Automatic Shutdown (ASD) Relay – Function – Failure – Testing

Automatic Shutdown (ASD) Relay - Function - Failure - Testing
Automatic Shutdown (ASD) Relay - Function - Failure - Testing

The function of the automatic shutdown (ASD) relay is to shut off power to major systems. When the key is turned off, as a safety feature.

So, When the automatic shutdown (ASD) relay is on; it supplies battery voltage (12+ volts) to the fuel injectors and ignition coil(s).

And, With certain emissions packages it also supplies (12+ volts) to; the oxygen sensor heating elements and the oxygen sensor heater relay.

So, The ground circuit within the automatic shutdown (ASD) relay, is controlled by the powertrain control module (PCM). Consequently, The (PCM) operates the automatic shutdown (ASD) relay, by switching its ground circuit ON and OFF.

Automatic Shutdown (ASD) Relay - Function - Failure - Testing
Automatic Shutdown (ASD) Relay – Function – Failure – Testing

The (ASD) relay will be shut-down; meaning the 12-volt power supply to the (ASD) relay will be deactivated by the (PCM); if the ignition key is left in the ON position. But, Only if the engine has not been running for approximately 1.8 seconds.

So, Basically, The (ASD) relay is responsible for supplying switched 12-volt power to the vehicle’s:


Open Relay, No voltage from switch.
Open Relay, No voltage from switch.

Closed Relay, Voltage flowing from switch.
Closed Relay, Voltage flowing from switch.

What Are The Failure Symptoms Of A Bad Automatic Shutdown (ASD) Relay

As with most electrical components, the (ASD) relay is subject to the normal wear and tear associated with normal service. So, When it fails, it can cause problems for the entire vehicle. Usually, when the (ASD) relay has failed or is having a problem the vehicle will produce a few failure symptoms.

Consequently, Some of those symptoms may include:

Engine Starts But Quickly Stalls

One of the most common symptoms of a bad (ASD) relay is an engine that will start. But, Stalls almost immediately, or at random times. The (ASD) relay supplies power to the vehicle’s ignition coils and fuel injectors. Above all, The most important components of the entire engine management system.

If the (ASD) is having any problems that interfere with its ability to supply power to the injectors; coils, or whatever other circuits it may feed; then those components may not function properly and problems may arise. A car with a failing or faulty (ASD) relay may stall immediately after starting, or randomly while operating.

Engine Will Not Crank At All

Another symptom of bad (ASD) relay is an engine that will not crank at all. Consequently, many of the engine management systems are wired together.

So, If any of the circuits that the (ASD) relay provides power for go out; as a result of a bad (ASD) relay; then it may affect other circuits, one of them being the starting circuit.

A bad (ASD) relay can indirectly, and sometimes directly, cause a starting circuit to not have power; which will result in a no crank condition when you turn the key.

Check Engine Light Comes On

Another symptom of a possible problem with the (ASD) relay is an illuminated Check Engine Light. So, If the computer detects that a problem with the (ASD) relay or circuit has occurred; it will illuminate the Check Engine Light to alert the driver of a problem. The Check Engine Light can also be activated for a wide variety of other reasons. So, It is important to have the vehicle scanned for trouble codes; to determine what the exact cause of the problem is.

Automatic Shutdown (ASD) Relay Making A Clicking Noise ( Common On Jeep )

Most likely the clicking noise is because there wasn’t enough voltage going to the relays to engage them. As a result, The (ECU) was detecting a low battery condition even though it had a good battery.

Another symptom may be that the vehicle would start up immediately when boosted; but as soon as the ground jumper was removed, the engine died and the relays started clicking again.

Also, There is a somewhat common problem with wires breaking due to acid from the battery. Sometimes, Both the (PCM) and fuse panel wiring are under the battery. Potentially causing an (ASD) ground control wire to break between the (PCM) and the fuse panel.

