The base SL Sarurn trim boasted an admirable 39 mpg on the highway, thanks to it's fuel-sipping, 1.9-liter, inline four-cylinder engine. Though generally considered a reliable component, the starter motor will eventually “give up the ghost” after years of use. Replacing a failed starter yourself will save you money.
Items you will need
- Memory saver
- Socket set
- Wheel chocks
- Floor jack
- Two jack stands
- Torque wrench
Engage the parking brake. Connect a memory saver to the vehicle, according to the product's instructions. Open the hood and disconnect the negative battery cable, using a socket and ratchet. Place a wheel chock behind both rear wheels.
Position the saddle of the jack underneath the circular-shaped subframe mount and lift the vehicle. Align a jack stand beneath the railed portion of the underbody – approximately six inches back from the subframe mount. Lift the opposite side and secure it in the same fashion.
Remove the nuts that secure the solenoid wire and battery cable to the starter solenoid. Move the wiring to the side. Remove the two bolts that secure the starter to the engine block. Pull the starter away from the transmission and lower it from the engine.
Mate a replacement starter to the engine block and align the bottom bolt hole. Thread the bottom bolt by hand, followed by the top bolt. Tighten both bolts to 27 foot-pounds, using a socket, extension and torque wrench.
Attach the purple wire to the small terminal stud on the solenoid, then tighten the nut to 44 inch-pounds. Connect the battery cable to the large terminal stud and tighten the nut to 89 inch-pounds.
Lower the front of the vehicle and remove the wheel chocks. Reconnect the negative cable and tighten the terminal bolt to 13 foot-pounds. Disconnect the memory saver.
- NADA Guides: 1998 Saturn SL; Specs & Performance
- EBSCO Auto Repair Reference Center; 1998 Saturn SL; Starter Motor Replacement
- Alldata 9.5; 1996 Saturn SL; Technical Service Bulletins; 99-P-01 Replacement of Cracked Cylinder Heads