How to Pull a Starter on a 2003 KIA Rio

by Christian Killian

The starter on the 2003 Kia Rio sits near the frame rail on the driver’s side of the vehicle. Access to the starter for removal is from under the vehicle. The upper intake manifold support bracket runs under the starter and has to come off before you can access the bolts and connections on the starter. A new or rebuilt starter for your Kia Rio is available from most auto parts stores or through the parts department of your Kia dealership.


Open the hood and locate the negative battery cable where it connects to the negative battery terminal. Loosen the retaining bolt on the cable end with a wrench and remove the cable from the battery. Isolate the cable end away from the battery for safety.


Position a jack under the front of your Rio and raise the vehicle high enough to work under it. Support the vehicle on a set of jack stands then pull the jack out from under the vehicle while you work. Be sure you are working on solid, flat ground so the vehicle cannot move while you are under it.


Locate the upper intake manifold support bracket and remove the four bolts that secure the bracket with a socket and ratchet. Set the bracket and mounting bolts aside for reuse later.


Locate the wiring harness connections on the back of the starter solenoid, mounted on the top of the starter motor. Remove the retaining nut from the “b” terminal, the one that looks like a stud with a wire and nut on it, using a socket and ratchet. Slide the wire off the terminal and set it aside.


Locate the second wiring harness connector. This one is a traditional push-in style connector. Disconnect the second wiring harness connector by pressing the locking tab in and removing it from the starter. Grasp the connector, not the wires, when you pull it loose or damage to the wires may occur.


Remove the upper and lower mounting bolts on the starter with a socket and ratchet. Carefully lower the starter out of the engine compartment and remove it from under the vehicle.

Items you will need

About the Author

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.

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