Symptoms of a Bad Starter Relay And How to Troubleshoot

The starter relay is a necessary but overlooked part of a car, but knowing about it can save you from many problems. The starter relay's role is to pass current from battery to starter to turn the vehicle on. You can think of it as a switch between starter and starter motor.

Issues with a starter relay are not common, but once they occur, your car will not turn on, and you might get stranded in the middle of nowhere. Many faulty circuits, broken circuits, wet relays, and aging can cause starter relay problems.

This article will teach you about a defective relay's warning signs and causes, so stay tuned.

Symptoms of Bad Starter Relay

When an electrical or mechanical component fails, there are always a few warning signs before it happens. Similarly, when the starter relay fails or is about to decline, it will indicate. These signs are similar to a faulty starter solenoid or broken starter motor, making things tricky. These are the signs.

Car Won't Start?

One significant red signal about a bad starter relay is when the car dies and won't turn on. When you turn the car on, but there is no clicking sound, and interior lights are lit, you should check the relay because it might signify a faulty starter relay.

If there is a clicking sound, but the car doesn't start, the relay is not entirely out of order.

Starter Relay that Stays On Even After The Engine Has Started

When the ignition switch is turned on, the starter relay sends current to the starter solenoid, which powers the starter motor. And when you turn the switch off, the supply of current to the solenoid and starter motor should cut off. But if the relay keeps working even after turning the switch off, there is a problem.

A Series of Rapid Clicks From The Starter

If turning the ignition switch on gives a series of clicks from the starter, but the car doesn't start, it indicates an insufficient supply of current from the relay. This is also a sign of a lousy battery, so try not the mix between them and diagnose carefully before reaching the decision.

How Do You Troubleshoot A Starter Relay

Some of the symptoms are similar to battery or alternator failure. We will have to run some tests to identify the problem.

There is no need to panic. With proper tools and knowledge, you can perform these tests pretty quickly.

Required Tools

  • Screwdrivers
  • A wire to use as a jumper
  • Test lights

The Testing Procedure

Check the batteries to see if they have sufficient charge. If yes, then there is no problem with them.

 Find starter relay fuse position in your vehicle. If you can't find it, ask someone to turn your car on. If there is a weak clicking noise, run an electrical resistance test but if the clicking is audible, run a test for voltage drop.

 How to Fix Bad Starter Relay Problems

If the problem with the relay is some dust or corrosion, then cleaning it a bit can work. You can also clean the internal parts, but it won't be easy. If the relay has gone completely bad, you can replace it yourself if you know your way around it. Otherwise, you should take your vehicle to a professional.