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Remove ground from battery. Starter can not be effectively tested until you get to it, so you really have to follow these steps for testing or for replacing.
1) Remove air intake. 3 plastic screws and lift upon the inserts.
2) Remove the radiator fan. Two screws in the top two corners, two clips on lower corners. (there is a plastic cover on the top left corner that can be removed with two screws, I did this but don't think it was necessary) The fan is tight to get out, but it can be done, just don't break anything.
3) Remove metal heat shield on top of exhaust manifold. 4 bolts. Unplug o2 sensor from clip. Use needle nose pliers to release plastic wire tie.
4) Remove top exhaust manifold. 8 nuts/threaded rod. 14mm
5) From underneath the car separate exhaust manifold from first section of exhaust pipe. 2 bolts 17mm. (I had already removed the drivers-side engine mud guard. I don't know if this is required, but if you need to remove it, it has 5 bolts and a plastic screw/clip)
6) Remove exhaust manifold.
7) The starter is not easy to identify because it has a shield protecting the wires. It is bolted to the engine using 2 long bolts that are threaded on the end. Both bolts are accessible on the transmission side / drivers side. The top one is obvious, but the second one you might have to search around with your fingers, but it is beneath the first one.
8) Remove single bolt holding main power wire and unplug the clip.
Reinstall in reverse order. Make sure you remount all the wires correctly to avoid future damage to wires.
Thanks to you I removed the starter with ease. Removing the exhaust manifold was easier then I thought.
I had to jacked up the car to remove the 2 exhaust bolts at the bottom of the exhaust manifold.
I'm waiting now for my new starter to arrive, I hope reinstalling will be as easy.
Is there a simple way to test a starter at home?

Thanks
 

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So after reading your post and directions, I decided that I wanted to take a slightly different approach. Replacing the starter took about 3 hours and went like this.

How to locate and install a starter on a 2006 Hyundai Sonata 3.3L V6. Can be done in ~2 hours if you have your tools ready to go. You'll need a philips head screwdriver and a metric socket set. I used a combination deep well and 3" extensions and only needed 4 socket sizes. No jack is necessary.

Remove ground from battery. Starter can not be effectively tested until you get to it, so you really have to follow these steps for testing or for replacing.
1) Remove air intake. 3 plastic screws and lift upon the inserts.
2) Remove the radiator fan. Two screws in the top two corners, two clips on lower corners. (there is a plastic cover on the top left corner that can be removed with two screws, I did this but don't think it was necessary) The fan is tight to get out, but it can be done, just don't break anything.
3) Remove metal heat shield on top of exhaust manifold. 4 bolts. Unplug o2 sensor from clip. Use needle nose pliers to release plastic wire tie.
4) Remove top exhaust manifold. 8 nuts/threaded rod. 14mm
5) From underneath the car separate exhaust manifold from first section of exhaust pipe. 2 bolts 17mm. (I had already removed the drivers-side engine mud guard. I don't know if this is required, but if you need to remove it, it has 5 bolts and a plastic screw/clip)
6) Remove exhaust manifold.
7) The starter is not easy to identify because it has a shield protecting the wires. It is bolted to the engine using 2 long bolts that are threaded on the end. Both bolts are accessible on the transmission side / drivers side. The top one is obvious, but the second one you might have to search around with your fingers, but it is beneath the first one.
8) Remove single bolt holding main power wire and unplug the clip.
Reinstall in reverse order. Make sure you remount all the wires correctly to avoid future damage to wires.
I'm about to attempt this since I think I'm having issues with my starter solenoid (already have the starter, will attempt to fix negative terminal grounds as sbr always mentions first). My question on this when you remove the exhaust manifold, did you replace the gasket or just reseat the old one?
 

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I just finished it using gte's approach coming from the top, it took me 2 hours and 30 minutes, everything went by decently fast due to the straight forward instructiones.
Hoppefully the next person can do it in 2hrs or less i believe i can.
The hardest part for me was removing/installing the exhaust manifold 8 bolts/nuts the ones on the bottom you cant see them, it took me the longest to put them back on, the nuts kept falling out of my socket and i couldn't get my hand in there to Start them off, i ended up stuffing a piece of paper in between the nut and my socket and without a wrench getting a start..

Other than that everything went pretty smooth, i did need To jack up the front of the car just a little so i can get the two lower nuts off from the bottom connecting to the exhaust pipe.

I also had to take of the oil dip stick and tube, the exhaust manifold wouldn't come out and it makes it easier to get to the some of the bolts on the exhaust manifold.
When I put the tube back on it took me a few minues to find the hole it goes into in the engine, so i would look closeny where it sits.

P.s. my symptoms: starter wouldn't respond at all most of the time, especialy in the morning. I would just hear the relay clicking.
Its seems like the new starter was the cure, it starts right up.
 

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So after reading your post and directions, I decided that I wanted to take a slightly different approach. Replacing the starter took about 3 hours and went like this.

How to locate and install a starter on a 2006 Hyundai Sonata 3.3L V6. Can be done in ~2 hours if you have your tools ready to go. You'll need a philips head screwdriver and a metric socket set. I used a combination deep well and 3" extensions and only needed 4 socket sizes. No jack is necessary.

