Starter Installation Question


I’m installing a starter for an Oldsmobile Alero 2002 3.4L V6, and I’ve run into a curious situation where there are 3 wires but only 2 posts to connect them to. It looks pretty clear that the small wire goes to the smaller 8mm post, but does anyone know if I connect only one wire to the larger post or put both on there?

And if I connect both of them, does the order matter?

Here’s a picture of the situation. The larger post in the back is where one or both wires connect to.

The small wire goes on the small post.

That’s from the ignition switch.

The big wire on the big post.

That’s from the battery.


That big wad of exposed copper wire is a fire waiting to ignite. The insulation is completely gone and if it touches the block or starter you will have serious problems.


Oh wow, thanks for the heads up! I’ll take care of that while I’m in there as well.

So there is a third wire as well, it’s tucked away in that current picture but I can take a fresh pic of all three wires if that helps.

The third one that is not shown is the smallest and goes to the small post, but should I connect the two that are shown to the large post, or only one of them? And if both, does the order matter?

Sorry for the confusion.

Looks used. Well used.
I could look at my 2005 3.4 for ref

How were the wires attached on the old starter?

Both large eyelets go on the same stud. The thinner wire with the large eyelet is the fuse link from the alternator.

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Ok excellent, I’ll try that out and see what happens.

I’m guessing Nevada above is spot on. No experience with your car’s configuration, but by contrast my Corolla’s starter has a sort of mystery wire. Doesn’t connect to the wiring harness at all. It connects from one part of the starter to another, and allows for testing the solenoid contracts.