2000 Nissan Xterra Starter Replacement – A Step-by-Step Guide

You’ve had it with that grinding noise every time you turn the key. Your old reliable Xterra has been struggling to start lately, and you know it’s time to replace the starter. But mechanics want to charge an arm and a leg for a simple part swap. Well, grab your tools, because you’re about to learn how to replace that starter yourself in a few hours and save big bucks. With this easy step-by-step guide, you’ll be back on the road in no time. The process is straightforward enough for any driveway mechanic, as long as you come prepared. We’ll walk through all the steps from start to finish, with tips to make the job smooth and simple. Your Xterra will be turning over like new when we’re done. So let’s get started!

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When to Replace the Starter in a 2000 Nissan Xterra

So your trusty Xterra is having trouble starting up – it could be time for a new starter. As a rule of thumb, most starters will last around 100,000 to 150,000 miles. If your Xterra has over 100K miles and is struggling to start, the starter is the likely culprit.

Signs it’s the starter

A faulty starter will usually cause the engine to turn over slowly, click rapidly, or not at all when you turn the key. You may hear a grinding noise coming from the starter. If the dashboard lights come on but the engine won’t crank, that also points to the starter. Sometimes giving the starter a few taps with a wrench can get the engine going temporarily. But if these problems are happening frequently, it’s best to replace the starter.

Replacing the starter

Replacing a starter is usually pretty straightforward. You’ll need to jack up the front of the Xterra to access the starter, located on the passenger’s side of the engine bay. Disconnect the negative battery cable first. Then remove the wiring from the starter solenoid and the starter mounting bolts. Install the new starter, reattach the wiring and mounting bolts, and reconnect the battery. Be very careful working around the fan and belts!

A quality replacement starter for a 2000 Xterra typically ranges from $150 to $350. While you’re at it, it’s a good idea to replace the starter relay as well, which helps power the starter. A new relay is usually only $20 or so. With a fresh starter and relay, your Xterra should be turning over like new again in no time!

How to Remove and Replace the Starter in a 2000 Nissan Xterra

To replace that faulty starter in your Xterra, you’ll need to get under the hood for some wrenching. ###Locating the Starter The starter is found at the rear of the engine, near the transmission bellhousing. You may need to remove some wiring harnesses or hoses to access it fully.

Removing the Old Starter

First, disconnect the negative battery cable to prevent shocks. Then, unbolt the two starter mounting bolts—one at the top and one at the bottom. You may need a wrench or socket to loosen these. Unplug the wiring harness from the starter solenoid. Now the starter is free to be removed.

Installing the New Starter

With your new starter in hand, reconnect the wiring harness to the solenoid. Line up the starter with the mounting holes, then thread and tighten the mounting bolts. Reconnect the negative battery cable.

Testing the New Starter

With the new starter installed, turn the key to start the engine. You should hear the starter spin the engine for a second before the engine starts. If the starter continues to spin after the engine starts, turn off the ignition immediately. The starter may need adjustment or replacement. But if the engine turns over and starts normally, you’ve got a working starter and you’re ready to go!

A starter replacement can seem daunting, but with some wrench-turning know-how and patience, you’ll have your Xterra starting like new again. And just think of the money you saved by doing it yourself! Now go take your rugged 4WD for a spin.

Finding the Right 2000 Nissan Xterra Starter Replacement Part

When it’s time for a new starter in your 2000 Nissan Xterra, you’ll want to make sure you get the correct replacement part. The last thing you need is to buy a starter that doesn’t fit your SUV or isn’t compatible with your engine.

Check Your Xterra’s Engine Type

The 2000 Xterra came with either a 3.3L V6 engine or a 2.4L 4-cylinder engine. Double check which engine your Xterra has before searching for a new starter. The starters for these two engines have different mounting points and torque specifications, so getting the right one for your specific engine is critical.

Buy New or Remanufactured

You’ll have the choice between a new starter or a remanufactured one. A new starter will typically cost a bit more but comes with a full warranty. A remanufactured starter is rebuilt from a used core but is tested to meet factory specifications and usually has a decent warranty as well, at a lower cost. Either can work well, so you can weigh the pros and cons for your needs and budget.

Check Local Auto Parts Stores First

Before ordering a starter online, check with your local auto parts stores like Advance Auto Parts, AutoZone or O’Reilly Auto Parts. They should be able to lookup the correct starter for your Xterra’s engine and may even have it in stock so you can get your SUV back up and running that day. They can also ensure the starter comes with a warranty in case it fails prematurely.

Buying a replacement starter for your 2000 Nissan Xterra may seem overwhelming, but by knowing your engine type, considering new vs. remanufactured, and checking local parts stores first, you’ll find the right part to get your SUV started again. With the correct starter installed, your Xterra will be back on the road in no time.


So there you have it – with the right tools, a little elbow grease, and this step-by-step guide, you can replace the starter on your 2000 Nissan Xterra and be back on the road in no time. Sure, it might seem intimidating if you’ve never done it before, but take your time, follow each step carefully, and before you know it that ‘ol starter will be out and the new one will be purring away. Just remember – patience and preparation are key. Don’t skip any steps, use jack stands for safety, and make sure to reconnect everything securely. But the feeling of accomplishment when you hear that engine turn over for the first time will make it all worthwhile. So get out there and show that Xterra starter who’s boss! You got this.