How Do You Test An Automatic Shutdown (ASD) Relay

Automatic Shutdown (ASD) Relay Testing Procedures
Automatic Shutdown (ASD) Relay Testing Procedures

How Does The (ASD) Relay Actually Function ( Just Like A Fuel Pump Relay )

  • Terminal number 30 is connected to battery voltage. For both the (ASD) and fuel pump relays, terminal 30 is connected to battery voltage at all times.
  • The (PCM) grounds the coil side of the relay through terminal number 85.
  • Terminal number 86 supplies voltage to the coil side of the relay.
  • When the (PCM) de-energizes the (ASD) and fuel pump relays, terminal number 87A connects to terminal 30. This is the OFF position. In the OFF position,
  • Voltage is not supplied to the rest of the circuit. Terminal 87A is the center terminal on the relay.
  • When the (PCM) energizes the (ASD) and fuel pump relays, terminal 87 connects to terminal 30. This is the ON position. Terminal 87 supplies voltage to the rest of the circuit.

(ASD) Relay Testing With An Ohmmeter

  • Remove relay from connector before Testing. With the relay removed from the vehicle, use an ohmmeter to check the resistance between terminals 85 and 86. The resistance should be 75 ohms 5 ohms.
  • Connect the ohmmeter between terminals 30 and 87A. The ohmmeter should show continuity between terminals 30 and 87A.
  • Connect the ohmmeter between terminals 87 and 30. The ohmmeter should not show continuity at this time.
  • Connect one end of a jumper wire (16 gauge or smaller) to relay terminal 85. Then, Connect the other end of the jumper wire to the ground side of a 12-volt power source.
  • Connect one end of another jumper wire (16 gauge or smaller) to the power side of the 12-volt power source. Do not attach the other end of the jumper wire to the relay at this time.
  • WARNING – Do NOT allow ohmmeter to contact terminals 85 or 86 during this test. Damage to ohmmeter may result.

  • Attach the other end of the jumper wire to relay terminal 86. This activates the relay. The ohmmeter should now show continuity between relay terminals 87 and 30. The ohmmeter should not show continuity between relay terminals 87A and 30.
  • Disconnect jumper wires. Replace the relay if it did not pass the continuity and resistance tests. If the relay passed the tests, it operates properly. Check the remainder of the (ASD) and fuel pump relay circuits.

Common 5 Pin (ASD) Relay
Common 5 Pin (ASD) Relay

(ASD) Relay Testing With A Test Light

  1. Find the particular relay you want to test. Depending on the circuit it controls; the relay may be located under the dashboard or inside the engine compartment in a junction block.
  2. Turn the ignition switch to on to energize the particular circuit you are testing, if necessary.
  3. Connect the alligator clip from a test light to any good ground on your vehicle. Probe the wire coming out of the relay and going to the component with the tip of the test light. If the bulb in the test light glows, there is voltage, and your relay is working properly.
  4. Probe the wire or wires feeding voltage to the relay with the test light; following the same procedure used on the previous step. If the light glows, there is incoming voltage. Otherwise, the relay is not receiving voltage. Check the voltage source.
  5. Switch the ignition key off. Unplug the relay from its electrical connector, making sure not to break the locking tabs on the relay.

  6. Identify the relay’s power and control terminals. Some relays show a circuit diagram on top of the case to identify these terminals.
  7. Check for continuity between the two power terminals using an ohmmeter. There should be no continuity. If there is continuity, replace the relay.
  8. Connect a jumper wire between the battery positive terminal and one of the control circuit terminals on the relay. Connect the other control terminal to ground with another jumper wire. If you do not hear a click as you make the second connection, reverse the connections. If you still do not hear a click, replace the relay.
  9. Connect the jumper wires as you did on the previous step. Using an ohmmeter, check for continuity between the two power terminals. If there is continuity, the relay is working properly. Otherwise, replace the relay.

Conclusion

Always check for  severe corrosion on the (ASD) relay socket terminals. Check for broken wires under the (ASD) main relay box. And, If you don’t see ground from the (PCM) in the socket; check for ground on the brown/white wire coming from the (PCM). Finally, If you still don’t see ground and you don’t have an anti-theft issue; you may have a bad ignition switch.

Please Share DannysEnginePortal News