How to Replace the Starter Motor on the Toyota 1MZFE and 2GRFE V6 Engines (With Video)

Updated on June 17, 2019
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Hardlymoving writes about do-it-yourself automobile maintenance on various makes and models.


This Do-It-Yourself (DIY) article provides the procedure for replacing the starter motor on any Toyota and Lexus with the V6 engine 1MZFE, including the V6 Camry, Solara, Avalon, ES300, RAV4, RX300 and Highlander.

A video of a virtually identical replacement procedure on the Toyota 2GRFE engine has been added.

Typically, the way you find out that the starter motor is failing is that you hear intermittent clicking noises when attempting to start the engine before the engine finally turns over. If the condition of the battery is good, and all connections to the battery are corrosion-free, it would be a fair assumption that the Starter Motor is the source of the problem and will get progressively worse.

Attempts to rebuild the starter, in my opinion, are a waste of time. The cost of a re-built or re-manufactured starter with a warranty is less than the time and annoyance involved in trying to rebuild the starter yourself with a questionable outcome.

No special tools are required to perform this replacement. A metric socket wrench or box wrench set with pliers is all that is needed. The steps are straightforward and should not take over 1.5 hours to complete at a moderate pace.

There are only two mounting bolts that secure the starter motor to the transmission housing, one electrical plug, and one positive wire lead.

Video of Starter Motor Replacement on a Camry V6 2GR-FE Engine

The 6-minute video below provides a step-by-step procedure for performing a starter motor replacement on a 2007 Toyota Camry with the V6 2GR-FE engine.

Written Instructions and Photos for Starter Motor Replacement on the 1MZFE

Remove the Battery

  • Remove the battery's hold-down bracket. Also remove the bracket's slide fit plastic box by pushing a tab inward while pulling up on the box.
  • Disconnect first positive then negative battery terminals.
  • Remove the battery's plastic base plate.

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Remove the Air Filter Box

  • Start by removing the air filter box lid.
  • Loosen the filter hose clamp.
  • Disconnect the electrical fitting and detach the two vacuum hoses.
  • Press down the two box cover hold-down clips to detach it from the lower box.
  • Slowly wiggle the air tube out of the rubber hose.
  • Flip the cover over and disconnect the white plastic wire harness fastener from the box with a pair of pliers.
  • Remove the air filter.
  • Remove the lower portion of the filter box by unbolting the three hold-down bolts.

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Unbolt the Accelerator Control Box Frame

  • Unbolting the accelerator control box frame will give you room to remove the starter motor.
  • After unbolting, remove the plastic wire harness fastener from the frame.

Disconnect the Two Wires Leading to the Positive Battery Terminal

  • Disconnecting the two wires leading to the positive battery terminal will let you remove the starter motor with the positive wire attached. When working space is limited, this is better than removing the wire from the starter.

Remove the Electrical Connector on the Starter Motor

  • Pinch and pull off the electrical connector on the starter motor.

Unbolt and Remove the Starter Motor

  • Remove the two bolts that secure the starter motor to the transmission housing.
  • After removing the rear/right bolt, unbolt the cable bracket secured to the transmission. This will allow more wiggle room for removing the starter motor.
  • Pull and angle out the starter motor with the positive wire attached. Gently push away any cable, wire or bracket obstructions away while pulling the starter motor out.

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Transfer the Positive Wire Lead From the Old Starter to the New Starter

I prefer using the 12mm nut from the old starter in lieu of the 13mm nut on the re-manufactured starter.

Reverse the Above Procedure to Install the New Starter Motor

  • Install the new starter by reversing the removal steps outlined above.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

  • What is the location of the starter in my Toyota MZFE V6?

    It's sitting above the transmission where the engine and transmission meet. If you remove the air filter housing assembly, it's easily accessible.


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