Starter relay

When starting a vehicle, different parts are involved. One of them is the starter relay, a small but crucial component of the starting system. Many people mistake the starter relay for the starter solenoid, thinking the two to mean the same thing.

Some websites even contain information that says so.

starter relay

However, that is not true. While both components form part of the starting system, they are very different. The starter relay switches on the current that activates the starter solenoid.

The starter solenoid, on the other handed, closes the switch for the starter motor and usually mounts on the motor. It is usually bigger than the starter relay and of heavier construction.

This guide contains information about the automotive starter relay. In it, you will find all there is to know about the starter relay: what it is, its location in a vehicle, how it works, and its function. We also included information about the signs of a bad starter relay, how to test it, and how to replace or fix a bad one. Read on to learn more. Chapter 1: Starter Relay Definition. Is the Starter Relay the Same as starter solenoid? Starter Relay Vs.

Starter Solenoid. How Important is a Starter Relay to the Engine? Where is the Starter Relay Located? Chapter 2: Starter Relay Diagram. How Does a Starter Relay Work? Chapter 3: Symptoms of a Bad Starter Relay. How to Tell if a Starter Relay is Bad. Causes of Starter Relay Failure. Chapter 4: How to Fix a Starter Relay. How to Test a Starter Relay. Chapter 5: How to Replace a Starter Relay. Starter Relay Replacement Process. The relay is essentially a remote switch that controls a high-current circuit.

In motor vehicles, a starter relay uses the small ignition switch current to close the much heavy-duty starter circuit. In some automotive applications, the starter relay works together with the starter solenoid to operate the starting system. In others, the ignition switch operates the starter solenoid circuit directly. These are usually the small vehicles whose starter motors do not require large amounts of current to work.

Apart from cars and trucks, starter relays can be found in many other applications where electric motors are involved. These include motorcycles, refrigerators, lawnmowers, and more.

How To Test a Starter Relay

A starter relay in fridges operates the compressor, ensuring the motor starts without damaging the switches. The starter relay in bikes works the starting circuit much similar to how a car starter functions. The starter relay is often confused with the starter solenoid. That could possibly arise from the fact that both act as relays. But contrary to what some people think, the two names do not mean the same vehicle part.A starter relaycommonly known as a starter solenoid, is the part of a vehicle which switches a huge electric current to the starter motor, in light of a little control current, and which in turn sets the engine in motion.

Its capacity is indistinguishable from that of a transistor except that it utilizes an electromagnetic solenoid instead of semiconductor to play out the exchanging. In numerous vehicles the solenoid additionally connects with the starter pinion with the ring gear of the engine.

All start relays are simple electromagnets consisting of a coil and a spring-loaded iron armature. When a current passes through the coil of a relay, the armature moves to increase the flux. When the current is switched off, the armature contracts. In a starter relay, when a key is turned in the car ignition, the movement of the armature closes the pair of heavy contacts that serve as the bridge between the battery and the starter motor.

To ensure the starter relay functions properly, it must receive sufficient power from the battery. Insufficiently charged batteries, corroded connections, and damaged battery cables can all prevent the starter relay from receiving enough power to operate correctly. When this happens, an audible clicking noise is typically heard when the ignition key is turned.

Because it contains moving parts, the starter relay itself can also fail over time. If it fails, the ignition makes no sound when the ignition key is turned. There are two types of starter relays: internal starter relays and external starter relays. Internal starter relays are built within a starter motor. The relay is the switch mounted on the outside of the starter motor housing with its own case. Most of the time, when a starter motor fails, it is usually the starter motor relay and not the armature or gear that goes bad.

External starter relays are separate from the starter motor. They are usually mounted above a fender or on the firewall of a vehicle.

This type of starter relay has power directly from the battery and key operation from the start position. The external starter relay works the same as the internal starter relay; however, there is more resistance applied to the circuits.JavaScript seems to be disabled in your browser.

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How to Replace a Starter Relay

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Service was very good. We know how important it is for you to be back on the road, so we strive to make your buying experience as easy and fast as possible. Start Here. Please Wait All Other Starter Relay. Starter Relay. Complementary Norton Shopping Guarantee included for your protection. All Any Blade. Any Any 4. Any 40 10 Any No. Loading Parts, please wait Correct Item Guaranteed If you receive an incorrect item from us, we will immediately pay for return shipment and send you the correct item.

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starter relay

Trusted brands. Fast Shipping. Secure Shopping.One of the most important — and most forgotten — components of any vehicle's ignition system is the starter relay. This electrical part is designed to redirect power from the battery to the starter solenoid, which then activates the starter to spin over the engine.

starter relay

The proper activation of this process allows the ignition switch's circuit to complete, which will permit you to shut the vehicle off when you turn the key off. Although it's unlikely that you'll ever experience a problem with the starter relay, it is prone to mechanical failure and will need to be replaced by a professional mechanic if it wears out.

Most of today's modern cars and trucks have an electronic ignition switch that is activated by remote key. This key has an electronic chip embedded that links up with the computer on your vehicle and allows the ignition button to activate. There are times when this type of key will impact the operation of the starter relay and display similar warning signs as if this system is damaged. Listed below are a few of the symptoms of a damaged or worn out starter relay.