Remove ground from battery. Starter can not be effectively tested until you get to it, so you really have to follow these steps for testing or for replacing.
1) Remove air intake. 3 plastic screws and lift upon the inserts.
2) Remove the radiator fan. Two screws in the top two corners, two clips on lower corners. (there is a plastic cover on the top left corner that can be removed with two screws, I did this but don't think it was necessary) The fan is tight to get out, but it can be done, just don't break anything.
3) Remove metal heat shield on top of exhaust manifold. 4 bolts. Unplug o2 sensor from clip. Use needle nose pliers to release plastic wire tie.
4) Remove top exhaust manifold. 8 nuts/threaded rod. 14mm
5) From underneath the car separate exhaust manifold from first section of exhaust pipe. 2 bolts 17mm. (I had already removed the drivers-side engine mud guard. I don't know if this is required, but if you need to remove it, it has 5 bolts and a plastic screw/clip)
6) Remove exhaust manifold.
7) The starter is not easy to identify because it has a shield protecting the wires. It is bolted to the engine using 2 long bolts that are threaded on the end. Both bolts are accessible on the transmission side / drivers side. The top one is obvious, but the second one you might have to search around with your fingers, but it is beneath the first one.
8) Remove single bolt holding main power wire and unplug the clip.
Reinstall in reverse order. Make sure you remount all the wires correctly to avoid future damage to wires.
The only changes I used to the above steps was:
1. I did not have to use needle nose pliers to disconnect plastic wire tie on anything on step 3 above.
2. on step 5 above, the size of deep well socket I needed for removing the two large nuts on the down pipe was a 19mm, not 17mm. Also, a three inch extension on a 3/8" drive ratchet and a 23mm drive long combination wrench. I used the box/closed end of the long wrench on the handle of the ratchet to aid in torque to loosen the very tight header/exhaust manifold down pipe. I did not remove any mud guards under the car, nor did I have to jack the car up at any time.
3. I identified the starter without any problem.
4. I removed the mount bolt holding the oil dip stick tube and rotated the tube out of the way, but did not have to remove the tube from the engine.
5. Upon re-installation, I used permatex gray-colored anti-seize (the kind that has a brush attached to the inside of the lid) on the 8 studs for the exhaust manifold and on the two studs for the down pipe below the manifold. I used a drop or two of permatex blue loc-tite on the stud on the starter solenoid that you need to remove a nut from to remove the starter from the car, a drop or two on the starter heat shield bolts (facing forward) and on the stud (facing the passenger side. 3-O'-clock position as viewed above the car.)

And that's all. Thanks to the other members who went through the task and were able to accurately describe their task. I appreciate it. Turns out my starter is fine. I had it bench-tested at autozone today and it passed the test 4 times. No faults at all. Although, upon removing my starter from the car, I found that the nut going to the starter solenoid was almost finger tight. I barely even put any pressure on the ratchet when I was loosening the nut. During install, I used permatex dielectric grease on the surface of the plate before you put the nut on the stud and made sure to tighten the nut more than finger tight this time.

My wife's car's symptoms: Last month, car would click, but no go. Same thing happened yesterday. I did not check a new/different relay in the fuse box to test. Starts fine now. Battery was checked out yesterday and it was fine as well. I did not see or have to remove any corrosion. I did not remove any paint to bare metal for better grounding purposes either.
 

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Just a suggestion here -- it is very helpful to know which engine you have when you post suggestions or step-by-step guides. Please list your year model and engine information in your profile (User CP -- Profile details -- Cars) for the benefit of others who would like to use these very useful guides or to know if that information will apply to their car.

Thanks!
 

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As stated previously Autozone starter tests are unreliable. My starter tested fine this afternoon, switched it out with a new one from NAPA and the car started right up.
 

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One of my Sonata's had an intermittant starter problem. Sometimes the starter engauge while driving or just touching the ignition keys.
Problem was: the ignition system. Contacts in the ignition were faulty.
Replaced the ignition cylinder, problem solved!
There are detailed instruction here how to do it. Part cost about $20 from Rock auto.

So in one of my Sonatas the starter was faulty, the other one, the ignition cylinder.
I hope these comments help with troubleshooting starter problems.
 

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Sorry to revive a old thread but I looked here when trying to figure out how to change the starter. Couldn't find a video for the 3.0 starter so I thought I make one and post here for anyone in the future. I haven't posted 5 or more posts so I can't post links but just paste this into youtube search bar for the video. GLfm88Bm9NY
 

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YES,,, PAGE 2 is MINE !! 🍌




Starter is accessed from under car, couple panel need to come off first.

BE ADVISED,,, power supply been concern with this chassis..

Negative battery cable to body has poor contact.. it bolted to painted panel.. paint is an insulator, not a conductor.. remove cable, grind paint to bare metal, slap some grease on the bare metal, connect cable.


Ground strap from left frame rail (adjacent to battery tray) to trans case is another source of voltage drop.. paint on rail is insulator.. remove paint.. other end,,,, corrosion at lug to aluminum trans case.. remove bolt, clean it to bare/fresh aluminum, slap some grease, re-assemble.

Seen up to 2 volt drop in the ground circuit there.

Use a DVOM here:

Inspect charge voltage at battery at idle.. what you got ??

Move the positive test lead to the lug at rear of alternator.. what you got ?

You find more than 0.3 volt more at alternator lug, plan on Positive battery cable,, known problem for yrs, part number changed a long time ago on new part...

Turn lights on, what you get.. add wipers, HVAC fan on high, turn on high beams... what you got ?

Dont see much of any starter in the 3.3 Sonata, had a rash of starter with the 2.4 in the last yr...
YES!!! CHECK/CLEAN YOUR GROUND!!! This happened on my 2013 Hyundai Azera 3.3L. Suddenly no start, no crank, just lights on the dash. Checked fuses, had battery checked-passed, swapped relays,--no change, was thinking starter now and not happy. Then read this and thought , why not try it, its free. 5 minutes to remove the ground strap that's right next to the battery, use a wire wheel on a drill to clean the bolts, strap and remove the paint from the mounting location, reinstalled and BAM!- started right up!!! So happy I didn't jump to buying a starter unnecessarily.
Thank you sbr 711
 
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