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Pelican Technical Article:

Starter Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$160 to $250

Talent:

**

Tools:

E14, 13mm socket, 10mm wrench, floor jack, jack stands, wheel chocks, safety glasses, torque wrench

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz C350 (2008-15)
Mercedes-Benz GLK350 (2010-15)

Parts Required:

New or rebuilt starter

Hot Tip:

Make sure you have disconnected the battery

Performance Gain:

Car cranks easily again

Complementary Modification:

Replace ground strap

If your starter is beginning to make clicking sounds and not starting the motor, or it is not turning the motor over as easily as before it may be time to replace your starter before it leaves you stranded at the side of the road. Make sure to check the battery, connections and ground strap before replacing your starter. If you remove the starter most local parts stores will load test it for you for free. Some places can now perform the test with the starter still in the car. The replacement of the starter on the Mercedes W204 involves working below the car. You will have to jack up and safely support the vehicle.

Please see our article on jacking up and supporting your car.

Before replacing the starter make sure to check your battery and ground strap.
Figure 1

Before replacing the starter make sure to check your battery and ground strap. A weak battery and/or faulty ground strap can easily be the cause of a non or hard starting car. Once these are checked and you are sure it is the starter at fault begin by replacing it by disconnecting the battery. At a minimum make sure to disconnect the ground cable for the battery (yellow arrow). There is a direct cable from the positive side of the battery to the starter. If you accidentally ground the starter with a tool while working on it you can cause serious damage to yourself and the car.

You will need to remove the under body trays to remove the starter motor.
Figure 2

You will need to remove the under body trays to remove the starter motor. Please see our article on under body tray removal for further instructions. There is not a lot of room to work on the starter but it does come out through the gap between the cat, cross brace and oil pan (red arrow) without having to remove any other components. If you have a 4Matic you will need to remove the cat. Access to the wiring harness can sometimes be easier going up between the steering rack and sub-frame (yellow arrow).

There should be a plastic cap on the main wiring connection (red arrow); pry this cap off and then use a 13mm socket to remove the nut holding the wiring on.
Figure 3

There should be a plastic cap on the main wiring connection (red arrow); pry this cap off and then use a 13mm socket to remove the nut holding the wiring on. Next use a 10mm wrench and remove the nut on the other wiring connection (yellow arrow).

The starter motor is held in place by two E14 Torx bolts that are mounted from the bellhousing side.
Figure 4

The starter motor is held in place by two E14 Torx bolts that are mounted from the bellhousing side. There are a lot of different wiring harnesses connected to the bellhousing by a bracket supported by the starter bolts. If you work carefully you can remove the starter motor without having to disconnect any of the wiring or clips. Use a series of extensions and a universal joint for the upper bolt and remove the two mounting bolts (red arrows).

The bolts are long and micro-encapsulated so take your time and make sure they are fully out before attempting to remove the starter.
Figure 5

The bolts are long and micro-encapsulated so take your time and make sure they are fully out before attempting to remove the starter.

With the bolts removed you can slip the starter down between the cat and sub-frame.
Figure 6

With the bolts removed you can slip the starter down between the cat and sub-frame. Note: if you have a 4Matic you will need to remove the cat.

Check the condition of the old starter.
Figure 7

Check the condition of the old starter. If there is any damage to the teeth there could be damage to the starter ring on the flywheel.

Inspect the starter opening before installing the new starter to make sure it is clean and flat.
Figure 8

Inspect the starter opening before installing the new starter to make sure it is clean and flat. Installation is the reverse of removal.


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