How to Replace the Solenoid on a Nissan

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The general purpose of the starting system is to rotate the engine and allow it to start. This system is comprised of a starter motor, a solenoid, wiring harness/cables and the battery. The battery provides electrical current to the solenoid, which passes the current to the starter motor and rotates the engine so it will start. If you turn the ignition switch to the on position and the car doesn't start, the trouble source is probably the starter solenoid. Replacing the solenoid can be completed in an afternoon with a few simple tools.

Things You'll Need

  • Socket set
  • Box end wrenches
  • Assortment of screwdrivers
  • Pair of wheel ramps
  • Drive the car up on a set of wheel ramps, set the parking break and chalk the rear wheels. Disconnect the battery cables from the battery.

  • Locate the starter, which is usually on the lower right rear side of the engine.

  • Loosen the nuts or clips that hold the wires on the starter solenoid, and mark or label the wires and terminals so the installation procedure will be easier.

  • Remove the starter mounting bolts using the proper socket or box end wrench, depending on the bolt location/position on the engine bell housing area.

  • Remove the starter motor with the solenoid attached and place it on a workbench.

  • Remove the nut and washer that secures the braided copper cable to the solenoid. Unscrew and remove the two mounting screws, then disconnect the solenoid from the starter motor.

  • Screw the mounting screws back into place on the starter motor and tighten. Reconnect the braided copper cable to the starter solenoid, replace the washer and the nut, and tighten.

  • Place the complete starter assembly back in place on the right side of the engine so the solenoid can engage the starter teeth when energized. Insert the starter bolts, tighten and torque to proper specifications.

  • Reconnect the wires to the proper terminals and replace the nuts/clips as labeled earlier for proper polarity.

Tips & Warnings

  • When reinstalling the starter solenoid, be sure that you have the solenoid plunger engaged with the starter motor shift lever.
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