So much of your vehicle relies on electronic components nowadays. They all work in conjunction with one another, so that means when one fails a domino effect takes place, and they all start to fall. The electronic control relay is among the most important of all the electronic parts in your car.
Some people refer to the electronic control relay as the "main relay", which places a lot more emphasis on it. This relay is responsible for making sure the engine injectors receive power and that the fuel pump is properly run. When you look at these two responsibilities, it's clear to see your vehicle wouldn't be able to run without either of these jobs being done.
Over time they can become damaged from debris, dirt, dust, cracking, heat damage, and more. It's hard to give this one an exact timeline since so many of the reasons it fails have to do with wear and tear. What can be said is that if you suspect it is failing or has already died, it’s important to have it replaced immediately. A professional mechanic will be able to properly diagnose the problem and know if the electronic control relay is for sure the issue.
Here are some signs that you can watch for that can indicate the electronic control relay has reached the end of its lifespan:
If you turn your ignition key to the "on" position and there is no sound to be heard from the fuel pump, chances are the electronic control relay is bad and needs to be replaced.
You may have problems starting your engine up. This can be intermittent though.
Cold weather can play havoc on your engine and prevent it from starting if the electronic control relay has stopped working.
As you can tell by these signs, these can point to all different issues and problems, it shouldn’t just be assumed that it is the electronic control relay.
Your electronic control relay is a huge part of your vehicle’s electrical systems. This part needs to be working properly in order for your car to start and run correctly. It’s prone to all kinds of wear and tear type damage, so there’s a good chance you will be faced with replacing it at some point. If you’re experiencing any of the above mentioned symptoms, and suspect your electronic control relay is in need of replacement, get a diagnostic or book an electronic control relay replacement service with a professional mechanic.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How Long Does an Electronic Control Relay Last? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.