Your vehicle’s starter relay acts as an intermediary between the ignition switch and the starter motor. When you turn the ignition key, a small current is sent to the relay causing the relay to close the circuit within it to provide power to the starter motor. If the starter relay fails, you will not be able to start the engine. Damage to the starter relay often occurs from a poor power connection in the starter motor causing a short circuit. A non-working relay cannot be disassembled for repair; you will have to install a new one to start the engine. You can replace the starter relay directly at home; with some tools it should take 10 minutes to do.
Step 1, how to put a relay to the starter motor
Raise the hood of your vehicle and then locate the battery.
Step 2, how to install a relay to a starter
Use a socket wrench to remove the black wire from the battery. It will be identified with a minus symbol (-) next to your post.
Step 3, how to install a starter relay
Wrap the metal terminal on the end of the cable with electrical tape until no metal is visible, and then place the cable on the side of the battery box.
Step 4, how to connect starter relay
Locate the Power Distribution Center (PDC) inside the engine compartment. The PDC contains the main fuses and relays in your vehicle. It typically mounts to the right, or driver’s side, of the engine compartment and has a square black plastic cover over its relays and fuses. If you have trouble locating it, check your owner’s manual under “FUSES” or “RELAYS.”
Step 5, connect starter relay
Check the top of the PDC cover for fuse and relay mounting locations. Some vehicles have this information on the top of the cover and some have the information on the inside of the cover once you remove it. If you don’t see anything on the top of the PDC cover, remove it by pressing the plastic tabs on the sides of the cover and then lifting it straight up.
Step 6, how to fit a starter relay
Read the information on the PDC cover. The fuses will look like rectangles and will have individual names next to them, according to their wattage. The relays will be shaped like squares and will have names in the center of each square so you know what they feed as well.
Step 7, how to connect starter relay
Locate the relay box on the PDC cover that says “starter relay” in its center. Identify the corresponding relay mounted on the PDC.
Step 8, how to connect motorcycle starter relay
Remove the starter relay by placing a pair of relay puller pliers around the relay housing and then pulling the starter relay vertically. Do not twist or turn the relay because it is not screwed in.
Step 9, how to connect a starter relay
Install the new starter relay by hand. Match the metal or copper sheets on the bottom of the relay to their correct slot on the PDC. Then snap the new starter relay into position and gently push it down until it is fully seated in the PDC.
Step 10, how to install a relay
Reinstall the power distribution center cover, and then remove the tape from the battery cable terminal.
Step 11, how to install a starter relay
Reconnect the cable to the battery and tighten its bolt until snug. Set your 3/8 inch torque wrench to 12 foot-pounds. and then fully secure the battery cable in place. Start the engine to verify the repair.
Tip, install relay
- If your vehicle does not start after changing the starter relay, check all the wires going to the starter. Some of the cables may be rusted or have a lot of corrosion. If that’s the case, clean the cables with a small wire brush. If any of the cables have cracks in the coating, the entire cable probably contains corrosion. Replace any cables with damaged sheathing.
Items you will need
- Socket wrench set
- Electric tape
- Vehicle owner’s manual
- Relay extractor pliers
- Torque wrench with …