How To Replace A Toyota 4runner Starter Relay

If you ever need to know how to replace a Toyota 4Runner Starter Relay, there are a few important things to remember. A relay is an electromagnetic switch which opens and closes once an electric current passes through it. A Toyota 4Runner starter relay runs off the power from when the ignition key is turned to the on position and this sets the relay closed (connected) which in turn allows power to turn the starter motor from the battery. If the relay sticks or does not work correctly, then the Toyota 4Runner will not start, the starter motor will not turn or make a sound and it will need to be changed.

To replace a Yoyota 4Runner Starter Relay you will need:

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Small flat blade screwdriver
  • Socket wrench and socket set
  1. As with any electrical procedure on a car or truck it is best to remove the negative battery cable of the Toyota 4Runner to prevent any electric shocks when working on it. Open the hood of you Toyota 4Runner and remove the negative battery lead by loosening the 13mm bolt connecting it to the battery terminal.
  2. This procedure is very simple and can be done in no time at all. Firstly, look at the passenger side fender inside the engine bay of your 4Runner. You will note there is a finned resistor and behind that (closer to the cabin) is the starter motor relay. It is located just behind the passenger front tire, on the inner edge of the fender.
  3. The starter relay has a four-wire connector which links up to the starter motor that is further down inside the engine bay. Remove the plastic connector by squeezing the two sides together and pulling it off. If you struggle, you can use a very small flat bladed screw to prise the clip off, but be careful not to snap the small arms of the connector off.
  4. Unscrew the Phillips head screws to release the relay from the fender of your Toyota 4Runner. Fit the new relay in its place and tighten it down. Connect up the four-wire plug to the relay and check that the wires are out of the way and will not get tangled or break.
  5. Reconnect the negative battery cable to the battery and torque up the bolt correctly. You can now start your Toyota 4Runner. If it does not start straight away, rock the car backwards and forwards with the handbrake applied to un-stick the starter motor. Try it again and this should complete the procedure.
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