What is an ignition relay replacement?
An ignition relay replacement targets the electronic component that activates your vehicle’s ignition system. Faulty relays can affect your car battery’s lifespan and engine efficiency. Since relays can’t be repaired, the old starter relay must be replaced with a new one.
What are the symptoms of a bad ignition relay?
The most common symptoms of a bad ignition relay are related to power, engine efficiency, and starting your car. Among other issues, you might notice:
A whining noise: The starter motor is supposed to shut off when the main engine wakes up, but if the starter relay is stuck closed, the motor won’t take a break.
Clicking noises: A damaged relay struggling to complete the ignition circuit will produce a clicking noise as the current sparks and sputters.
Your car battery is low: If you have to jump-start your car in the mornings, it could be because the starter relay is stuck in the ON position and draining amps overnight.
Your car won’t start or starts inconsistently: A completely failed ignition relay will leave you without the means to close the ignition system circuit and start your car.
Your engine stalls: The ignition system doesn’t just start the car but also controls the ignition of fuel in the engine cylinders. A faulty relay could cut off the electrical spark that fires the engine, causing a sudden loss of power.
If you notice that your vehicle is making odd noises, experiencing starting issues, or suffering sudden power losses, you might need to replace the ignition relay.
How often do you have to replace your Oldsmobile's ignition relay?
The ignition relay is intended to last the life of your car, but heat, vibration, and power surges (or shorts) can shorten its lifespan. Often, a bad starter relay can be the fault of another failed piece. For example, if the relay is knocked slightly out of place, the small gap will cause electricity to continuously arc and melt the plastic.
Can I replace a starter relay myself?
A starter replay replacement is a moderately challenging DIY job that requires only basic equipment but demands some familiarity with electronics and your vehicle’s ignition system.
Depending on your vehicle model, you could have an internal or external ignition relay, which changes the installation location. Whatever you do, don’t work on your car’s ignition without disconnecting the battery first.