When trying to crank a car, you will need a few vital components to be working in order for the process to be successful. On most cars, there is an intricate network of relays and switches that allow for the flow of power to get to right parts when needed. During the firing of an engine, the ignition relay will take the power that it has stored up and deliver it to parts of the fuel and ignition system. The power that it supplies will help in the combustion process needed to get a car cranked and running. The ignition relay is used every time that the car is started.

Just like the other relays on your vehicle, the ignition relay is intended to last the life of the car. Due to the harsh and unforgiving conditions that the engine can produce, the ignition relay can wear out over time. Not having a functioning ignition relay can lead to your car not cranking. Normally, this relay will not be checked until there is an issue with it. When you suspect that the ignition relay is going out, you will need to take the time to let a professional look at it.

The longer that you wait to get this relay checked out, the higher the probability will be that the car will not crank when needed. The last thing that you want is to be stranded due to not getting the issues with this relay addressed in a timely manner. The time and effort that is put into getting this relay fixed and checked will be worth it due to trouble it can save you later on.

When your ignition relay is damaged, here are some of the things that you may start to notice:

  • The battery keeps a low charge
  • The engine stalls on a regular basis
  • The car will not start
  • The gauges on the instrument cluster go off and come back on

Getting your bad ignition relay replaced in a timely fashion will restore the functionality that you have lost.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How Long Does an Ignition Relay Last? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.


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