Mechanics

FUEL PUMP RELAY

1991 Plymouth Acclaim

Electrical problem
1991 Plymouth Acclaim 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 78000 miles

hi, m still with the same problem: something is wrong in the fuel system. I have another fuel pump and it is working (i cheked it). I checked the dark green and black wire from the fuel pump to the relay and is perfect (i checked it with a tester). i bought a new relay and i already check power in the red wire on the ASD relay and has 12 v. When i turned on the ignition switch, the light blue and yelow wire and the two blue wire has 12 volts but the green and black (fuel pump wire) is with 0 volts.
thats normal? i thought when a relay has voltage, open the circuit for all the pins... in this case not for the green and black wire. What do i need to check now?
thanks
willy


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/496383_DSC_0061_1.jpg



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Willysp
March 20, 2010.



OK, right off the bat I see a potential problem with my service manual. The 12 volts all the time on the red wire is proper. My '92 manual shows two red wires for the V-6 engine but only a single red wire for the four cylinder. Still, the 12 volts is correct.

For both engines, my book shows a single dark blue wire where there's two in your photo, and I show two dark blue / yellow wires where you have one. One of those blue wires must be grounded by the Engine Computer to turn the relay on. Make a simple test for me please. Unplug the relay, then remeasure the voltages on those two blue wires. One should have 0 volts now. I would like to correct my service manual but I need to know if the colors are listed incorrectly or if a wire is drawn in the wrong place.

Caradiodoc

Caradiodoc
Mar 20, 2010.
I took a picture of the socket. The pair of blue and dark wires has 12 volts. the other one, the blue with yelow line wire has 0 volts.
now, what do i need to do? thanks willy


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Tiny
Willysp
Mar 20, 2010.
Sorry it's taking me so long to get back. I'm trying to catch up with about two dozen followup replies.

That dark blue is correct. It has 12 volts when the ignition switch is in the " run" position. That has been a standard color for Chrysler since the early '70s. When you plug the relay back in, you will see that voltage coming through the coil in the relay and appear on the blue / yellow wire. If you use a jumper wire to ground that wire, you will hear the fuel pump run and / or the hiss of the fuel pressure regulator on the fuel rail.

Put your meter probe into the dark green / black wire so you can monitor the voltage from inside the car. When you first turn on the ignition switch, you should see a quick 12 volts for one second, then it will go back to 0 volts. Sometimes digital meters don't respond fast enough. A test light might work better. Instead, if you can hear the fuel pump run for that one second, you know the relay turned on.

If you see the 12 volts or hear the pump run, the Engine Computer has control of the relay. If not, inspect the blue/ yellow wire back to the Engine Computer's connector. After you get that one second burst, the voltage should appear again during engine cranking. If it does not, suspect the Hall Effect switch pickup assembly under the rotor in the distributor. Its pulses are what tells the Engine Computer to turn on the fuel pump and ASD relays.

Caradiodoc

Caradiodoc
Mar 21, 2010.
Hi cardiodoc, I have a question. When you said: " When you plug the relay back in, you will see that voltage coming through the coil in the relay and appear on the blue / yellow wire. If you use a jumper wire to ground that wire, you will.&Quot; are you saying that I need to ground the blue/yellow wire? I m going to cause a short circuit?
If you said that the dark blue wire power go trough the relay and then to the blue \yellow, I cant understand how the green/black (fuel pump) have voltage when you cranks the engine
i m not totally sure, but I think the blue/yelow wire has power when I turn on the ignition switch, I m gonna check that, but I want to know if I understand everything
thanks.
If you need another picture to correct your book, just let me know!
Willy
ps: do I need to make donation for each reply?

Tiny
Willysp
Mar 21, 2010.
Your donation is appreciated, but once is enough. Thank you.

The relay uses a tiny current to turn a large current on and off. The tiny current through the coil inside the relay creates a magnetic field that pulls on the switch contact.

For the little current to flow through the coil of wire, there must be a difference in voltage between the two wires, in this case, 12 volts that comes from the ignition switch when it is turned to " run", and 0 volts which is ground. The ground is normally supplied by the Engine Computer, but it can also be supplied by you with a jumper wire. When the ground wire is " open", meaning disconnected, the voltage that comes in on the blue wire will be seen on the other end of the coil which is the blue / yellow wire. There is a much more involved way to explain this electrical theory, but that was part of my 180 hour long Automotive Electrical class. There is a faster way to describe what happens.

There has to be a " load" in the circuit to prevent a short circuit or excessive current. The load is resistance to current flow, and could be a motor, a light bulb, or in this case, a wound-up piece of wire that is so long, it has a lot of resistance.

I can compare anything electrical that you can't see to something with water, that you can visualize. If you imagine a garden hose hooked to the faucet on your house, and a pressure gauge at the faucet that reads 12 psi, you have to use up that 12 psi somewhere or it will appear at the end of the hose by the closed nozzle. With the nozzle open, there will still be 12 psi at the faucet, but 0 psi when the water falls on the ground. The only resistance that limited how much water would flow, (current), is the resistance, (diameter) of the hose. If you squeeze the hose with your fist, you add resistance which decreases current flow. The water flow slows down, but you still have 0 psi when the water hits the ground. Most of the pressure was " dropped" where you squeezed the hose. Now, if you keep your hand there, but someone closes the nozzle, what happens? Current flow stops, and you would measure 12 psi at the end of the hose. That 12 psi, when no current is flowing, is the 12 volts you are reading on the blue / yellow wire.

