4 Common Symptoms of a Bad Relay

Symptoms of Bad Relay

The starter relay is a small electrical device located in the start circuit of a car's main electrical system. It controls the current in the high-current circuit. The relay in the car shuts off the more powerful starter circuit when the ignition switch current reaches a moderate level.

In most automotive applications, the starter relay and the solenoid work together to provide a vehicle starting mechanism.

In some cases, a starter solenoid can be controlled by an ignition switch. These vehicles usually don't require a lot of currents to operate. The article covers the various symptoms of a bad relay.

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Bad Starter Relay Symptoms Video

Symptoms of a Bad Relay

Like other electronic and mechanical components in your car, the starter relay can eventually show signs of failure.

The symptoms of worn or damaged starter relays will be revealed below. If you notice these signs, you must contact a mechanic to inspect your car.

These procedures can help identify potential problems with your vehicle's other components.

The motor and the starting solenoid should stop working when the ignition switch is turned off.

If the starter relay operates properly in this order, the engine will start.

The main contacts are already in the closed position, which could cause the relay to get stuck in the start position.

If this happens, the damage to the starter, drive flywheel, and relay could be severe.

The following are the symptoms of a bad relay:

1. The Relay Remains Open After the Engine Is Started

The starter relay and the ignition switch send current to each other when the vehicle starts.

The flexible board rotates the starter motor, and the solenoid supplies the power.

The motor and the starting solenoid should stop working when the ignition switch is turned off.

The main contacts of the relay are likely already in the closed position, which means they're already welded together.

The relay will keep the engine running unless they operate properly.

If this happens, the relay could be trapped in the start position, which could cause damage to the circuit, drive flywheel, and starter motor.

This usually happens when the relay is exposed to electricity or touches something.

Since this could affect the entire boot system, it should be diagnosed and fixed immediately.

2. The Vehicle Starts Intermittently

The starter relay is designed to deliver power to the engine once it's turned on.

However, dirt, debris, and high temperatures can prevent it from working properly. This could also cause the relay to work intermittently.

The starter relay is the primary component of the ignition system, and it rarely fails. Conductive issues can affect its operation.

A corroded or damaged wire connection might be found under the hood if it's not working properly.

3. The Vehicle Cannot Be Started

One of the most common signs of a car breakdown is the failure of the car to start.

Although it may happen with other issues, the failure of the starter relay is the most common cause of this issue.

When the vehicle starts, the engine is triggered by a burst of electrical energy released by your battery after it has been shaken.

This energy then causes the starter motor to turn on. The relay then passes through the starter motor and increases the current in the battery.

If the starter relay is defective, it will prevent the battery from delivering the electrical signal to the engine's starter motor.

Even if you repeatedly turn the key, the engine will still not start. If the circuit is not working properly, you should contact a professional mechanic immediately.

4. The Starter Makes a Clicking Sound

The relay operates on an all-or-nothing basis. It can either send the entire current, or it can only send a partial signal.

When the starter relay is destroyed, it will prevent the entire signal from being sent.

The relay operates on an all-or-nothing basis. It can either send the entire current, or it can send nothing.

If the starter relay is destroyed, this eliminates the ability to send a complete signal.

The starter relay might cause the clicking sound. The engine does not rotate, which suggests that the vehicle's battery is running low.

The relay only operates once it receives enough current to start the engine. Running low on power could cause the vehicle to fail to start or damage the entire starting device.

If the conditions are caused by aging or corroded relays, it's most likely that the contact points of the device are damaged.

The contact points must be clean to ensure that the correct flow is maintained.

You can replace the old relay or contact a professional mechanic.

How to Test the Relay

To successfully test the relay, you need the following things:

  1. A jumper cable.
  2. A battery that is fully charged.
  3. Safety glasses and a pair of gloves.
  4. A wire brush.
  5. Baking soda.
  6. Water.

Park Your Car Safely

Before you start working on the relay, make sure that the car is parked safely. Also, make sure that the transmission is in neutral or in a parked state.

Ensure the Battery Is Fully Charged

Before you start the test, make sure that your car's battery is fully charged. Also, ensure that the jumper cable is connected to the car's battery terminal.

Throughout the process, it's important to pay attention to the connection between the jumper cable and the terminal.

Make Sure That the Connection Terminals Are Clean

The battery and the starter connection are free of debris, oil, and rust. Before cleaning the corroded terminals, take out the negative battery cable.

Also, make sure that the positive and negative battery cables are disconnected.

To prevent them from accidentally touching the terminals, use baking soda, water, and a wire brush to clean the terminals.

Locate Each Solenoid Cable

The starting solenoid's cable should be followed to the relay's starting point.

Four terminals are on the device, and two smaller wires are used to "turn on" the relay.

The two larger wires carry the battery's voltage to the starter.

After removing the wires from the device, mark the two smaller ones so they can be re-established properly.

The chassis ground should be connected to the end of the jumper wire.

Connect the Jumper Cable

A short jumper cable should be connected to the car's battery terminal.

Since the connecting link between the starter and the battery has been cut, the cable can be used quickly.

A digital voltmeter can be used to check the resistance between the two terminals, which are 30 and 87. The relay needs to be replaced if the resistance is over 1 ohm.

Location of the Relay

The start relay location may vary depending on the model and type of vehicle. The instrument panel, the fuse box, and the right fender are some of the possible locations.

In most cars, the fuse box is located under the hood. It's usually a black box with a lid. It's where the relays and car fuses are installed.

The wires go out and in the relay. But other types of relays have similar looks. The starter relay may need help to remove or be located under the dashboard.

The starting relay is usually attached to the wall of the fender. These are cylindrical and can be identified using the mounts and leads.

You can refer to the service manual for more details if you need to know which one it is.

How to Remove the Relay

If a fuse box powers the battery, you can open the hood and disconnect its negative connection.

You must first locate the box, which usually has a black lid.

Follow the instructions provided in the fuse box cover to determine the position of the relay. After identifying the location of the relay, you can remove it.

First, remove the battery terminals if the relay is in a mud wall.

After that, you must disconnect the leads connected to the relay's terminals and remove the relay by removing the mounts from the mudguard.

How to Install the Relay

Installation of the fuse box starter relay is easy, and no screws or nuts are required.

After you have the new relay, slowly and carefully push it into the valve seat until it reaches the end.

The pins are located in the fuse box's slots. Now, close the lid and reconnect the battery terminals.

To install a relay in a mudguard, take the following easy steps:

After securing the relay on the mounting surface, tighten the screws and attach them to the wall of the fender.

Make sure to connect the wires to the right poles.

After the installation is complete, you should be able to start the system.

If it's not working properly, it's important to inspect the wires and connections of the relay. Make sure that the connection is firm.

If you can't figure out what's causing the issue, you can try calling a mechanic to check the car's other components.

What is Relay Replacement Cost?

The cost of starting the relay is estimated to be around $30. However, it will cost around $50 to replace it with a new one.

How Long Does a Relay Last?

The starting relay can last the lifetime of the car. These components are durable and only have a few moving parts, which minimize wear and tear.

The biggest threat to its life is contact burnout.