Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Automatic Shutdown Relay

The electronic engine management systems on modern vehicles are made up of sophisticated fuel and ignition systems that work together for the vehicle to run. Both systems are made up of various components that all work together to provide timed fuel and ignition for the engine. One of these components is the automatic shutdown relay, commonly referred to as the ASD relay. The ASD relay is responsible for supplying switched 12-volt power to the vehicle’s injectors and ignition coils, allowing them to provide fuel and produce spark.

In certain cases, the ASD relay will also provide power for the vehicle’s oxygen sensor heater circuit as well as function as an automatic shut down switch that will shut off the fuel and ignition systems when the computer detects that the engine is no longer running. As with most electrical components, the ASD relay is subject to the normal wear and tear associated with normal service life, and when it fails, it can cause problems for the entire vehicle. Usually, when the ASD relay has failed or is having a problem the vehicle will produce a few symptoms that can alert the driver that a problem has occurred that should be serviced.

1. Car starts but immediately stalls

One of the most common symptoms of a bad ASD relay is an engine that will start, but stall out almost immediately, or at random times. The ASD relay supplies power to the vehicle’s ignition coils and fuel injectors, which are some of the most important components of the entire engine management system.

If the ASD is having any problems that interfere with its ability to supply power to the injectors, coils, or whatever other circuits it may feed, then those components may not function properly and problems may arise. A car with a failing or faulty ASD relay may stall immediately after starting, or randomly while operating.

2. Engine does not crank

Another symptom of bad ASD relay is an engine that will not crank at all. As many of the engine management systems are wired together, if any of the circuits that the ASD relay provides power for go out as a result of a bad ASD relay, then it may affect other circuits, one of them being the starting circuit. A bad ASD relay can indirectly, and sometimes directly, cause a starting circuit to not have power, which will result in a no crank condition when you turn the key.

3. Check Engine Light comes on

Another symptom of a possible problem with the ASD relay is an illuminated Check Engine Light. If the computer detects that a problem with the ASD relay or circuit has occurred, it will illuminate the Check Engine Light to alert the driver of a problem. The Check Engine Light can also be activated for a wide variety of other reasons, so it is important to have the vehicle scanned for trouble codes to determine what the exact cause of the problem may be.

As the ASD relay is what supplies power to some of the engine’s most critical engine management components, it is a very important part to the overall functionality of the vehicle. For this reason, if you suspect that the ASD relay has failed, or is having a problem, have the vehicle serviced by a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic to determine if the car needs an automatic shutdown relay replacement, or if another issue needs to be addressed.


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Manuel

32 years of experience
580 reviews
Manuel
32 years of experience
Ford Explorer V6-4.0L - AC is not working - Long Beach, California
Before changing any parts we decided to check the system for leaks first.
Lexus ES350 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Mission Viejo, California
Manny was courteous and knowledgeable he answered my questions w patiently and kindly he's also bilingual he speak Spanish which is helpful. Manny noticed many subtle details that I might have missed. This is of Great Value thank you for your time and service it is greatly appreciated. One thing that could be improved are the audio notes on the car review. The sound quality was not great and it was difficult to understand. That being said Manny answered my questions & concerns when I called him.

Michael

4 years of experience
230 reviews
Michael
4 years of experience
Volkswagen Jetta L5-2.5L - Fuel System Inspection - Indianapolis, Indiana
professional ,informative and knowledgeable

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27 years of experience
303 reviews
Arturo
27 years of experience
Nissan Titan V8-5.6L - Fuel System Inspection - La Mesa, California
Informative and efficient

Kenneth

20 years of experience
775 reviews
Kenneth
20 years of experience
BMW X5 L6-3.0L - Fuel System - Rancho Palos Verdes, California
Kenneth was extremely knowledgeable. He correctly diagnosed my vehicle by actually going under the hood, removing a section and running some sort of test that told him exactly what the problem was. He also arrived 15 minutes early and had prepared for the visit by contacting me the day prior to get further clarification.

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