How To: change the starter in your S-series Saturn
(for this example, I used a 1995 Saturn SL1 but the others should be similar if not the same)
(this picture is when I first got the car many moons ago)
What you’ll need:
The tools I used were:
2 different sized extenders
short 10mm socket
deep 10mm socket
short 13mm socket
deep 13mm socket
and you will obviously need a new starter
1)Start out by lifting the car up. The higher the car is the better. I could only get to lift the front enough so I could slide under the car, but if you get the car higher, it will make the job a lot easier.
2)Now disconnect the battery.
3)It is time to get on your back and locate the starter. If you know where the oil filter is you’ll be able to find the starter a lot easier.
(I found it and know why the car wasn’t starting, it’s kind of hard to see I the pictures because a lot of them are blurry (due to how close I was) but the leads are corroded in rust and mold… the joys of living in Canada)
4)Take the purple wire off first, this takes the long 10mm socket to do so.
5)Now take the other nut off, this takes the short (or long) 13mm socket.
These are the nuts that you are taking off
6)Now the fun part, trying to find that “hidden” bolt that is behind the starter. You will need your long extension to do this. I don’t have any pictures of it because I could barely get my fingers in there to find the bolt, let alone a camera. Once you find it, loosen the bolt all the way; be careful not to drop it.
7)What I did was I took one of the leads (the one with the lease slack) and attached it back to the starter to hold the starter up while I took the last bolt off. This way when you do take the last bolt off it won’t fall on your face.
8)Now take that last bolt off, I could get a picture of this one.
9)Remove the lead (if you put it on) and take the starter out.
(quite the difference)
10)While there is no starter in place, if you are like me and have a lot of rust on the tips, take some sandpaper and sand them down
(these are the leads (tips) you might need to sand)
11)Put the new starter in place, attach the leads (do not tighten the bolts, just enough so they won’t come off), and screw the bottom screw in place with your fingers (again, not tight, just enough so the starter doesn’t wobble around).
12)Now you have to get that “hidden” bolt in place. I took just the socket and extension with the bolt in the end, and felt around until it felt like I was in the right hole, then used my fingers and the extension to tighten the bolt in place
13)Now just torque everything down nice and tight
Nice new starter!!
14)Lower the car, connect the battery and away you go.
Edited by: Kasper_B