Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Austin, TX
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As it turns out, you were right on. I took the starter in to exchange and they tested it - it was good. Put it back in, jumped the car, and it started right up. Swapped the battery out for a new one and it's good as new. Lesson learned!
The good news - replacing the starter's not hard at all.
Disconnect the positive battery lead.
3 clamps to remove the tube between the airbox and the throttle body. Undo the 2 clips holding the wiring loom in place.
One is attached to a bracket that holds a cable (throttle cable?). 2 10mm screws to remove the bracket.
1 10mm nut to remove the positive lead to the starter.
1 8mm screw to remove the remaining electrical connector (didn't want to break the plastic connector, so just took out the screw instead).
Top bolt is 19mm, tough to break loose. Bottom bolt is hard to get at, 14mm. Also hard to break loose. This was the hardest part for me. Then just pull it out. If I had to do it again, probably could take it out and replace it in under an hour.
Tools needed - ratchet with extension bars, 8mm, 10mm, 14mm, 19mm sockets, screwdriver (for air tube clamps), optional - mirror and flashlight to help locate bottom bolt, breaker bar with adapter to 3/8 socket (unless you're really strong).