I love doing my own auto work and sharing DIY tips and tricks with my readers.
Many times, for several days or weeks, a driver will get in their car and attempt to start it and notice a longer-than-normal startup time; the engine will turn over several times more than it should before it starts. Other times, it may not start at all, only to start again the very next day.
These symptoms—as well as an engine that is sluggish to turn over, or won't turn over at all and just clicks—are all possible signs of a bad starter. If the battery and alternator have been tested (and, if necessary, replaced), the most likely cause of the problem is a bad starter.
To replace the starter on a 1999 Pontiac Grand Prix, follow the steps outlined below. It is important to follow all safety procedures outlined in the vehicle owners/maintenance manual. If these procedures are not followed, serious injury or even death may result.
Items that will be needed to perform the starter removal:
- 5/16" terminal battery wrench
- Ratchet with 4-inch and 8-inch extensions
- 15mm socket
- 13mm, 10mm and 8mm combination wrench
1. Raise Up the Car
Jack up car and place on jack stands or drive up on ramps in order to gain access to the starter from below. Block the back tires so the car cannot roll backward. The starter is located on the driver’s side of the vehicle and can be accessed from underneath the car.
2. Disconnect Negative Battery Terminal
Using a standard battery wrench, disconnect the negative terminal on the battery to prevent shock, shorts, blown fuses, etc…
3. Locate the Starter
Locate the starter from underneath the car. It will be on the driver's side right in front of the oil pan. There is a wire harness that runs right next to the starter that may have to be pushed aside.
4. Remove the Plastic Shield
There is a plastic shield attached by a 10mm bolt which slightly covers the starter mounting bolt. This shield will need to be removed. Use the 10mm combination wrench to remove the shield and set it aside.
5. Remove Two 15 mm Bolts
The 15mm starter mounting bolts should be visible now. Use the ratchet with the appropriate size extension to reach and remove each of the two 15mm bolts holding the starter in place.
6. Take Note of and Disconnect the Starter Wiring
Work the starter down through the opening far enough to expose the two electrical connections on the top. One will be a 13mm nut and the other will be an 8mm nut. It’s a good idea to take pictures of these connections prior to removal to ensure the new starter will be connected correctly. Use the 13mm and 8mm combination wrenches to remove the nuts attaching the electrical connections. Lower the starter to the ground.
7. Installing the New Starter
Install the new starter following these steps in reverse order.
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.
© 2011 who10
who10 (author) from Midwest on March 09, 2016:
Thanks for your input on this.
DJ45X on January 30, 2015:
Thank you for the pictorial. Properly executed. Just to add, for those who try to use these instructions, the connectors for the starter have 3 nuts to remove connections. there are only 2 that you need to remove. One of the 13mm nuts is a grounding connection for the starter's motor. that does NOT have to be removed to remove the starter. This should make it easier to connect the new starter. Other than that, very simple to do. thank you who10 for your dedication to this pictorial. Cheers
smithshady on October 02, 2012:
i am a beginner and this helped me so much thanks. very simple with the pics to help !!!
who10 (author) from Midwest on June 28, 2011:
Thanks CWanamaker. Just finished the job this evening and took pics along the way. I hope it will help someone out.
Christopher Wanamaker from Arizona on June 28, 2011:
Very well done and Easy to follow. I'm sure this will help someone out.