If you notice these warning signs, make sure you contact a local ASE certified mechanic to completely inspect your vehicle as these symptoms might indicate problems with other components.

The most obvious warning sign that a problem with the starter relay exists is when the vehicle won't start when you engage the ignition process. As stated above, electronic keys do not have a manual ignition switch. However, when powered, it should send a signal to the starter relay once the key is turned or the starter button is pressed.

If you press this button or if you turn the key on a manual ignition switch and the vehicle does not turn over, it may be caused by a problem with the starter relay. This problem may be attributed to a circuit that has failed, so no matter how many times you turn the key, the vehicle will not start. If the circuit has not yet completely failed, you may hear a clicking noise as you try to turn the key. In either case, you should contact a professional mechanic to inspect the symptom and correctly diagnose the precise cause.

When you start your engine and release the key or stop pressing the starter button on a modern vehicle, the circuit is supposed to close, which will discontinue power to the starter motor. If the starter stays on after the engine has ignited, the main contacts in the starter relay have most likely welded together in the closed position.

When this occurs, the starter relay will be stuck in the on position and damage will occur to the starter, circuit, relay, and the transmission flywheel if it is not addressed immediately. If the starter relay is working properly, it will send power to the starter every time it is engaged.

However, it is possible that the starter relay will become damaged due to excessive heat, dirt, and debris or other issues that might cause sporadic operation of the starter. If you try to start your car and the starter doesn't activate instantly, but you turn the key switch once again and it works, this is most likely due to a problem with the relay. In this case, it's important that you contact a mechanic as soon as possible so they can determine what is causing the intermittent contact.

In many cases an intermittent starting problem is linked to a bad wire connection that may become dirty due to exposure under the hood. This symptom is common when your battery is low on ampsbut is also an indicator that your starter relay is not sending a full signal.

How To Test and Replace A Starter Relay

The relay is an all or nothing device, meaning that it either sends the full electrical current or sends nothing to the starter. However, there are some occasions when a damaged starter relay will cause the starter to make a clicking sound when you turn the key. The starter relay is a very durable and reliable mechanical part, however it is possible for damage to occur requiring a mechanic to replace the starter relay.

If you notice any of these warning signs, make sure to contact one of the professional mechanics at YourMechanic. Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2, U. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair. Vehicle does not start The most obvious warning sign that a problem with the starter relay exists is when the vehicle won't start when you engage the ignition process.

Starter stays on after engine started When you start your engine and release the key or stop pressing the starter button on a modern vehicle, the circuit is supposed to close, which will discontinue power to the starter motor. Intermittent issues starting the vehicle If the starter relay is working properly, it will send power to the starter every time it is engaged.This page is for personal, non-commercial use. One of the most important — and most forgotten — components of any vehicle's ignition system is the starter relay.

This electrical part is designed to redirect power from the battery to the starter solenoid, which then activates the starter to spin over the engine. The proper activation of this process allows the ignition switch's circuit to complete, which will permit you to shut the vehicle off when you turn the key off.

Although it's unlikely that you'll ever experience a problem with the starter relay, it is prone to mechanical failure and will need to be replaced by a professional mechanic if it wears out. Most of today's modern cars and trucks have an electronic ignition switch that is activated by remote key. This key has an electronic chip embedded that links up with the computer on your vehicle and allows the ignition button to activate. There are times when this type of key will impact the operation of the starter relay and display similar warning signs as if this system is damaged.

Listed below are a few of the symptoms of a damaged or worn out starter relay. If you notice these warning signs, make sure you contact a local ASE certified mechanic to completely inspect your vehicle as these symptoms might indicate problems with other components.

The most obvious warning sign that a problem with the starter relay exists is when the vehicle won't start when you engage the ignition process. As stated above, electronic keys do not have a manual ignition switch. However, when powered, it should send a signal to the starter relay once the key is turned or the starter button is pressed. If you press this button or if you turn the key on a manual ignition switch and the vehicle does not turn over, it may be caused by a problem with the starter relay.

This problem may be attributed to a circuit that has failed, so no matter how many times you turn the key, the vehicle will not start. If the circuit has not yet completely failed, you may hear a clicking noise as you try to turn the key. In either case, you should contact a professional mechanic to inspect the symptom and correctly diagnose the precise cause.

When you start your engine and release the key or stop pressing the starter button on a modern vehicle, the circuit is supposed to close, which will discontinue power to the starter motor.

If the starter stays on after the engine has ignited, the main contacts in the starter relay have most likely welded together in the closed position. When this occurs, the starter relay will be stuck in the on position and damage will occur to the starter, circuit, relay, and the transmission flywheel if it is not addressed immediately.

If the starter relay is working properly, it will send power to the starter every time it is engaged. However, it is possible that the starter relay will become damaged due to excessive heat, dirt, and debris or other issues that might cause sporadic operation of the starter.

