Changing the starter on most cars is a pretty simple job. What makes a job simple to us is that you don’t have to remove a bunch of other components to get to it. Usually, you just disconnect the battery, pull the 2 or 3 starter bolts out along with 2 wires going to the starter. Replacing it is the reverse and you’re off to the races.
There are some front-wheel drive vehicles that you have to remove the intake manifold but it’s very rare on a rear or 4-wheel drive vehicle. One of the exceptions we’ve found is the Toyota 4.7L V8 motor. This motor is found in some vehicles like the Toyota Tundra and 4Runner as well as the Lexus GX470. Like some of its 4 cylinder cousins, this motor stashes the starter under the intake manifold.
The starter on this motor can fail due to the high heat build-up in the valley on the engine especially if you live in a warm area or often go on long drives. If your starter goes out on your Toyota or Lexus vehicle you’ve got no choice but to replace the starter which means you’ve also got no choice but to pull the intake manifold.
Tips for Changing a Starter
- If the intake manifold gaskets are paper or metal replace them when you reinstall the intake manifold. If you’ve got a plastic manifold with rubber gaskets, you may be able to reuse the gaskets if they look to be in good condition
- Be careful when you remove hoses from the intake manifold and under it. Many of these hoses are vacuum hoses and can be safely removed without any precautions. On the other hand, the hoses may carry coolant or fuel so make sure you understand what you’re removing and take precautions before spilling fuel or coolant.
- When the intake manifold is removed cover the intake ports. If something falls down into one it could get stuck in the head or even fall to the cylinder which would mean you’ve got to pull your cylinder heads off.
- Always disconnect the battery before doing anything else to avoid any shorting incidents. Even a quick spark could blow a fuse or cause other problems down the road.
If you notice any leaks while you’ve got your intake manifold off like a valve cover gasket leak or coolant leak in your engine value, be sure to use the correct BlueDevil stop leak product to stop your leak and keep your engine running right.