This comprehensive guide on starter relay will provide you with all the information you need to know about this gadget. We shall explain how to test starter relay, how to tell if starter relay is bad, starter relay fuse etc. To start, let’s explain what a starter relay is.
What Is a Starter Relay?
Between the vehicle’s battery and the starter motor, a starter relay serves as an electrical circuit completer or circuit breaker. It assists in increasing the battery’s current so that less current is required upon ignition. In some cases, but not all, a starter relay is utilized in addition to a starter solenoid.
When you turn on your ignition, an electrical current is sent to the starter motor via the starter solenoid and starter relay, which starts your vehicle’s engine. Allow your ignition switch to return to neutral after the engine has started, allowing the starting relay to break the circuit. When your car is in good functioning order, both phases of this process happen in a matter of seconds.
The starter relay and the starter solenoid work together to run the starting mechanism in several automobile applications. In some cases, the ignition switch directly controls the starter solenoid circuit. These are often little vehicles with starting motors that do not require a lot of current to operate.
Aside from cars and trucks, starter relays are used in a variety of other applications using electric motors. Motorcycles, refrigerators, lawnmowers, and other items are among them. In refrigerators, a starting relay controls the compressor, ensuring that the motor begins without harming the switches. The starter relay in motorcycles operates the starting circuit in a manner similar to that of a car starter.
Read also: Causes Of Hard Starting In Cars
How To Start a Starter Relay
Locate the starting relay that you believe is faulty. It is easily located near the battery and is connected to the battery’s positive terminal wire.
While you listen to the noise the starter relay makes, have a helper turn on the ignition switch. If the ignition switch makes a single or a series of feeble clicks when you turn it on, you’ll need to check for electrical resistance. If you hear a single loud click, look for a voltage drop in the starter relay.
Test For Electrical Resistance
- Set the Ohms scale on your multimeter. One probe should be placed on the ignition circuit terminal, while the other should be placed on the ground lead. A measurement of fewer than 5 Ohms is required. If the number is higher, the starter relay is malfunctioning and must be changed.
- Place the red probe of your multimeter on the ignition circuit terminal and the other on the ground terminal to check for resistance. The starting relay is malfunctioning if the voltage you read when the ignition switch is turned on is not 12V.
- A wire jumper is another approach to test for resistance. Connect the battery lead to the ignition circuit lead using the wire. A powerful click from the starting relay indicates that it is operational, but a series of weak clicks or a single weak click indicates that it is defective and should be replaced.
Test For Voltage Drop
- Set your multimeter to 20V DC
- Put the red probe of the multimeter on the terminal connection of the red wire from the battery.
- Then place the other probe on the connection leading to the ignition switch circuit( the black and thin wire)
- Ask someone helping you to turn on the ignition as you read the multimeter. The voltage drop should be no more than 0.2V.
If it’s more than that, there’s a problem with the starter relay’s electrical conductivity that needs to be solved. You’d have to look over the leads and clean them out. If the reading remains high even after cleaning the terminals, the starter relay should be removed and replaced.
What Is Starter Solenoid Relay?
A starting solenoid is an electromagnet that is activated to engage an internal combustion engine’s starter motor. It is usually connected directly to the starter motor that it regulates.
Its major role is to act as the actuating coil of a contactor (a large-current relay) that links the battery to the starter motor. The starter solenoid is also used in all current cars to engage the starter pinion with the engine’s ring gear.
The starter solenoid is also known as the starter relay, although that name is reserved for a different relay that gives electricity to the starter solenoid in many cars. The ignition switch in these circumstances activates the starter- relay, which activates the starter solenoid, which activates the starter motor.
How To Tell If Starter Relay Is Bad?
If you notice any of the following signs, then you should know that your starter relay has problem and should be checked by a mechanic as soon as possible:
Your car refuses to start
A car that just won’t start is one of the most telling indications of car trouble. While a multitude of underlying faults can prevent a car from starting, a defective starter-relay is frequently at the root of the issue. To understand why, you must first gain a better knowledge of the starter relay’s function.
When you turn the key in the ignition, your battery is jolted into action, releasing a burst of electrical energy. The starter motor is triggered by this energy and turns your engine over. However, before reaching the starter motor, the electrical impulse must first pass via the starter relay. The starting relay not only completes the electrical circuit, but it also increases the current flowing through the battery.
If your starter relay fails, the electrical signal from the battery to the starter motor will never reach it. As a result, no matter how many times you turn the key, your engine will not start. When you turn your car, a malfunctioning relay generally makes an audible clicking sound. If your car won’t start and you hear this noise, call a repair right away.
The starter motor runs continuously
The car wouldn’t start in the previous example because the malfunctioning starting relay didn’t deliver the signal to the starter motor. A starter relay might also go bad in the reverse direction. In other words, the malfunctioning relay may fail to close the electrical circuit rather than open it. As a result, even after your engine begins, the starter motor will continue to run.
The starter motor may even continue to run after you’ve removed the key from the ignition. The starter and transmission flywheel are both severely damaged as a result of this condition. While a defective starter relay could be to blame, a binding ignition lock cylinder is a more usual reason.
Rotating the lock cylinder can be used to check for binding. If the starter motor stops spinning as a result of this rotation, you’ve found the source of the problem. Using either a liquid graphite solution or dry Teflon lubricant, lubricate the lock cylinder to solve the problem. You may have a malfunctioning relay if twisting the lock cylinder does not stop the starter motor.
A skilled mechanic’s aid is required to check for a malfunctioning relay. To see if your relay is defective, the technician will replace it with a new relay with the same part number. If this swap doesn’t solve the problem, it’s nearly definitely due to a fault with the ignition switch wiring.
When the key isn’t in the run position, the starting relay receives an electrical ground due to bad wiring. The problem should be resolved by replacing the problematic wire.
Clicks from the starter relay
The relay is not delivering enough current to attract the armature, as shown by rapid clicks. The outcome is a series of clicks as it tries unsuccessfully to close contacts during the on and off cycle. Insufficient conductivity due to burned-out contacts or worn-out leads that reduce the amount of current flowing could be one reason of this problem.
Both can be caused by a relay that is too old and whose efficiency has diminished. The fault can be fixed by ensuring that current flows freely through the relay coils and that the contacts are free of dirt and corrosion.
With the use of sandpaper, the contacts can be scraped to remove the rusted surface. A new relay would simply remedy the problem of a relay that has been left on for too long.
What happens when starter relay goes bad?
When you activate the ignition process, the vehicle will not start. This is the most clear warning indication that there is a problem with the starting relay. If you press this button or turn the key on a manual ignition switch and the car does not start, a fault with the starting relay may be to blame.
How much does a starter relay cost?
Labor costs are expected to range between $30 and $38, with parts costing $31. This range excludes taxes and fees, as well as your individual car and geographic region. Repairs to the surrounding area may also be required.
Can you bypass starter relay?
Place an insulated screwdriver’s metal blade across both metal contacts. This eliminates the need for the solenoid and establishes a direct link between the starter motor and the ignition switch.
Can you jump a car with a bad starter relay?
Jump-starting a car with a defective starter motor will not help the engine start. Jump-starting will simply increase the battery’s capacity. A car with a defective starter can be pushed or towed started, but an automatic transmission automobile cannot.
How long does a starter relay last?
The starter relay is a long-lasting component with a 100,000-mile lifespan. As a result, the cost of replacing it is justified.
Does a relay click when its bad?
If your SR goes bad, the electrical signal from the battery to the starter motor will never reach it. As a result, no matter how many times you turn the key, your engine will not start. When you turn your car, a malfunctioning relay generally makes an audible clicking sound.