If you try to start your car and the starter doesn't activate instantly, but you turn the key switch once again and it works, this is most likely due to a problem with the relay. In this case, it's important that you contact a mechanic as soon as possible so they can determine what is causing the intermittent contact. In many cases an intermittent starting problem is linked to a bad wire connection that may become dirty due to exposure under the hood.

This symptom is common when your battery is low on ampsbut is also an indicator that your starter relay is not sending a full signal. The relay is an all or nothing device, meaning that it either sends the full electrical current or sends nothing to the starter. However, there are some occasions when a damaged starter relay will cause the starter to make a clicking sound when you turn the key. The starter relay is a very durable and reliable mechanical part, however it is possible for damage to occur requiring a mechanic to replace the starter relay.

If you notice any of these warning signs, make sure to contact one of the professional mechanics at YourMechanic.The ignition relay is normally found in the fuse box situated underneath the hood and it transfers electricity from the battery to the ignition components, which allows you to start the car in the blink of an eye. However, if the relay fails to perform up to its standards, you will start experiencing problems and not just in one, but a number of engine components such as the fuel pump and the ignition coilamong others.

Therefore, if you feel that turning the key in the ignition is having no effect on the dashboard, it may be time you get the ignition relay checked out by a certified mechanic. The ignition relay is basically an electrical device that works as a switch for the power to the ignition system and the fuel system of your vehicle. The ignition relay is activated as soon as your turn on the ignition of your vehicle with the key. The ignition relay then switches the power on and allows it to reach the systems that are required to be powered up so that your vehicle can function.

As a result, the battery transmits the power to the ignition coil, which is then transmitted to the spark plugs of your vehicle to start the engine. The spark plugs then cause the ignition of the fuel in the internal combustion chamber of your vehicle so that the engine can start. Typically, we do not need to replace it and the ignition relay is designed to live as long as your vehicle does.

Despite this, sometimes the ignition relay can fail due to wearing, accident, damage or exposure to water. A bad ignition relay will not only cause starting problems to your vehicle, but it can also cause stalling of the vehicle, draining and damage to the battery, and power loss in the dashboard lights.

In modern vehicles, the remote starting key is used, which contains a small computer chip inside it. Ignition relay of such vehicles is more complex.

An ignition relay normally sits with a few other relays and fuses in the fuse box found in the engine bay. The area under the hood is open to contaminants and pollutants like dirt and debris — the common reason behind ignition relay failure. Fortunately, a number of symptoms can tell you beforehand if there is a problem waiting to happen or if it has already happened. We will now look into the signs of a failing ignition relay in detail.

Therefore, it is natural that if you are unable to feel anything when you turn the key in the ignition, the ignition relay is having troubles. These issues need to be solved as soon as possible, otherwise, you will be forced to travel without your car.

The ignition relay not only gives life to the engine but it works as an influencer that maintains the delivery of power to the fuel pump. The fuel pump, in turn, keeps the engine running, so if the engine stalls suddenly while working, you could be looking at ignition relay failure.

However, the same can happen if there is a problem with the fuel pump or the fuel pump relayso it is better to visit the mechanic identify the exact problem. When the ignition relay fails, it can cause the ignition system to work constantly even when you have removed the keys from the ignition.

This means the circuit will not close and the battery will drain. Therefore, if you are looking at a battery that has died when it was working perfectly the day before, the ignition relay could have been the cause.

If the ignition relay is of low-quality, it can get short-circuited pretty easily. A fried relay will affect ignition and it might even blow up due to overheatingwhich might also destroy the other relays and fuses in the fuse box. In which case, you will be required to change the entire fuse box.A starter relay may be bad if you see the following symptoms. The above symptoms may be as a result of a bad starter relayor the problem could be with connections that have worn out and are not sending enough current to coil in the starter relay.

To find the cause of the problem, you would need to carry out a series of tests on the starter relay circuitry. Testing a starter relay is fairly simple because of its position in the engine bay. You do not need to lift the car or to dismount many parts. And, you only need a few tools. Find starter relay you suspect to be bad.

Have a helper turn on the ignition switch while you listen to the noise the starter relay makes. If the sound is a single strong click, you should check the starter relay for voltage drop. You would need to inspect the leads and clean them out. If even after cleaning the terminals the reading remains high, the starter relay needs to be taken out and replaced with a new one. Starter relays do fail. The Testing Procedure Find starter relay you suspect to be bad.

Place one probe on the lead on the ignition circuit terminal and the other on the ground lead. The reading should be less than 5 Ohms. You can also check for resistance by placing the red probe of your multimeter to the ignition circuit terminal and the other to the ground terminal.

If the voltage you read is not 12V when the ignition switch is turned on, the starter relay is faulty. Another way to test for resistance by use of a wire jumper.

Connect the wire between the battery lead and the ignition circuit lead. A strong click from the starter relay shows its working while a series of weak click or a single weak click show its bad and needs replacement. Testing For Voltage Drop Set the multimeter to 20V DC Place the red probe of your multimeter on the terminal connection of the red wire from the battery.

starter relay

Place the other probe on the connection leading to the ignition switch circuit the black and thin wire Ask your helper to turn on the ignition as you read the multimeter. The voltage drop should be no more than 0. About Us. Contact Info. Contact Form.


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