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How to Find the Starter Motor

by Doug Leenhouts

Your vehicle's starter motor is usually a part that only needs to be replaced once in the vehicle's lifetime, if ever, as they are an exceptionally reliable part. Therefore, the location of the starter is typically not something that most car owners know off the top of their head, and can require some hunting around to find. Some owners manuals have a diagram of the engine, though it is not a certainty that the starter will be labeled.

Pop the hood of your vehicle and have your friend turn the key in the ignition. Listen for a clicking sound coming from under the hood and look for a cylindrical part bolted near the engine. There are usually two hex bolts securing the starter, though there can be more. If you can find this part without too much hunting around, it is the starter.

Locate your car battery's positive terminal. This is the terminal that has a heavy red cable attached to it. It may be concealed by a plastic cover, especially on newer model cars.

Follow the cable until it connects to a connecting post. The post is part of the starter, which also has wires going to other electrical systems, and is located at the end of the large cylinder. The cable may run under other parts, like the air intake manifold, making it difficult to follow.

Look for two cylindrical shapes, one usually larger than the other, that make up the starter. One cylinder is the solenoid and the other is the starter motor itself.

Warning

  • Be careful not to touch anything under the hood when the ignition is turned on.

About the Author

A professional travel writer since April 2010, Doug Leenhouts has written for world66.com and slowtrav.com. He has a Bachelor of Science in management information systems from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute and three years of service in a consulting firm.

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