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  • The starter usually sits between the engine and transmission, specifically below the left cylinder bank on the driver’s side.
  • Rear-wheel drive vehicles usually have their starters positioned below the exhaust manifold on the passenger side.
  • Make sure to disconnect the battery’s negative side before tinkering with the starter.

Q: Where Is the Starter Typically Located?

A: The starter is an electric motor that cranks the engine when you turn the ignition key. .Also called the starter motor, it mechanically engages and turns the engine flywheel.

Your vehicle’s engine and transmission layout will determine the location of its starter. In a car, SUV, or truck with a front-wheel drive, the starter sits between the engine and transmission.  You can find the starter motor below the engine’s left cylinder bank on the driver’s side.

, Where Is the Starter Located?

Pro Tips are nuggets of information direct from ASE-certified automobile technicians working with, which may include unique, personal insights based on their years of experience working in the automotive industry. These can help you make more informed decisions about your car.

Pro Tip: The starter is always back near the flywheel or flex plate teeth, usually on one side of the engine block or the other. Sometimes, it’s underneath the intake manifold in the valley between the cylinder heads (as on some Toyota and Lexus models).

image of an automotive starter
A car’s starter | Image Source: Richard McCuistian

For vehicles with rear-wheel drives, the starter is usually located below the exhaust manifold on the engine’s passenger’s side. A few models put their starter motor on top of the engine. In the latter arrangement, the starter lies underneath the intake manifold.

In the 2007 Ford Focus, the starter is mounted in front of the engine and over the oil filter. Meanwhile, Honda often mounts the starter under the intake manifold.

Tips On How to Access the Starter Motor

On some Chevy S10 platforms, the starter is so practically inaccessible that you can’t even see it. On many other platforms, it’s very easy to access and change. You need to carefully research the location of your starter before you even begin.

On some Honda four-cylinder engines, you have to remove the intake manifold to access the starter even though it’s down low on the front of the engine.

For one of the harder ones, on a 2007 Toyota Tundra V8, the starter is mounted on right the side of the engine at the back, but the labor time is over five hours at the dealer because it takes just about that long to do the job. Part of the exhaust has to be removed, some heat shields, etc.

Your first step should always be to disconnect the battery when trying to access the starter. Depending on your vehicle, you will need car jacks to lift it off the ground and access its underside unless the starter is mounted under the intake manifold. You also need sockets that match the size of the bolts of the hex nuts that secure the starter.

About The Authors
Written By Automotive and Tech Writers

The Research Team is composed of experienced automotive and tech writers working with (ASE)-certified automobile technicians and automotive journalists to bring up-to-date, helpful information to car owners in the US. Guided by's thorough editorial process, our team strives to produce guides and resources DIYers and casual car owners can trust.

Reviewed By Technical Reviewer at

Richard McCuistian has worked for nearly 50 years in the automotive field as a professional technician, an instructor, and a freelance automotive writer for Motor Age, ACtion magazine, Power Stroke Registry, and others. Richard is ASE certified for more than 30 years in 10 categories, including L1 Advanced Engine Performance and Light Vehicle Diesel.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

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