Starter Motor Replacement

Step 16 - After wiring mounting nuts have been tightened, reinstall the terminal cover. Before lowering the car, double check all wiring connections to ensure there is no contact to ground (engine block, frame etc.)

Reinstall Terminal Cover

Step 17 - When reconnecting the negative battery cable, quickly (lightly) touch and release the cable to battery terminal, this quick check tests for a short circuit. Though a light (little) spark is normal, a large "zap" means there is a problem with the starter installation.

Reinstalling Negative Battery Cable

Step 18 - Once the job is complete, turn the ignition key to check the starter operation, if the starter does not work or makes abnormal noises, recheck the job wiring and starter mounting bolts.

Turn Ignition Key

Helpful Information

A starter motor is designed to crank an engine over and allow the internal combustion process to begin. Starter operation can fail for many reasons producing different results, a rapid clicking noise could mean a battery is low on charge. The battery must be in good working order, with a proper state of charge for a starter motor to work properly. Battery cables can cause starter problems as well, inspect the cables for corrosion, melted or bulged insulation, a starter's lifespan can be shortened if a high resistance connection exists.


Starter motors have gone through many changes as they have evolved from a hand crank protruding from the front of the vehicle. The starter motor became an industry standard soon after the first internal combustion engine was used a motor car. In the yearly years of production starter shims where used to help gear mesh, today these shims are not needed.



Written by
Co-Founder and CEO of
35 years in the automotive repair field, ASE Master Technician, Advanced Electrical and Mechanical Theory.


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Article first published (Updated 2014-03-01)