How to Jump a Starter Relay?

When igniting a vehicle, it involves various parts and among them is a starter relay. This is a small important component found in your car’s starting system. Moreover, the starter relay behaves like an electrical circuit breaker or circuit completer between the starter motor and the car’s battery. At other times the starter relay acts as an addition to the starter solenoid.

When your car’s starter motor is faulty, there are two methods that you can use to crank up the engine. These include jump-starting your car or push-starting your engine. Moreover, you require specific tools to resolve a starter problem. These include jumper cables, gloves, a hammer, and a screwdriver. If not, you can hire a mechanic to help you solve the problem.

How Can One Bypass a Faulty Starter Relay?

A faulty starter relay means that your vehicle won’t turn ON the car’s ignition switch; hence your vehicle won’t start. Moreover, before one tries to bypass a faulty relay, one needs to check battery voltage capacity. It is easier to bypass a bad starter relay if it’s charged.

How to Jump a Starter Relay

  1. Have an insulated screwdriver
  2. To bypass the starter relay, you need to put the screwdriver’s shaft at the solenoid’s “S” terminal and touch the tip to the battery terminal of the solenoid.
  3. After that, ask for assistance to switch on the ignition.

If the car’s battery has enough charge, the ignition should start your vehicle.

You need to remember that when you try to bypass a faulty starter relay, you need to remove the screwdriver’s shaft immediately when your engine starts. This will help to prevent damaging your starter drive’s pinion gear.

Related Readings: How to Bypass ASD Relay?

How to Jump a Starter Relay With a Screwdriver in Three Easy Steps

  1. Open the hood and find the starter relay.
  2. Using your screwdriver, touch the metal end to the post, leading to the starter relay. It’s the opposite of that, which leads to the battery.
  3. Touch the other end of your screwdriver down to the metal shaft of the starter relay to all terminals on the relay.

You might also wonder why tapping a starter relay makes it work. Wearing out of the brushes makes the relay have insufficient electrical contact. Tapping gently at the back of your starter using a hammer, knocks the brushes back into place, making the connection complete.

How Can One Know if Their Starter Relay Is Bad?

Most people aren’t aware of what happens for the car’s engine to start. Moreover, you need to have some basic knowledge as it would help you know the symptoms of a faulty starter relay. Some of the signs that show your car’s starter relay is defective are listed below.

sign of bad Starter Relay

Your Vehicle Won’t Start

If you have a failing or faulty starter relay, the most common sign is your vehicle’s engine won’t start. Additionally, when you try to start your vehicle, you may find there is no click sign, and the interior lights are on. This shows that your starter relay is faulty.

The issue may be that the fuse of the starter relay blew out. However, if there is a click sound as you ignite the engine, the starter relay is still lively. Either way, you need to repair the ignition system in both cases.

Starter Motor Running Continuously

In the first case, the starter relay didn’t pass any signal to the starter motor. Hence, the engine couldn’t start. In this case, however, the faulty starter relay fails to close the electrical circuit making the starter motor run continuously even when the engine starts. In other instances, the starter motor keeps on running even after removing the key from the ignition. This can lead to severe damage to the starter and the transmission flywheel.

Interior Lights Dimming

If the car’s interior lights dim after igniting your vehicle, this shows a short circuit in the starter’s motor. This makes the motor draw more current, leaving less power for other parts of your vehicle’s systems.

How to Troubleshoot a Starter Relay

Since faulty starters can lead to unexpected frustrations, you need to know at least some basics of troubleshooting. Some of the basics include

binding testing through a rotating lock cylinder. If this rotation stops the starter motor from working, that’s the issue. Furthermore, you could resolve it by lubricating the lock cylinder using a dry Teflon lube or liquid graphite solution.

The issue would be at the relay if the lock cylinder rotation didn’t stop the starter motor. This needs further testing from professionals.

A professional mechanic will swap it with a new one to determine if the relay is operational. If the problem still exists, the issue includes the wiring of the ignition switch.

How Can One Check a Blown Fuse From Starter Relay?

To check for a blown fuse, you need to

  1. Detach battery’s ground wire
  2. Get the car’s fuse box. This is near your vehicle’s battery or at the dashboard on the driver’s side.
  3. Find the starter fuse. In most cases, it has an “IG.” label
  4. Check if the metal link inside is broken. If so, then the fuse is blown.
  5. Replace it with a good one. Remember, they should have a similar ampere rating.

What Should One Check if Their Car Still Doesn’t Start?

There are several other reasons why your car doesn’t start. Apart from starter relay, other causes include;

  • Loose connections at starter’s battery pathway
  • Low battery voltage
  • Engine grounds faulty due to damage or rusting
  • Solenoid’s wire is rusted or grimy
  • Inspect engine flywheel
  • Possible corrosion


Knowing the basics of starting a car with a faulty starter will offer you temporary solutions to assist you in reaching a mechanic to get your vehicle fixed. Moreover, this will help you save the expensive tow ride. Get your car fixed immediately to avoid a more problematic or costly situation. Other things, including faulty fuel pumps or misfiring spark plugs, could also cause problems. It is always best to get them all checked out if you can’t pinpoint the fault.