Choosing the Best Replacement Relay Module for Your Car
Your car's relay module is very important because it helps regulate the electric current in your car's engine. Without this module, the ignition switch will get damaged because of the irregular flow of electricity, so you won't be able to start your vehicle. To prevent engine problems, a damaged relay module should be replaced immediately with a durable one. Listed below are some of the factors that you need to consider when buying a replacement relay module.
Condition of the relay module
Nowadays, relay modules are sold in three different ways: new, remanufactured, and used. So you'll know which one will suit your vehicle and your driving style, here are the characteristics of the various conditions that relay modules are sold in.
- New: If you don't want to take a risk, then buying a brand new relay module is the safest bet. This is because you can be sure that it has neither been touched nor used before. In fact, some manufacturers make excellent new modules because they know where remanufactured ones fail. But if you want a brand new part, make sure that it's covered by a warranty plan so you can have it replaced if it has workmanship defects.
- Remanufactured: By carefully examining the weaknesses of OE relay modules, some manufacturers are able to remanufacture these parts. If you're going for a remanufactured relay module, you'll be satisfied with its performance because its usual weak components have been replaced with high-quality ones. However, make sure that the remanufactured module you're going to buy is in tiptop condition so you won't end up replacing or repairing it frequently.
- Used: Because there are brand new relay modules, there are also used relay modules. These modules will suit you if you're looking for cheap and short-term replacements. However, you need to be extra careful when buying used parts. This is because some of them are exposed to corrosion-causing materials in salvage yards, so they might have rusted areas internally.
Other factors to consider
Apart from the state that relay modules are sold in, there are still other things that you need to look into when buying a replacement module. Check the list below for the other aspects that should be considered so you'll get the best module for your ride.
- Warranty: Though oftentimes overlooked, warranty is an important factor to consider when buying a car part. If your new relay module isn't covered by a warranty plan, you won't be able to return it in case it has defects.
- Affordability: If you're in the market for a replacement part, you need to buy something that is neither too expensive nor too cheap. This is because some manufacturers make parts out of substandard materials so they can sell cheap parts. So, if you'll purchase a very cheap relay module, you'll be able to save money. However, you'll just spend much in the long run because it won't last for a long time.
Relay Module: How to Repair One in Eight Steps
Your car has numerous electrical connections that work together to operate your vehicle. In order for the electric current to flow properly, your car is equipped with a relay control module (RCM) that works hand-in-hand with an electromagnet. Although this part lasts for a long time, it still gets damaged due to wear and tear. Once this happens, your car will have ignition problems because there will be no barrier between the starter motor and igniter switch. Fortunately, repairing a damaged RCM is fairly easy. If you want to repair this part at home, check this guide out for the instructions and tips on how you can do this simple task.
Difficulty level: Easy
What you'll need:
- Soldering iron
- Flat-head screwdriver
Step 1: Open your car's hood. Then, using the wrench, disconnect the black (negative) battery cable.
Step 2: Locate the box that houses the relay module. Usually, this box can be found at the passenger side of the engine. Once you found it, open its cover so you can access the RCM.
Step 3: Carefully pull the relay control module out of the box. Do this by unplugging all the wires that are connected to it.
Step 4: With the flat-head screwdriver, detach the protective cover of the RCM. Make sure that you won't hit the other parts of the RCM to avoid damaging it further.
Step 5: Check the back of the relay module for damages. Usually, you can see damages at the lower right part of the module. If there are protruding metal pins at this part, then your RCM needs to be soldered immediately.
Step 6: Prepare your soldering iron, and add more solders if necessary. Make sure that the protruding pins are thoroughly heated to avoid having cold solder joints. If the solder joints are not heated properly, your car will experience ignition problems.
Step 7: Reattach the protective cover of the relay module. Then, put it back inside the main box. Don't forget to reconnect the wires that you unplugged earlier.
Step 8: Reconnect the black battery cable. Afterwards, close the hood.
Test drive your vehicle for a few miles to make sure that all connections are working properly. If there are still electrical problems, check the relay module's resoldered points. Then, check if the wires are installed properly.