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How do you replace the starter on a 1998 Chevrolet Malibu 3.1L V6?


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November 21, 2010 1:48PM

1998 Malibu with v-6 starter is located on front left side of motor near transaxle. make sure you disconnect battery befoe removing starter. Easy Job. Got from another post elsewhere.

For 97-03 the above is semi true. This is a very difficult task. A novice should not attempt. The bolts connecting the starter to the motor are in an area that is not easy to reach. Even after finally reaching the bolts there is very little room to unscrew these over torqued lugs, and no power tool can fit in the tight space. Typically removing a starter and installing a starter is simple, but not on this vehicle. There are several steps that the Haynes manual leaves out like having to remove the fly wheel splash shield which has to be removed or the starter wont budge.

In short with every screw you remove to get to the starter the task will get harder until it is completed. The final bolt is the worst. Good luck because you will need it.

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Okay I just replaced one in the Walmart parking lot so my memory is fresh. First of all it was not that bad of a job. You will need a jack to get under the car.

Make sure the negative battery terminal is disconnected.

Remove the splash shield (the big plastic thing that you have to remove to get to the oil filter).

Remove the plastic shield that surrounds where the starter goes into the engine housing. Its almost hard to see because its probably covered in grease. There are two 10mm head bolts holding this on. Its a little bigger than your hand.

Remove the wires from the starter. One post will be 10mm and the larger one will be 13mm. Do nothing with the 13mm post closest to the engine (nothing to remove).

There are two 15mm (head size) bolts that bolt the starter to the engine. The one furthest toward the back of the car is real easy. The front one is a little tougher because it is not a straight shot with a socket. I used a 15mm ratcheting box end wrench and it worked great (brand name is gear wrench and I got it at Sears. Its the one with no reverse and a straight shank). BTW a 13mm ratcheting box end was helpful to remove the front starter shield bolt.

That's it. Put it back together the way it came out and please invest in a set of ratcheting box end wrenches if you haven't already.


BTW don't bother with the Haynes manual. It just says remove the bolts, wires, and replace, or something that useless.