How to Replace a Starter in a Toyota Camryby Christian Killian
Replacing the starter in your Toyota Camry yourself can save you time and money. The starter is located on the passenger's side of the engine near the bottom. You can access the starter from the top in the engine compartment but if you have cruise control, you will have to move a couple of components from the engine compartment first. You can purchase a new or re-manufactured starter for your Camry at most auto parts stores or a Toyota dealer.
Locate and remove the negative battery cable from the negative battery terminal with a wrench. Remove the positive battery cable from the battery with your wrench and set the cable aside.
Remove the two retaining nuts on the battery restraint using a wrench. Lift the retaining bar off the studs and remove the battery from the car. Remove the two retaining bolts that hold the battery tray into the car and lift the tray and restraint out of the car.
Locate the cruise control actuator. It is located right behind the battery location and has a black plastic cover over it. Remove the cover by snapping it off and disconnect the wiring harness connector from the actuator. Remove the retaining bolts that are located under the battery with a socket and ratchet. Lift the actuator out of the car and set it aside.
Locate the starter just below the cruise control actuator. Remove the two wiring harness connectors from the starter motor and set them aside. The starter connector can be released by pressing a tab on the plug and pulling it out. The battery cable will need to be removed after removing a nut and washer with a socket and ratchet.
Remove the two starter retaining bolts from the starter with a socket and ratchet then pull it out of the bell housing. Lift the starter out of the engine compartment.
Position the new starter into the engine compartment and slide it into the bell housing. Install the two retaining bolts and tighten them with a socket and ratchet.
Install the battery cable onto the stud on the new starter followed by the washer and retaining nut. Tighten the nut with a socket and ratchet. Plug the starter connector from the wiring harness into the plug on the side of the starter. Make sure it locks in with a click as you push it into place.
Install the cruise control actuator bracket, inserting the four mounting bolts into the holes under the battery tray location. Tighten the bolts with a socket and ratchet. You may need an extension on the ratchet to make it a little easier to reach the bolts.
Plug in the cruise control actuator wiring harness connector to the actuator. Replace the plastic cover on the actuator.
Install the battery tray back into the car with the original mounting bolts. Tighten them with a socket and ratchet. Place the battery back in the car, install the battery retaining bar and attach the two washers and nuts that retain the bar. Tighten the nuts with a wrench.
Reinstall the positive battery cable on the positive battery terminal then install the negative cable on the negative terminal. Tighten the retaining bolts on both cable ends with a wrench.
- Some models will not have a cruise control actuator to remove. If you do not have cruise control in your car, skip those steps.
Things You'll Need
- Metric wrench set
- Metric socket set
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.