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How to Replace the Starter Motor for a 2004 Dodge Stratus

by TJ Hinton

The 2004 Dodge Stratus SE with the 2.4-liter engine has a top-mounted starter, meaning that you can remove the starter through the top of the engine compartment without having to raise the vehicle. If you are confident working with your hands and have a basic set of tools, you can replace your starter in your driveway.

Removal

1

Open the hood and locate the battery at the rear driver-side corner of the engine compartment. Install your memory-saver device according to its instructions. Using a ratchet and socket, loosen the negative battery cable nut and disconnect the negative cable. Position the cable where it cannot accidentally contact the battery negative terminal.

2

Locate the air cleaner housing in the forward, driver-side corner of the engine compartment. Unplug the air temperature sensor wiring from the sensor and detach the air makeup hose. Using a nut-driver, loosen the air duct hose clamp and pull the duct off the throttle body. Pry out the push-pin retainer on the radiator bracket, using a flat screwdriver. Remove the air cleaner retaining nut on the upper driver-side of the housing, using a ratchet and socket, and lift the housing up and out of the engine compartment.

3

Locate the starter in the area revealed by removing the air cleaner housing. Using a ratchet and socket, remove the starter mounting bolts and the ground wire from the starter mounting flange. Unplug the solenoid electrical connector. Using a ratchet and socket, remove the starter terminal nut and disconnect the solenoid and B+ wires from the starter. Remove the starter from the engine compartment.

Installation

1

Install the wires and nut on the terminal and torque the nut to 90 inch-pounds, using a torque wrench and socket. Connect the solenoid wire to the solenoid terminal, and position the starter in its place. Install the retainer bolts and the ground wire. Tighten the bolts to 40 foot-pounds.

2

Settle the air cleaner housing into position, being careful to align the housing sockets with the locating pins in the housing support bracket. Install the retaining nut and tighten it securely. Install the duct onto the throttle body and tighten the hose clamp securely. Install the push-pin retainer, and plug in the air makeup hose and the temperature sensor wire.

3

Install the battery negative cable onto the negative battery terminal. Install and torque the terminal nut to 140 inch-pounds. Disconnect the memory-saver device and test-start the engine.

Items you will need

About the Author

TJ Hinton trained as an auto mechanic at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and then later graduated from MMI as a certified motorcycle mechanic . He's also worked for 20+ years in home construction, remodeling and repair. His articles appear on InternetAutoGuide.com and TopSpeed.com.

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