How to Remove a Ford Explorer Starter

by Tyson Simmons
new car engine with red trim image by Raxxillion from

Starters are small electrical motors that cycle a vehicle's motor, allowing it to start running. After time and extended usage, starters can wear out, preventing your vehicle from being operable. Luckily, accessing the starter assembly on Ford Explorer vehicles is quite simple, requiring only basic tools and 15 to 30 minutes of time. Explorers, with a stock setup, are high enough off the ground to make undercarriage components accessible even without a car ramp or jack.

Step 1

Park your Explorer on a flat surface and in an area where you have room to easily access the engine compartment and the underside of the vehicle. Lock the parking brake to prevent the possibility of rolling. Then pop the hood.

Step 2

Lift the hood and secure it with the lift bar. Remove the negative (black) terminal from the battery using a crescent wrench. This will stop any flow of electricity between the starter assembly and the battery.

Step 3

Climb underneath the vehicle and locate the starter on the edge of the transmission housing. The starter is an aluminum-made, cylindrical part.

Step 4

Remove the electrical connection from the side of the starter using a 12mm socket wrench. Be sure not to strip the bolt as these are sometimes very soft, made of copper or brass.

Remove the four mounting bolts around the edge of the starting motor. Then slide the motor out of the shaft assembly.


  • Ask someone to assist you in holding up the starter as you remove the mounting bolts and slide it out of the shaft assembly.


  • Always stay aware of pinch points when working around vehicle parts. Many parts in the starter assembly are made of very heavy metal that can potentially cause injury.

Items you will need

  • Safety glasses
  • Crescent wrench
  • 12mm socket wrench

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