Mercedes-Benz 500SEC Starter Replacement Cost
How Much Does a Starter Replacement Cost?
Starter Replacement Service and Cost
The starter is an electric motor that spins the engine when the ignition key is turned to the start position. This allows the engine to "start" and begin running.
The starter solenoid receives power from the battery at all times. When the ignition is turned to the start position, the starter solenoid receives electrical power from the ignition, and allows battery power to move from the solenoid to the starter motor. This causes the starter motor to turn the engine flywheel by allowing the starter motor pinion gear to extend, contacting the flywheel ring gear. This action forces the engine crankshaft to turn until the engine begins running under its own power.
Vehicles with manual transmissions can be manually started by pushing the vehicle to considerable speed, and releasing the clutch quickly. This is commonly called push-starting, and is an effective method of manually starting the engine using the vehicle's transmission to turn the flywheel. This is a typical transmission type in many European sport coupes and performance sedans. Automatic transmissions will not be capable of push-starting.
Starter motors for most vehicle's will fail during that vehicle's lifetime. Failure rates are negligible for the first 75,000 – 100,000 miles, but afterwards, the rate of failure increases dramatically, with the majority of failures occurring around the 125,000 mile mark. Vehicles that experience frequent starting and stopping, such as late model vehicles with automatic engine start and stop features are at a higher risk of premature failure since the starter motor is used extensively. Other factors that may influence premature failure are engine problems that cause unnecessarily long cranking, or repeated cranking to set the engine in motion.
Starter Replacement Repair Information
Vehicles exhibiting the symptoms noted above will be connected to a starting and charging system test machine. This is an advanced device that will automatically test every part of the starting and charging system automatically by following onscreen instructions. The machine will display results, and indicate the possibility of starter failure, but may also require the servicing technician to complete visual inspections while testing is in progress. If the starter is found to be at fault, it will be removed, bench tested, and if necessary, replaced. It is important to note that the starter is tested externally, even if the technician has diagnosed the starter for failure. This ensures the customer complaint will not return with the new part installed, and that unnecessary replacement cost is not incurred by the customer.
Replacing a starter motor is simple on nearly every make and model of passenger vehicle. The battery is disconnected to prevent electrical shock or damage to sensitive electronic components, and then the starter motor is disconnected from all electrical connectors. Once disconnected, the starter, and any shims used, are removed from the vehicle with only a couple of bolts, and replaced in the opposite order of operations. The electrical connections must be placed on the correct terminals, also known as “posts”, and the replacement starter should have the same number of posts as the original.
We recommend using a high-quality replacement starter motor and solenoid that conforms to the OEM starter specifications. In most instances, replacement with an OEM starter can reduce the risk of a second replacement at some point down the road.
Failure of the starter to turn the engine may not be a result of starter motor failure, but can also be caused by a faulty ignition switch, blown fuse, or bad starter solenoid, among other conditions. The starting and charging system will need complete diagnosis before replacing the starter, and the starter should be bench tested, even after diagnosis, to ensure the customer complaint will be resolved. It is important to note that, in most situations, the electrical connectors for the starter can be installed in the wrong position, which will cause further unexpected symptoms once the vehicle's battery is reconnected. Many starters for the same vehicle make will fit many models mechanically, but the solenoid may not be of the same design. The appropriate part number must be used when ordering the new starter, or the starter motor may fail to function properly.
Replacing a starter, on most models, is a great DIY project that can be completed in short order. However, there is a risk of electrical shock and other electrical component failure if the battery is not disconnected prior to performing service. On many older vehicles, the starter motor is installed using shims to facilitate proper alignment of the starter motor pinion gear and the flywheel ring gear. If shimming is required, damage could be caused to the pinion gear, or flywheel. In this situation, a technician should be trusted with the repair.