How Long Does It Take To Change A Starter

A car’s starter is an essential component that helps to start the engine by engaging the flywheel. It is the driving force behind getting your car started and running. However, just like any other component, starters wear out over time and need to be replaced. In this article, we will discuss how long it takes to change a starter and provide an important outline for tackling the job safely and efficiently.

Important Outline

Replacing a starter is relatively simple, but the time it takes to complete the job can vary depending on the make and model of the vehicle, the level of experience, and the availability of the necessary tools. The following outline highlights the general steps involved in changing a starter, which can help you estimate the time needed for your specific situation.

1. Preparation
Before you begin, gather the necessary tools, including a socket set, wrenches, pliers, a jack and jack stands, and a new starter. Additionally, disconnect the negative battery terminal to avoid any chance of getting shocked while working. A car manual or online guide for your specific vehicle can provide a more detailed list of tools and specifications.

2. Locate the Starter
For some vehicles, the starter may be easily accessible, such as near the front of the engine or underneath the car. For others, you’ll need to remove other components to access the starter. This can include the exhaust manifold, intake manifold, or other engine accessories. Keep track of the parts you remove and their locations to make reassembly easier.

3. Remove the Starter
Use the appropriate wrench or socket to disconnect the wiring connected to the starter. After the wiring is disconnected, you can remove the bolts holding the starter in place. Some starters may have multiple bolts, so make sure to remove them all and safely store them for reassembly.

4. Install the New Starter
Position the new starter in place and secure it using the same bolts as before. Reconnect the wiring and ensure all connections are tight and secure. Replace any components you had to remove during the disassembly process.

5. Test the New Starter
Reconnect the negative battery terminal and start the vehicle to ensure the new starter is functioning properly. If the car starts without any issues, the starter installation was successful.

Depending on your level of experience and the complexity of your vehicle, changing a starter can take anywhere from 1 to 4 hours. For seasoned mechanics, the process may be quicker, while novices might take a bit longer. Additionally, some vehicle models may require extra time and effort to access the starter.

In conclusion, changing a starter is a manageable task for most vehicle owners who are comfortable with basic automotive repair. The time it takes to replace a starter can vary, but with the proper tools and guidelines in place, it can be done efficiently and safely.

Step by Step Guide

In this section, we will break down the process of changing a starter into a more detailed step-by-step guide, providing tips and tricks to make the task easier and more efficient.

Step by Step Guide With Bullet Points

1. Gather necessary tools and equipment:
– Ratchet set with various socket sizes
– Combination wrench set
– Pliers
– New starter
– Jack and jack stands
– Car manual or online guide for your specific vehicle model

2. Prepare the vehicle:
– Park the car on a flat and stable surface
– Apply the parking brake
– Disconnect the negative battery terminal

3. Lift the vehicle using a jack and place it on jack stands for safety and ease of access to the starter.

4. Locate and access the starter:
– Refer to the car manual or online guide to find the exact location of the starter
– Remove any components blocking access to the starter (if necessary)

5. Disconnect and remove the old starter:
– Carefully remove the electrical connections from the starter solenoid
– Remove the bolts securing the starter to the engine or transmission
– Carefully pull the starter away from the engine or transmission

6. Install the new starter:
– Align the new starter with the mounting holes and secure it with the bolts
– Reconnect the electrical connections
– Reinstall any removed components to access the starter

7. Lower the vehicle and remove the jack stands.

8. Reconnect the negative battery terminal.

9. Test the new starter by starting the engine and ensuring its proper operation.

Pros and Cons

– Saving money by avoiding a professional mechanic
– Gaining valuable automotive repair experience
– Preventing further damage to other components

– The process can be time-consuming, especially for inexperienced individuals
– Risk of injury or causing more damage if done incorrectly
– Difficulty in accessing the starter for certain vehicle models


Q: How do I know if my starter needs to be replaced?
A: Common symptoms of a failing starter include difficulty starting the engine, intermittent no-start situations, grinding noises when starting, and a clicking sound when attempting to start the engine.

Q: Can I replace a starter on my own?
A: Yes, with the proper tools, guidance, and basic automotive repair knowledge, most individuals can replace a starter on their own.

Q: What is the average cost to replace a starter?
A: Costs can vary greatly based on the vehicle make and model, as well as regional differences in labor rates. However, a typical range for starter replacement can be from $300 to $600 including parts and labor, with the average cost of a starter falling between $125 and $250.

Q: Can I just rebuild my starter instead of replacing it?
A: In some cases, rebuilding a starter is possible if the issue is limited to one or two components, such as the solenoid or brushes. However, it may not always be cost-effective, and replacing the starter with a new or remanufactured unit is often the better choice.


Changing a starter may seem like a daunting task at first, but with the proper tools, guidance, and a detailed step-by-step guide, most individuals can successfully replace the component on their own. By understanding the pros and cons of DIY starter replacement, vehicle owners can make an informed decision on whether to tackle the job themselves or seek professional assistance. Ultimately, keeping your vehicle in optimal condition and tending to issues like a faulty starter can prevent additional problems and prolong the life of your car.

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