How to Replace the Starter in a Saturn L300by Kyle McBride
Saturn equipped the L300 with a PG-260D, non-serviceable starter motor on its L81 engines. Unlike some starter motors that can be serviced at the component level and rebuilt, the Saturn L300's starter must be replaced as a unit if internal components fail. Symptoms of a bad starter include, but are not limited to: a clicking starter solenoid with the engine being unable to crank; and high-speed spinning of the starter gear without the ability of the device to engage the flywheel when the ignition key is turned to the "Start" position. Either of these conditions may require the replacement of the starter.
Park the Saturn on firm, level ground. Turn off all lights and accessories. Turn the ignition off and allow the engine to cool.
Raise the hood of the car and disconnect the battery's negative cable with a wrench.
Raise the car up with the jack and support it on jack stands. Remove the wheel trim from the right front wheel, using the flat-head screwdriver.
Loosen the lug nuts on the right front wheel with a lug-nut wrench. Remove the lug-nuts and remove the wheel.
Locate the starter mounted to the flywheel housing, on the right side of the engine, above the oil pan.
Remove the two electrical connection nuts with a wrench. Loosen the electrical harness bracket with a wrench and move it aside.
Remove the lower bolt from the starter assembly. Jack up the car off the jack stands, remove the jack stands, then lower the car to the ground.
Remove the upper bolt from the starter assembly. Move the starter out of the flywheel housing, move the starter away from the engine block, then remove it.
Reverse the disassembly procedure for reassembly. Tighten the starter bolts to 30 pound-feet with a torque wrench. Tighten the B+ cable nut to 80 pound-inches with a torque wrench. Tighten the S-terminal wire nut to 40 pound-inches. Tighten the lug nuts in a star pattern to 46 pound-feet, then tighten them in a star pattern to 92 pound-feet. Tighten the battery's negative cable bolt to 13 pound-feet.
- Reprogram the radio stations into the radio once the reassembly procedure is complete if you had preset stations prior to disassembly.
- Never get under a car or allow anyone else to get under a car that is supported only by the jack. Always use jack stands for safety.
- If any part of the procedure seems beyond your capabilities, consult a qualified mechanic before proceeding.
Items you will need
- Wrench set
- Jack stands
- Flat-head screwdriver
- Pound-foot torque wrench
- Pound-inch torque wrench
- "GM Service and Parts Operations Publication"; Document ID#1219242, 2005 Saturn L300/LW300, Starter Motor Replacement L81; General Motors Corporation; 2004
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