Scenic II — How to get at the starter motor



Has anyone been able to replace the starter motor on a Scenic II

The car, a 54 plate 1.6 petrol with 36,000 miles wouldn’t start for my wife.
I called the AA. Their mechanic was pretty good and diagnosed a problem with the starter motor (or solenoid or Engine multiplex module).
We were able to bump start the car and get it home.
It is definitely not the battery. I have had another good battery on.
The battery on the car is a good quality one, only five months old and was fully charged when the fault occurred.
Whatever caused the fault had flattened the battery because by the time I got to the car and the AA man arrived the car was doing the normal (I think) Scenic II stuff when the battery is low (i.e. Digital display going haywire, door locks coming on and off uncontrollably, etc.)

I have done quite a bit of work on cars over the years so decided to start by removing the starter motor so that I could check it.
The Hayes manual (number 4297), chapter 5A, section 9 “Start motor – removal and refitting” shows this work as only 3 out of 5 for difficulty but does state “On most models, the starter motor is located on the back of the engine, and access is not easy”
— This may be one of the biggest understatements ever.

I have followed the Hayes instructions as follows
— Removed battery and battery tray
— Removed the windscreen cowl panels
— Removed the left hand front wheel arch liners
— Removed the resonator box from the front of the left wheel arch
— Removed the air cleaner
All of the above is needed to give access to the starter motor and took just under three hours (could do it faster next time), mainly because of Renault designing most of their plastic fixings so that they are okay to fit in a factory but not to be easily removed!

Hayes instructions are then :
“5 Noting their locations, disconnect the wires from the starter motor and solenoid”.
“6 Unscrew the three starter motor mounting bolts and withdraw the starter motor from the transmission.”

I can see and quite easily access the three mounting bolts but can not see the wiring connections on the solenoid as it is hidden between the back of the engine and the engine bulkhead.
(I suspect that when Hayes wrote this section of their manual they were expecting the engine to be out of the car since that is the only way that I think you could see the wiring connections on the solenoid)

It may be that access to the connections on the solenoid is easier from below, with the car on a workshop ramp. That is not an option for me now with the car standing in bits on my driveway.
Any advice about how to get the starter motor off would be gratefully received.



Getting to Scenic II starter motor — update

I have now made progress on this (though I am a bit surprised that none of the Renault experts have posted any views on this)
My personal opinion is that the Hayes Manual for the Scenic II (2003 — 2006) is talking tosh when describing how to replace the starter motor.
You do need to follow the manual and remove the part I mentioned in my previous post but it is physically impossible to see and remove the wiring connections and definitely impossible to remove the starter motor by only following the instructions they give.
The only way to see and remove the wiring connections and remove the starter motor/solenoid is by working underneath the car.
I have put the car on ramps (cannot start the car now so had to jack one side at a time then lower each wheel onto ramps)
Getting under the engine and removing the large plastic sump shield allowed me to look up at the back of the engine and see the starter motor/solenoid
Removing the 12volt connector from the battery to the starter motor took ages. Needed a long nose 10mm socket. Later found that the last 5mm of the stud onto which the connector is fastened deliberately has no screw thread so I had spent ages continuing to try and unscrew the nut when it was already loose and just needed to be pulled of the end of the stud.
The other wire onto the solenoid (from the Engine Management unit and used to and activate the starter motor) also needed a long nose socket but this time 8mm. Again the end of the screw stud is deliberately not threaded at its end so after a period of unscrewing the nut, the connector will pull off.
All of this work has to be done pretty much blind since even from below these two connections are hidden above the starter motor solenoid.
Even the three bolts holding the starter motor / solenoid are awkward to unscrew but can be done, working from the top of the engine compartment
Finally, the final marvel in this unbelivevably difficult design (from a servicing point of view) — to get the now free starter motor of the car, required turning it 180 degrees and twisted to allow it to (only just) squeeze out from the bottom of the car, between the sump, exhaust and subframe.
After all this work I am definitely going to replace the starter motor.
I will post later to let anyone interested know how I get on an will try to include a couple of photos.
What a job — and just to get the starter motor off !