The national cost for a starter relay replacement with CarAdvise in 2024 is between $173 and $437 with an average of $232.

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HOW IT WORKS

What s a starter relay and how does it work?

A starter relay is a component of the ignition system on your vehicle. It is essentially a remote switch that receives current from the ignition switch and sends current to the starter solenoid and starter.

The starter circuit carries a much higher electrical current than the ignition switch and therefore requires a relay to turn the circuit on. While a starter solenoid might be operated directly from the ignition switch on smaller engines and vehicles, larger vehicles (like cars, trucks, and SUVs) rely on both a relay and a solenoid to energize the starter. Relays and solenoids are, in fact, similar in function. But they are not the same size. Solenoids are much larger and work on heavier circuits.

The starter relay is typically located in the fuse/relay box inside the engine compartment.

HOW IS THIS SERVICE PERFORMED?

How is a a Starter Relay Replacement done?

Starter relay replacement is relatively simple, as long as it is clear which relay needs to be replaced. In order to replace the starter relay in your vehicle, a technician will need to open the hood, locate the fuse/relay block, and open the weatherproof cover. Once the correct relay has been identified, it is extracted from the box and replaced with a new relay. The box is sealed and the hood closed. This is a much simpler task than replacing a starter solenoid or starter motor.



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POPULAR VEHICLES

National average cost of a a Starter Relay Replacement
for popular vehicles:

Car Model

Avg. cost

$50

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COMMON SYMPTOMS

How do I know if my vehicle needs a new starter relay?

If the starter relay on your vehicle is bad, there is a good chance your engine will not start. In fact, it will not turn over at all. That is because, without current passing through the relay, the starter circuit will not energize. Sometimes a starter relay will fail completely. Other times the trouble will be intermittent. Your vehicle might need a new starter relay if you notice one or more of the following:

Your engine will not turn over to start when you turn the key or push the “start” button

The starter remains engaged after the engine has started, resulting in a grinding or whining noise

You hear a clicking sound when you try to start your engine

Your engine starts sometimes but not at others

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Other questions customers ask

What causes a starter relay to fail?
Starter relays do not fail all too often, but when they do, it is likely due to corrosion in the internal electrical contacts or electrical arcing inside the relay that causes the contacts to fuse together.
Are a starter relay and starter solenoid the same thing?
No. A relay and a solenoid serve similar purposes, but they are two separate devices. The starter relay receives electrical current from the ignition when you turn the key or press the “start” button. The relay then sends a higher, more powerful current through the starting circuit to the starter solenoid. The solenoid then switches an even more powerful circuit for the starter itself.
Is a relay bad if it clicks?
A clicking sound from a relay in itself is not necessarily bad. A relay will usually make a clicking noise as it closes its internal contacts while switching. But if the relay simply clicks and is not effective, then there is probably a problem.

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