The pressure is the same on both sides of your hand in the hose. When the pressure is the same in both places, water will not flow from one place to another, (no current flow). When voltage is the same in two places, electricity, (current) will not flow either. When current does flow in a wire, it sets up a magnetic field. Winding the wire into many loops to create a coil intensifies the magnetic field. Think of that coil as your hand squeezing the hose.

When the blue / yellow wire is grounded, (opening the nozzle), the difference in the two voltages causes electrical current to flow. That current sets up the magnetic field in the coil so he can do his thing. Normally that blue / yellow wire is grounded by the Engine Computer. When it does, the magnetic field in the coil pulls the lever to turn on the contact that passes the larger current, in this case, to the fuel pump.

The two larger wires on the relay handle the larger fuel pump current. The contacts in the relay are just a switch, but rather than using your fingers to flip the switch, the coil's magnetic field does it.

Relays make a real convenient way to break a circuit in half for testing. Before I loose complete track of where we were, by grounding the blue / yellow wire, you are doing the same thing the Engine Computer is supposed to do. You should hear and feel the relay click, and the fuel pump should run. If it does, that proves, without any further or involved testing, that the pump, relay, large wires, and the fuse for that circuit are all good. This applies to any circuit with a relay.

Most Chrysler cars from this era feed the injector(s), ignition coil, oxygen sensor heaters, alternator field, AND the fuel pump from the Automatic Shutdown (ASD) relay. I don't know why, but in your car, they use a separate relay for the fuel pump. Both relay coils are connected in parallel, meaning they both get the same 12 volts from the ignition switch on one terminal and they are both grounded by the same terminal in the computer. When you ground the blue / yellow wire, both relays should click.

Part of the confusion could be due to how the switching is done for the relay's coil. We normally think of turning on a switch and sending the voltage TO something, such as the light in your house. There has to be a complete path for the current to get back to the battery, or whatever source it came from. In this case, with the relay, the switch is interrupting the return path, (ground circuit) instead of the feed path. A common term for this is " ground side switching" or " ground controlled". Feed side switching would be turning off the faucet at your house. No pressure in the hose / no voltage to the relay. Ground side switching would be closing the nozzle. Pressure in the hose / voltage at the relay, but no current flow.

Hope that all made sense. I'll have to reread some of our previous replies to each other to remeber where we were, but in the meantime, see what happens when you ground the blue / yellow wire.

Caradiodoc

Caradiodoc
Mar 21, 2010.
Hi cardiococ, thanks for the last reply, now I understand a litthe bit more.
Ok, today I did that you told me, I grounded the blue/yellow wire and I heard a click and the green/black wire (fuel pump wire) had 12 volts!
Now, probably we have 2 possibilities: one is the haff effect. The other one is that the blue/yellow wire is broken (the name is open circuit?). You told me few days ago: " Since you have spark, the Hall Effect Switch is working as well as the ASD relay" so maybe the problem is the blue yellow wire. I was trying to find where it go and I think that doesnt go to the haff effect directly. If not, how can I check this wire?
Am I in the rigth way?
Thanks a lot
willy

Tiny
Willysp
Mar 22, 2010.
The ASD and the fuel pump relays are wired in parallel, meaning the coils are energized at the same time by the same wires. This is the same as two headlights turning on together or two porch lights turning on together, (on your house; not your car)!

I have to mention here that I'm working from a '92 service manual for your '91 model car, so to be sure I'm telling you the right things, when you ground that blue / yellow wire, check that BOTH the ASD and fuel pump relays click on. If only one turns on, I'll have to hunt for the right book.

Now, ... Grab those two relays and feel if they click when a helper cranks the engine. Both of them must click for one second when the ignition switch is first turned on, then they will click off again until the engine is cranked. During cranking, both relays must click on and stay on steady. If they vibrate on and off or chatter, inconsistant pulses are coming from the Hall Effect pickup assembly in the distributor. He IS a common failure item. If only one relay turns on, look for the blue / yellow wire on the ASD relay socket and ground that one. Now if just the ASD relay turns on and the fuel pump relay doesn't, there has to be a break in that wire between the two relays.

Caradiodoc

Caradiodoc
Mar 22, 2010.
Finally is running! Today I recheck everything again, change the fuel (it was really old) recheck all the connectors and with fuel in the carb just crank with no problem (this car was sitting for 2 years). Before that, I unplugged all the relays minus the fuel pump relay and the car cranked (just few seconds because the starter fluid) so I think that this model is like 1992 maybe fuel pump and ADS is the same relay.
Thank you very much, you was very helpful.
Wilson

Tiny
Willysp
Mar 31, 2010.
Hi willysp,

Thank you for using 2CarPros. Com. We appreciate your donation and look forward to helping you in the future.

Tiny
2CarPros Linsey
Apr 1, 2010.