Engine Starter Repair: How to Replace the Starter Solenoid

Lead Image for Engine Starter Repair: How to Replace the Starter Solenoid
  • 3-6 hours
  • Advanced
  • 20-200
What You'll Need
Wrench set
Ratchet set
Socket set
2 jack stands
New solenoid

When engine starter repair is order for your car you can start by replacing the solenoid. Car maintenance does not have to be complicated and starter repair is easy. The solenoid is a switch that controls high-current from the battery to the starter motor. The ignition system uses the solenoid to fill the starter motor with energy which then starts the engine. As you can see, engine starter repair is important to your car functioning.

The solenoid can be affected after years of use. Before you start this type of starter repair you need to know that the solenoid can be in one of two places. The first is close to the battery inside the engine compartment on the inside of the front fender. The other place is directly on top of the motor of the starter. The following article will show you how to do this simple starter repair yourself regardless of where the solenoid is located.

Step 1 - Locate the Solenoid

You can determine if the solenoid is front access or on the starter by following the wires. Locate the battery inside the engine compartment. Locate the red wire attached to the battery and follow it. The red wire will be attached to the solenoid. If the red wire is not attached to the solenoid then the solenoid is connected to the starter motor. This makes this starter repair a little more difficult.

engine starter in light

Step 2 - Disconnecting the Solenoid

Before you remove any wires you should always write down their locations so you can replace them correctly. Remove the negative (black) wire from the battery using a wrench. You can now locate the solenoid and remove all of the wires connected to it. The same is done with the solenoid that is attached to the starter motor. If you do not have enough access then you will need to jack the car up and support it with the jack stands.

After the wires are disconnected you will need to remove the solenoid completely. You do this by removing the bolts that are attaching the solenoid to the engine compartment. The solenoid attached to the starter motor is a little more difficult to remove. After the mounting bolts are removed you will pull the solenoid (with the starter attached) out of the car. Keep all of the shims and brackets. You can now unscrew the solenoid from the starter.

Step 3 - New Solenoid

This particular starter repair is nearly complete. Replacing the solenoid is the same regardless of how it was mounted. Screw the new solenoid onto the starter (if mounted that way) and replace inside the engine compartment. Replace the solenoid in the same manner for the one mounted near the fender. Consult all of your notes and replace all of the wires to the new solenoid. Double check the connections before tightening. Now you can replace the negative wire to the battery. If the car is on jack stands you can now lower the car. Test to see if your repair was successful.