You should check several other parts before you decide it's time to change the car starter.
1.Check the condition of the battery.
A weak battery can't turn the starter over. Make sure the battery is at full strength before you blame the starter. Your car's instrument cluster should indicate when there is a low battery with either a warning light or ammeter.
Also check the battery connections, the wires going to the starter, and the starter connection. The most important wire is the big one running down the back of the battery. It is the wire that goes from the battery to the starter. All connections should be snug. Check that the insulation on the wires is intact. Tighten any connections loose enough to wiggle by hand.
2.Check the starter solenoid.
The starter solenoid is a special switch that turns the starter on and off. Solenoids rarely cost more than $10, and they are fairly easy to replace. When you turn the key, have a friend listen to the solenoid for a clicking sound. If there's no sound, assume the solenoid is broken and needs to be replaced.
If the automotive engine is turning over and still won't start, it might be due to another problem unrelated to the starter or battery. Anything from a dirty air filter, worn spark plugs, bad spark plug wires, a worn distributor cap, insufficient fuel reaching the engine or even blown gaskets can prevent a car from starting. If you can't isolate the problem through trial and error, it may be time to take the car to a mechanic for check-up or repair.
Once you've determined that the problem is not resolved by troubleshooting the above issues, it may very well be that you need to replace the starter.Things You'll Need: Line wrench set / Socket wrench
1. Park the car on a flat level surface. Ensure the parking brake is set.
2. Open the hood for access to the engine compartment. Isolate the battery by unbolting the positive and negative terminals with a line wrench.
3. Locate the starter under the vehicle. The starter is always located between the transmission ( transaxle if the vehicle is a front-wheel drive) and the engine.
4. Disconnect the wires at the top of the starter. The starter will have two studs on the solenoid with wires attached. Unbolt the nut with a socket wrench and pull the wires off the studs.
5. Unbolt the starter with a socket wrench. Pull the starter off the bracket by hand and place it in the box the new starter was sold in. The automotive-parts store will require the old starter returned for the core-deposit.
6. Position the new starter to the mounting bracket. Thread each bolt by hand. Once all the bolts are started, tighten with a socket wrench.
7. Unscrew the positive postand place the cable on the stud. Tighten the nut over the wire with a socket wrench. Repeat to install the negative wire.
8. Tighten the battery cables to the battery. Ensure both cables are tight on the terminal.
9. Attempt to start the vehicle. The car will start with very little hesitation.
Tips 1:Symptoms of Wear or Failure
- Engine may not crank over when attempting to start the vehicle
- Abnormal noise when starter is engaged
Tips 2:Related Repair Advice
- Many vehicles have a special ignition key that is electronically coded to start your vehicle. If the key or the system is having problems, the symptom may be the same as a faulty starter.
- A weak or dead battery can exhibit the same symptoms as a faulty starter. The battery should be inspected and replaced as necessary before replacing the starter.
- Corroded and/or loose battery terminals can exhibit the same symptoms as a faulty starter. They will need to be cleaned and possibly replaced before a failed starter can be properly diagnosed.
- A faulty ignition switch may have the same symptoms as a defective starter
- For vehicles with an automatic transmission, the neutral safety switch should be inspected. Manual transmission vehicles should have the clutch pedal switch checked.
- Do not overtighten the bolts holding the starter to the frame.
- Check the instructions that come with your starter to determine the appropriate torque.
- Once the starter is out of the car, take it to the automotive-parts store to be bench tested. This will tell you if the starter is good or bad.
- Use caution when working with electrical components. Ensure the battery is isolated.