Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. How to Replace an Automatic Shutdown Relay

How to Replace an Automatic Shutdown Relay

sample electric 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.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
P2422 OBD-II Trouble Code: Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP) Vent Valve Stuck Closed
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2422 P2422 code definition Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP)...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...


Related questions

Q: Car wont start, doesnt attempt to turn over.

It is very possible that your starter relay could be the issue. I would of course recommend that this is done by a professional, but you can try to jump the two electrical points on the starter relay with a...

Q: My car will not start. It is completely dead (zero power), is it my alternator?

A failed alternator is a possibility, and is among the components that would be checked first, but it is not the only possibility. Charging system output should be verified against factory specifications. To have the alternator inspected and replaced, if...

Q: Relay for engine management doesn't work unless the magnetized plate is pushed in. Please help!

Generally speaking, there are two separate circuits inside of a relay. One circuit is, what I'll refer to for the sake of this writing, as the "supply" side, and the other is the "signal" side. The supply side has a...