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Starter Motor Replacement Recipe (How to)
Starter motor removal and replacement, 88 90 5Cyl.
- Should apply to most other 5cyl, 10v Audis
Difficulty: Pretty easy job. hour, hour and a half first time, 45
minutes if you ever have to do it again. If you can change a tire, you
can handle it. Get your starter at a junk yard, and you could get some
new control-arm bushings with the money you save! Or spend it on golf
12mm, 13mm, 17mm, 19mm sockets, four and six inch socket extensions
17 mm wrench
Flashlight, mirror are handy.
Here we go:
Mix all ingredients in large bowl while pre-heating oven to 350
But seriously, folks:
The starter on the 90 is located directly behind the oil filter on the
lower-passenger side of the engine. You'll recognize it as a cylinder
4-5 inches in diameter piggy-backed by a smaller cylinder. It is held
onto the engine by two bolts; the bottom one a through nut-and-bolt comb
accessible from the front side of the engine, the top a bolt-only bolt
that is accessible from the rear of the engine. The replacement starter
I got from the junk yard had three bolt holes, necessitating a return
trip. Ah, all this to save a hundred bucks.
Start your project off by removing the positive and negative leads to
the battery (if your starter has enough torque to spin up your engine
pretty-much instantaneously, you don't want it going off while you're
holding a wrench to it!), and then remove the battery itself. The 12mm
socket and extension will remove the battery bolt. The lower part of
the battery tray actually pops out, leaving a hole large enough for your
arm to reach through. Oh, those clever Germans*.
Jack up the front passenger side of the car and remove the front wheel
for easier access. Secure the carr on a jack-stand and make sure it's
solidly supported. Scoot under the car with your 17mm socket on 6 inch
extension, 17mm wrench, and a flashlight. With the flashlight, look up
to the backside of the starter, just behind the sway bar. You'll see a
bolt head sticking out. Anchor your 17mm wrnech on that. On the
front-lower side of the starter, you'll spy the other end of the bolt
coming through and secured with a nut. Put yur socket on that one and
remove. My car had 220k miles on it when I replaced it, so it took some
WD40, patience, and creative vocabulary. Once it broke loose, it came
Now get up. From the control arm side of the wheel well, you should be
able to shine a flashlight around and spy two bolt heads going into the
back passenger side of the engine. The lower bolt is the rear-upper
bolt holding the starter in. It takes a bit of looking around to get
your geometry placed, but you'll be able to judge the top bolt of the
starter. What the other bolt holds on, I don't know. But I wouldn't
remove it. The starter bolt is a 19mm socket with a 4 inch extension.
As mentioned above, you can reach in through the hole in the battery
tray. Once loosened, get under the car and carefully pull the starter
The power leads can be removed with the 13mm socket. Replace the
starter and, as they say, installation is the opposite of removal.
Hope this helps!