CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Locating the starter...1994 Mercury Cougar

Where is the starter located on a 1994 Mercury Cougar…and how do we know whether or not it has gone out?

transmission its bolted right on the side of it. what happens when you turn the key?

Well, the starter is located right in front of the bell housing, or flywheel housing, beside the oil pan, I don’t know which side it is on but starters are usually on the same side as the battery. If the cables are clean and tight and nothing happens when you try to start the car, the starter is more than likey bad.

The starter has to engage with the flywheel which is always at the back of the engine, so the starter will be bolted onto the engine someplace toward the rear of the engine. Try following the thick red wires from the battery. The starter needs a lot of current, so the wire to it has to be thick. There might be one intermediate stop at a starter solenoid, but more likely, the starter solenoid is built into the starter so there will probably be a thick – probably red – wire from the positive battery terminal to the starter.

How do you know if it has gone out? In general, if you can jump start the car, or at least get the engine to turn over, it’s probably not the starter. If you can’t jump start it, you can try disconnecting the negative battery terminal, then disconnect the wire from the battery to the starter at the starter, clean off any grease/corrosion and reinstall it. Do the same with the engine ground wire. Reattach the battery terminal and try again to jump start the car. If it won’t turn over, the starter is probably dead.