Changing your vehicle's starter is a relatively complex operation, but it is within everyone's reach if you follow the instructions and have the right tools.
A. Identifying the issue with starter
B. Identify the starter model (Maker, OE Number, etc...)
C. Change the faulty parts or replace starter.
Your main difficulty will be gaining access to the starter which sometimes is not obvious and covered by other parts of your engine.
A few checks to be made BEFORE changing your starter.
One of the most common problems encountered is a noise; a "clack-clack" sound when starting the engine. In most cases, a starter failure is related to a problem with the electrical connection. (Electrical harnesses or neiman for example).
The neiman gives a brief electrical impulse to the starter relay which tells the starter to turn and drive the engine ring gear, then once the vehicle has started the pinion returns in its initial position.
In the event of a neiman problem, the electrical impulse might remain and keep the starter spinning with the engine. Which is not good, the pinion does not go back to its original position. This causes the starter to heat up and then break. It is said that the starter is force-centrifuged this can be characterised by the copper blades of the commutator bursting into pieces.
For this problem, you must change your neiman before changing the starter, otherwise you will risk damaging a new starter!
You want to start, you turn the ignition key and no noise is heard:
1. Check the state of your battery
An idling starter can simply signal a problem with your vehicle's battery. Do not forget to test your battery !
2. Check the condition of your connections.
- Check all connections ( + and - ) and their tightness.
- Check that the cables are not stripped and/or in contact with other parts of your vehicle.
- Check for any trace of oxidation (rust) as an electrical failure may be due to oxidation problems with the battery connectors. After cleaning, remember to put some grease around the terminals.
3. Also check the condition of the solenoid.
It is also called contactor/relay usually located above the starter.
Listen for the clicking sound of the solenoid as you turn your vehicle's ignition key. If there is not the slightest noise, it means that the solenoid is out of order and should be replaced.
If the engine runs but does not start, the problem may not be related to the starter or battery.
If you are unsure of your diagnosis, a professional will the right tool, will be able to diagnose the problem.
A starter can be repaired, depending on the problem !
Spare parts can be changed if they are still distributed as they cost less than a new starter most of the time.
Once the fault is found, you will need to identify your starter, therefore you will need to have physical access to it to retrieve its part number / OE Number.
Sometimes the starter indicated in the car manual can be different than what is really installed on your car. Beware !
Most of the time you can identify your starter on your own if it is easy to access, otherwise you will have to remove one or more components around it and sometimes you will have no other choice than to take it to a professional car mechanic.
Good to know:
Manufacturers (PSA, VOLVO, CATERPILLAR, FIAT, AUDI, HARLEY-DAVIDSON, ...) do not manufacture starters but vehicules.
They buy starters from other companies such as BOSCH, VALEO, DENSO, MITSUBISHI, MARELLI, HITACHI, DELCO REMY etc..., they assemble the components that makes up the vehicle and they slap a stickers on the starter with their brand and with a reference that you will not find anywhere except at authorised dealerships...
Example of OE manufacturers: BOSCH, VALEO, DENSO, MITSUBISHI, MARELLI, HITACHI, DELCO REMY, PRESTOLITE …
Examples of manufacturer reference :
BOSCH references starting with 0001 or 0986. Usually 10 digits.
Exemple : 0001107430 or 0986018800
VALEO D6RA75 / A11VI45
DENSO 228000-7671 / 428000-4640
MITSUBISHI M000T87085 / MT88381
Any hint of a reference on your starter may be useful when you contact our services.
In case you do not have a visible reference :
Do not choose your part because it looks like it or because it is identical to the photo on the site, the starter is still precision mechanics keep this in mind, variations of a few mm change everything and are invisible to the naked eye.
Without reference it is impossible to find the right parts, it is impossible for us to know which part corresponds to your starter if we don't have this reference.
However, we offer a starter search service, for this you must absolutely provide us:
Type of vehicle (car, boat, construction equipment, agricultural machine, motorcycle, etc ...) with make and model, as well as the type of engine if available.
Number of teeth on the pinion/starter
Number of mounting holes
Distance between mounting holes
Nose diameter (the round part that surrounds the starter/gear that drives the engine ring gear)
Optional cars and vans only :
Licence plate if the vehicule has one, it can help us to reduce the choice, knowing that these are theoretical data. Several different starters can be mounted on a vehicle of the same make/model/year. Do not rely on information gleaned from the vehicle booklet or the internet. Rely on what you actually have on your vehicle.
For boats :
Search possible with serial number and engine type according to the year.