How To Replace A Starter On A 2003 Toyota Matrix

You must first remove the old, damaged starter from your 2003 Toyota Matrix before you can install the new one. Thankfully, changing a starter in a Toyota Matrix is not all that different from doing so in a domestic engine. Without spending a lot of money on tools, you can replace the starter in a quite short amount of time. Simple automotive tools are all that are required to do the task.

Step 1

Set up a set of front-end lifting ramps for the car. Put the emergency brake in place. To avoid burning your hands, give the car some time to cool down. There should be ample time to cool down for about 30 minutes.

Step 6

The two 14mm bolts holding the starter to the engine must be removed. The bell housing is connected by a single bolt. It’s challenging to get to the bolt. It could be essential to use a small extension bar attached to the socket.

To take the starter out of the car, pull it downward and outward. Shims are frequently installed by Toyota between the engine and the starter’s baseplate. Gather each and every shim. Utilize them when installing.

All of the shims should be placed on the starter’s baseplate. Insert the starter by sliding it. Make that the gear within the bell housing and the gear sticking out of the starter base are in sync. To align the bolt holes in the baseplate and the engine, turn the starter.

Use the two bolts that were previously taken from the old starter to secure it. Use replacement bolts if the bolts are severely rusted.

With the wire fastening nut, fasten the ground wire. Reapply the gray cap to the nut.

By inserting the connector into the wire harness, you can connect the wire connector to the starter.

Set the foundation in place. With your thumb, insert the retaining clips into the holes.

  • Haynes: 2004 “Toyota Matrix Repair Manual Years 2003 to 2008”
  • Ramps
  • a flexible wrench
  • philips screwdriver
  • socket 14 mm
  • a 12 mm socket
  • Ratchet
  • Extending socket bar

How much does a Toyota Matrix starter cost?

The typical price to replace the starter on a Toyota Matrix ranges from $267 to $427. While parts are priced between $211 and $356, labor costs are predicted to range between $56 and $71. Taxes and other fees are not included in this range, nor are your particular model year or geographic area taken into account.

I don’t want to remove my starter, but how can I test it?

Q My 1999 Toyota Tacoma’s rebuilt starter has just been installed; the previous one had shorted out and refused to disengage. The new one, though, won’t interact. When the key is turned, all that can be heard is a quiet click. Any thoughts?

A Did you test the old starter to be sure it was defective? The starter may continue to engage if a relay or solenoid is shorted. Check all electrical connections between the battery, relay, solenoid, and starter, assuming the replacement starter motor is in working order. Take a close look at the starting relay’s socket. And ensure that the engine/drivetrain and the chassis have a strong ground connection.

Using jumper cables to disengage the car’s electrical system is the simplest approach to examine the starter. With the engine off and the transmission in “park,” carefully attach one end of the red/positive jumper cable to the battery’s positive terminal. Connect the red cable’s opposite end to the starting motor’s positive connector. The engine must be spun or cranked by the starter. If it does, the wires, connectors, or relay are the cause of the issue. If not, start the engine and use the black/negative jumper cable to establish a connection between the drivetrain and the battery’s negative terminal as a ground. Connect the red cable to the positive terminal of the starter. If the starter turns the engine over, a poor chassis ground is the issue.

Once more, use extreme caution when performing these tests to keep yourself safe. Remove the new starter, or even better, test it on your workbench.

Q I am rebuilding a 1988 Nissan Pathfinder V6 with 149,000 miles. One issue that I’d really like to fix is the fact that the engine always behaves as though the temperature is 30 below zero! The engine may be running at 2,000 to 2,400 rpm while the outside temperature is 90 degrees. Only the first start of the day results in this.

A A “fast idle control device” (FICD) and an idle-up solenoid are used by this early fuel injection system to regulate fast idle during startup. The crank angle sensor, coolant temperature sensor, ignition, and battery provide data to the FICD. Although the first idle speed of 2,000 to 2,400 rpm is correct, normal idle should arrive sooner. The two gadgets mounted on the throttle body would be checked.

Q My 1999 Chrysler Sebring has about 112,000 miles on it. My car won’t run correctly when the temperature is below zero. When I let up on the throttle or go into gear, it will start rough and die. Once fully warmed up, it functions normally. The gasoline pump may be the issue, but the dealer wasn’t sure, and fixing it would cost $900. What shall I do?

A Although low fuel pressure may be a contributing factor, the symptoms don’t really match a fuel-pump issue. Check the fuel pressure with a shop, then connect a scan tool to check for trouble codes. Have the shop verify the accuracy of the coolant temperature sensor signal with the engine completely cold. The idle air control actuator can be tested or reset using the scan tool.

Are basic maintenance items like air and fuel filters, spark plugs, and the like current on the vehicle as well? The car is approaching its operational limits when the temperature falls below zero, therefore regular maintenance can make the difference between the vehicle starting and not starting.

How can I check if my starter is defective?

Connect the solenoid (smaller wire) connector on the starter and the battery positive terminal on the remote starter switch, then turn the switch. If nothing transpires, your starting is subpar. If the starter engages, the electrical system is at fault.

How much does a Toyota Corolla starter replacement cost?

Estimated price for replacing a Toyota Corolla starter. Replacement starters for Toyota Corollas typically cost between $273 and $434. While parts are priced between $212 and $358, labor is predicted to cost between $61 and 77.

What occurs if your starter fails?

