In this repair guide, we will show you how to replace the starter on a Mercedes-Benz. These instructions should apply to several Mercedes-Benz models such as the C, E, ML, CLS, SLK, CLK-Class, S-Class. In this case, we replace the starter on a C Class W203. If you have a Mercedes-Benz with the V6 or V8 engines these instructions will help you. The C-Class is the most difficult of all the other models because there is very little room in the engine bay. Once you remove the starter from the engine block most mechanics and also the Mercedes-Benz dealer remove the exhaust to get the starter out. Removing the exhaust not only is a nightmare but also adds unnecessary time and cost to this repair. In this article, we will show you a better way to remove the starter without having to remove the exhaust system.
In our case, the starter was drawing too much current and continually kept blowing the Starter Fuse No. 52. The fuse is a 15 amp fuse and you can replace it with a 20 amp fuse which may solve the problem. If the 20 amp fuse burns / blows as well you need to troubleshoot the starter which was the problem in this case.
If you are stranded in a middle of a desert and suspect that your starter is the problem we have a tip for you. You can tap the starter with a hammer or rock in your case, which causes the brushes to make contact again. This could allow your car to start one more time.
The cost to replace the starter on a Mercedes-Benz is between $650 and $1000 when you have a mechanic or the Mercedes-Benz dealer perform the work for you. You could purchase a starter for less than $100 dollars in some cases, see link below and save a lot by replacing the starter yourself.
Symptoms of a bad starter
- Car won’t crank. All dash lights turn on, but you don’t hear a click.
- The engine doesn’t turn.
- Engine turns very slowly.
- Dash lights dim when you start the car. Could also be a discharged battery. Check that first.
- Starter fuse blows repeatedly.
- Dead silence on key turn.
- You hear a single click, but the engine won’t turn.
- Engine starts, but it makes a noise. Starter / solenoid stuck.
The main reason why a starter goes bad is the brushes which wear out. In this picture, you can see that the brushes are completely used. You can open up the starter and replace these brushes if you like, but the purpose of this post is to show you how to replace the starter with a new one.
Before you replace the starter you want to be 100% certain that the starter is the problem why your car won’t start. Make sure to troubleshoot the problem correctly because changing the starter on a Mercedes-Benz is not an easy task. If you get a click or several clicks when you try to start the car it is possible that you may have a weak battery or a bad battery terminal connection. Double check the battery or try jump starting the car to see if the car will start.
You will need a new starter which you can buy online at a fraction of the dealer cost or even the retail parts store. In our case we bought this starter on Amazon. It was on sale for less than $100, see link here.
This starter will fit Mercedes-Benz with the V6 and V8 engines which are found on several models such as the C CL CLK E G ML R S SL SLK SLR AMG class and on Chrysler Crossfire.
We assume you already have a set of tools, wrenches, and screwdrivers. To complete this job, you also need to make sure you have these tools.
Step by Step Instructions on how to replace the starter in a Mercedes-Benz with Pictures
- Open the hood and locate the battery under the cabin air filter. Tip: It is located on the passenger side.
- Disconnect Negative battery terminal.
- Raise the car using your jack and make sure to use jack stands. Do not rely only on the jack. Allays use jack stands when working under the car.
- Remove the plastic panel under the engine. You will need to remove several 8 mm bolts that hold the panel in place.
- Disconnect the positive electrical line to the starter. The bolt is typically 13 mm. It is a challenge to get to the bolt but it can be done using several 3/8 extensions and a 3/8 universal joint
- Disconnect the cable that feeds the +12 Volts to the starter. The bolt should be 10 mm.
- Remove the two starter bolts shown below. The upper bolt will be a little more difficult to remove but using 3/8 extensions and a 3/8 universal joint makes the job a lot easier.
- Here is the trick to removing the starter. The dealer and most mechanics remove the exhaust, but we have a better solution. You can remove the engine mount on the passenger side wich will give you room to remove the old starter and install the new one. On other models such as the S and E class, you may have enough room to pull out the starter without going through this trouble. To remove the engine mount you will need stubby ratcheting wrench like the ones shown below. The bolt on top of the engine mount can be removed using a16 mm or a 5/8 inch short ratcheting wrench. Short Ratcheting Wrench Set
- Remove the 16 mm bolt on top of the engine mount. It is located under the exhaust so it will be difficult to see the top of the bolt, but having the right wrench turns this task from almost impossible to easy.
- On the bottom of the engine mount, there should be a 13 bolt that you will need to remove as well.
- Place a wood block right under the engine, close to the side of the mount that you will be removing and raise the engine one or two inches. This will allow you to remove the engine mount.
- Remove the engine mount. Motor mounts look like this.Mercedes-Benz Engine / Motor Mount
- Remove the old starter now that you have room. Replace with the new starter.
- We would recommend that you install the motor mount before you start fastening the starter bolts. This way the engine weight is not on the wood block and jack that you put underneath the engine earlier. If you would rather have more room to work on the starter that is fine. Rember that the engine is only supported via the jack on one side and there is a risk of physical damage if the engine comes off that support.
- Fasten the two bolts that hold the starter in place using Female Torx E Socket.
- Connect the two electrical cables that go to the starter. Typically the heavier gauge wire is a 13 mm nut and the solenoid start wire is held in place by the 10 mm nut.
- Once you faster the starter bolts then make sure the two bolts for the engine mounts are tight as well. Install everything else in reverse order.
- Reconnect the battery negative terminal and place the battery cover/ air filter housing back in place.
Torque Tightening Specifications
- Positive cable to the starter, typically a 13 mm bolt. 15 Nm
- Positive cable for the starter solenoid, typically a 10 mm bolt. 6 Nm
- Two E-Torx bolts that hold the starter to the engine block. 40-45 NM
Related How to video
Here is a video on how to replace the starter on an A Class. We wish it was this easy in the V6 and V8 Mercedes-Benz engines. The procedures are similar, the only challenge is getting the starter out but if you use our tip on removing the engine mount instead of the exhaust, it will make this job easier.
Reference Part Number
|Replaces these part numbers:|
|BOSCH||0-001-108-197, 0-001-108-403, 0-001-108-404|
|BOSCH REMAN EUROPE||0-986-019-500, 0-986-021-280|
|J & N||410-24055|
|LETRIKA (ISKRA) AFTERMARKET||IS 9424|
|MERCEDES BENZ||005-151-65-01, 006-151-05-01|
TAGS: C 240 C 320 C 32 C 55 E 320 E 430 E 500 E 420 CLK 320 CLK 500 CLK 320 S 430 S 500 S55 CLS500 CLS55 AMG CLS550 SLK 320 SLK 350 ML CLASS Crossfire