IMPORTANT: SEE ALSO aqn_what_vw/VR6/debug_starter_probs !!!
Hi Cory -
Believe it or not, I just changed the starter on my car today in the parking
garage at work. Took about 1.5 hours. Don't need to look for hills to park
on anymore! ;)
The Bentley is pretty close, but I can perhaps offer a few tips. Here's the
procedure I used:
- Disconnect battery negative cable. (Remember you'll need your radio
- Put a floor jack under the oil pan (using a block of wood so as to not
dent the pan). No need to use an engine lift (as in Bentley) or to remove
the front mount bolt; just take the pressure off the mount.
- To see what you're doing, you can drop a work light into the engine
compartment between the starter and the radiator. You can see the top bolt
of the starter through the air grill above the driver's side turn signal.
- Remove the 13mm nut holding the two fat positive wires to the solenoid.
- Remove the 1-conductor connector from the solenoid.
- It also helps to remove the splash shield between the tranny and the
driver's side wheel (just undo the two speed nuts and pull it off).
- Use a 13mm socket and a 9" (?) extension to remove the small nut at the
top starter mount. This nut holds on a wire harness. Remove the nut and
pull the harness off the bolt, and pull it aside.
- Use a 17mm socket to remove the power steering line clamp from the bottom
front of the transmission (it's in the way of the lower starter bolt).
- You'll need a 16mm socket for the two starter bolts (the top one requires
a deep socket). None of my metric sets had them, but my 6-point 5/8" SAE
deep socket fit great, and not at all sloppily. Remove those two bolts.
- Pull out the starter. My kit came with a new bushing to fit into the
tranny housing (for the nose bearing of the starter) but I couldn't get the
old one out, so I just kept the old one in there.
- Assembly is the reverse of disassembly, as they say. When I'm ready to
reconnect the battery, I put the key in the driver's door lock; if you
"unlock" it within a few seconds of connecting the battery the alarm won't
That's it! Good luck...
- Bob T.
'96 GTI VR6 178k miles (new starter today)
'98 GTI VR6 38k miles (hers)
'00 Passat 4-motion wagon (ours)