How to Replace an Automatic Shutdown Relay

Automatic shutdown relays are a big part of controlling and operating electrical functions and getting a vehicle to start and run. Functions that are operated through the automatic shutdown relay consist of anything from operating a window to running a fuel pump. A vehicle relies on automatic shutdown relays to prevent electrical circuit damage to wires and wire harnesses as well as to avoid application damage to lights, window motors, and fuel pumps.

When it comes to diagnosing a bad automatic shutdown relay, you should look for common problems like failure to start, inoperative headlights, broken air conditioning, and malfunctioning heater or AC blower. Many different car functions are affected by the automatic shutdown relay.

Part 1 of 3: Locating the automatic shutdown relay

Materials Needed

  • Owner's manual
  • Pliers

fuse box sample distribution box sample

Step 1: Locate the fuse relay section in your manual. This should be either in the index or table of contents.

The image in the manual should give a diagram similar to the above, and either label each fuse and relay function or number them such as above.

Step 2: Find the proper relay. Locate the broken relay by using the diagrams shown in your owner's manual.

Part 2 of 3: Removing the automatic shutdown relay

Material Needed

  • Pliers

automatic shutdown relay being pulled out by hand

Step 1: Pull the relay out using your fingers. Once you locate the relay you are going to replace, you can pull the relay out by using your fingers in most cases.

Using the pull with a light side to side rocking motion to get it out. In some cases you may need a pair of pliers to remove it. When using pliers, be sure to grip firmly without damaging the automatic shutdown relay plastic housing. Sometimes the relay will come straight out; if not, pull with a side to side rocking motion to work it out.

Part 3 of 3: Installing the new automatic shutdown relay

sample terminal locations and relay cavity connection patterns

Step 1: Install the automatic shutdown relay. Do this by simply pushing the new relay into place, paying attention to the relay connection pattern.

This is important so you don't bend or damage the terminal or connection. The relay should easily push right into place.

The automatic shutdown relay plays an important role in a properly functioning vehicle. When an automatic shutdown relay is overlooked during diagnostics, the cost is potentially disastrous. If replacing your automatic shutdown relay is something you would rather leave to a professional, please contact one of YourMechanic’s certified technicians to perform a replacement.


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Jamahl

20 years of experience
830 reviews
Jamahl
20 years of experience
Mercedes-Benz C250 - Air Filter - Kissimmee, Florida
Very Good mechanic #1
Hyundai Santa Fe - Oil Change - Orlando, Florida
This was my first experience with Your Mechanic and I must say I was very impressed. Jamahal arrived on time and performed the job in likety split time, Will definitely be using "Your Mechanic" in the future.

Misty

10 years of experience
7 reviews
Misty
10 years of experience
Plymouth Voyager - Automatic Shutdown Relay - Tulsa, Oklahoma
She completed the job quickly and my car runs great.

Deane

11 years of experience
340 reviews
Deane
11 years of experience
Nissan Altima - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - San Diego, California
Deane was very friendly and trustworthy. He arrived on time and finished early. He didn't try to sell me more than I needed and did an excellent job. Highly recommend!!!

Kyle

11 years of experience
68 reviews
Kyle
11 years of experience
Dodge Charger - Alternator - Bowie, Maryland
Kyle arrived a few minutes early and was quickly able to diagnose/ confirm my issue. He gave some repair options and explained the pros and cons of each. He was able to complete the job in about an hour and was very personable. I'd definitely use him again.

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