How to Replace the Starter on a Chevy Cavalier

by Chris Moore

The starter motor in a Chevy Cavalier is the small electric motor that turns over the engine when you turn the key. It uses a lot of power to crank the engine, and a bad one can require more power than your battery can generate. If the engine cranks very slowly or not at all, the problem could be a bad starter that needs to be replaced. The starter is located within the engine's throttle body, which is placed right next to the steering column. It must be separated from the battery to be removed and replaced.

Step 1

Disconnect the cable from the negative battery terminal. Set the cable aside where it can't accidentally touch the terminal.

Step 2

Remove the air inlet duct from the throttle body. This is the tube or hose connecting the car's air intake system to the throttle body.

Step 3

Remove the two bolts on the starter, beginning with the top bolt. Disconnect all electrical connectors attaching the starter to the battery. Remove the starter motor from the throttle body.

Step 4

Install the new starter motor into the throttle body. Torque the bolts depending on the size engine the Cavalier has. If it has a 2.2-liter engine, torque the bolts to 37 foot-pounds on a VIN 4 car and 30 foot-pounds for a VIN F. On a 2.4-liter engine, the bolts should be 66 foot-pounds.

Step 5

Connect the electrical connectors to the new starter. Reattach the air inlet duct to the throttle body. Reconnect the negative battery cable and test the new starter with the ignition switch.

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