What is the Starter Relay all about?
When you turn the key in your car’s ignition, a circuit is completed in the ignition switch. That electrical connection provides power to the starter relay, which then switches from its off position to ‘on’ for as long as the key is held in the start position. The starter relay passes power from the car battery to the starter solenoid, and the starter motor engages to start your car. If the starter relay sticks or fails while it is in the off position, your vehicle will not start or even click when the key is turned, although the interior accessories will still function. If the starter fails while turning the key, and is stuck in the on position, the starter will stay engaged with the transmission flywheel. Damage can occur to the transmission flywheel, the starter, the relay, and the circuit.
Keep in mind:
- If your car isn’t starting, the starter relay is not necessarily at fault. There are several parts, including the battery, that can present the same symptoms as a failed starter relay.
- Disconnect the car battery when servicing any electrical part to prevent damage or injury.
How it's done:
- The vehicle battery is disconnected
- The defective starter relay is removed
- The new starter relay is installed
- The vehicle battery is reconnected
- The vehicle is started and checked for starter relay operation
The starter relay will likely last the lifetime of your vehicle, and does not require servicing. If the starter relay fails, or if you believe it is not working properly, have one of our expert mechanics diagnose it.
What common symptoms indicate you may need to replace the Starter Relay?
- Car won’t start or turn over
- Engine intermittently turns over and starts
- Starter motor stays engaged all the time
How important is this service?
A working starter relay is necessary for the proper operation your car. You won’t be able to start your car if the starter relay fails, so you will have no choice but to fix the relay before using your vehicle again.