Imagine that you need to travel someplace and that you rely on your car to get you there as quickly and comfortably as usual. Already, you can see the smooth journey, your favorite radio show playing in the background, the warmth on, and perhaps a cup of coffee at your side (but be careful!). You then unlock the door and get into the driver’s seat. Like a thousand times before you turn the keys (or, if your automobile is a relatively new model, press the “start” button”). Nothing occurs. Why, you ask? It cannot be the battery because all of your lights are on and there are no indications of a low power source. A stunning realization follows. You have a failed or defective starter motor. Have any warnings gone unheeded? Did you have a list of warning flags handy?

We hope that this post will help you understand a problem that is more widespread than you may realize if you believe this could apply to you. As a garage, we deal with bad starter problems on a regular basis. They are rather common. We have provided links to clear explanations for some of the less common terms we’ll be using because we’ll be getting into some technical aspects. After all, not everyone here loves cars!

The primary motor, which turns your crankshaft and fires up your engine, and the solenoid, which simultaneously engages the starting’s drive gear and shuts the electrical contacts on the main motor, make up a starter. Poor maintenance practices or simple wear and tear may be to blame for starting system issues. The various system parts endure significant wear over their service lives, even with good maintenance, and eventually develop issues. The burden on starting motors and batteries has significantly grown as stop/start technology is being installed in an increasing number of automobiles.

Solenoids and starter motors rarely completely malfunction. The following warning signals should alert you to potential problems with more than one component of your car, so be sure to call your trusted neighborhood garage to schedule a thorough inspection.

Grinding noise

It frequently makes a grinding noise when the starter drive gear is worn out or not engaging properly. This sounds a lot like the sound you make when you unintentionally turn the ignition switch back on after starting your car. The engine flywheel could be harmed if the grinding symptom is ignored.


When you turn the engine over and all you hear is a whining sound, this is known as freewheeling.

This indicates that the starter is not engaging with the flywheel when it happens. This frightening circumstance may necessitate replacing the entire component. If this occurs, get your car serviced as soon as you can.

Intermittent issues starting the vehicle

The relay is most likely to blame if you try to start your automobile and the engine doesn’t fire up right away but you hit the switch again and it starts. Since the starter relay is an all-or-nothing mechanism, it either sends the starter the full electrical current or it doesn’t. When you turn the key, the starter occasionally makes a clicking noise due to a faulty relay.

Starter stays on after engine started

The circuit that will cut off electricity to the starter motor is designed to close when you start the engine and release the key (or cease pushing the starter button on a new car). If this continues to operate after the engine has started, the solenoid’s main contacts have probably fused together in the closed position. The relay will become trapped in the “on” position if this issue is not fixed right away. The transmission flywheel and the entire starter system will eventually sustain significant damage as a result of this.


The starter gear will eventually overheat if power is continually provided to it. Smoke is typically a sign that the electrical supply is being drained too much. This is either a result of the starter running too long without a break or a connection issue. A burning smell and smoke coming from behind the engine may indicate more serious issues.


Even though it might seem like you have power to your starting system, such as if your headlights and dashboard lights are on, the engine won’t start. This could be deceiving because starting your car requires a lot of battery juice. If your car won’t start, you can check to see if the problem is a weak battery by using jump leads or a starter pack. Nine out of ten autos that have starting issues in the winter have a battery issue.

What should I do if my starter won’t start?

The car may not start even when it clicks when attempting to start due to a weak battery, filthy battery terminals, a damaged starter motor, or a blocked solenoid. There are a few things to try before using jumper cables or an electric jump starter even though it could just need a jump start.

Try Cycling the Key

Turn on the dome light and keep an eye on it while attempting to start the engine if your car would not start after turning on. If the light goes out, the battery is seriously depleted or close to death. Try the key cycling approach to warm up the starter, battery, and connections. The secret is to continually turn the key to the start positionabout 10 times straight. Wait five minutes and then stop. then attempt to start the car. However, if the dome light was still on when you turned the key and your car still wouldn’t start, try the next trick.

Try Tapping on the Battery Terminals

When you’re stranded without tools, there is no way to clean corroded battery contacts. However, you can attempt to shake or at least rattle the terminals slightly to improve contact. If the car won’t start, tap each battery terminal with the heel of a shoe to rotate it a little bit around the battery post. Afterward, try starting the car.

Try Tapping the Starter

Try hammering the starter motor with the tire iron from your car jack if you have access to it. The electrical contacts can occasionally become trapped and be released by tapping on them.

How can you identify if the issue is with the ignition switch or starter?

Examine the starter. It is located underneath the hood, typically on the passenger side, right close to the transmission at the bottom of the engine. The ignition switch, which often sits on the steering column, is a group of electrical contacts that turns on the starter.

How can you tell if the starter solenoid is malfunctioning?

As a result, the following are typical indications of a malfunctioning starter solenoid:

  • Engine won’t start or crank.
  • No Clicking Noise When Trying to Start the Engine.
  • Starter spins but the flywheel isn’t fully engaged (Rare)
  • Slow engine cranking (Rare)
  • Evaluate the battery.
  • Check to see if the starter solenoid is receiving power.

Can a car with a bad starter be jumpstarted?

Although a car with a defective starter can be jump started, the underlying problem will not be resolved. Your car’s battery is what gets boosted by a jump start, not the starter.

While a jump start can help the starter acquire the extra power it needs to start your engine because the starter is powered by the battery through a relay, it is not certain that a jump start will be helpful if the problem is with the starter.

For a proper diagnosis and solution to the problem, you are best off visiting a mechanic. Jumping your car every morning is not a workable approach, regardless of the circumstance!

A reliable strategy to make sure you’re taking good care of your set of wheels is to take it to the mechanic, along with giving it a robust vehicle insurance coverage.

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