engine's cooling fan, which can start up even when the car is turned off, increasing the chances of injury for someone who is working around the engine area. Be sure to wait at least fifteen minutes after disengaging the negative battery cable before proceeding.

Identify the starter and the starter bolts on your 2002 Buick Century. The starter is located on the driver's side of the engine, at the front. There are two bolts that connect the starter to the flywheel of the transmission. If you are unsure what the starter looks like, it is roughly half the size of a football and the only engine part with two cylindrical metal pieces joined together, one of which is larger than the other. Another way to locate your starter is to trace the electrical wire from the red battery terminal, which splits after leaving the battery, with one wire going to the alternator and the other wire going to the starter.

Use the socket wrench to remove the two starter bolts. You may need to use a torque wrench to undo the starter bolts if they are on too tight for a normal socket wrench. Unclip the white electrical connection tab that goes from the 2002 Buick Century's electrical system to the starter.

Insert the replacement starter in the place of the old one, tightening the bolts with a socket wrench. If the bolts seem difficult to tighten, then you may not have aligned the starter properly with the flywheel. Reclip the electrical tab that runs from the new starter to the tab that runs to the Buick's electrical system.

Place the negative battery cable back on the battery terminal and crank the Buick Century. If it does not start, then you may have improperly aligned the starter with the transmission's flywheel. Remove the starter and reinsert again.

Items you will need

About the Author

David McGuffin is a writer from Asheville, N.C. and began writing professionally in 2009. He has Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of North Carolina, Asheville and Montreat College in history and music, and a Bachelor of Science in outdoor education. McGuffin is recognized as an Undergraduate Research Scholar for publishing original research on postmodern music theory and analysis.

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