Electronics is actually very easy to understand, ... IF you are the type of person who can learn by visualizing things you can't see. Most automotive students don't learn that way. They are the type of people who learn best by touching, taking apart, manipulating, and seeing how parts interact. Can't do that with electricity, but you've played with water and a garden hose. In my Auto Electrical classes I compared everything electrical to water flow in a pipe. My students had real good success and have a dandy reputation in the community. Don't feel stupid. You probably learned electronics from someone good at visualizing and they think everyone learns the same way.
The ASD relay socket should have 12 volts on two terminals all the time. One supplies one side of the coil and one supplies the current that will go through the contacts. The Engine Computer grounds the other coil terminal, then the magnetic field pulls the arm down to connect the contacts. Current flows through the contacts to the ignition coil(s), injectors, alternator field, oxygen sensor heaters, and possibly the fuel pump or pump relay.
With the relay removed, if you have voltage to any of those parts, you have your meter probe grounded to the battery positive post. It must be grounded to the negative post. If you still read voltage there, something is wired wrong and is bypassing the relay.
If you find 0 volts, plug the relay back in. If you feel it click, something is grounding the coil. That could be the computer, although that type of failure is real uncommon. Again, I'd look for something wired wrong. If you unplug the Engine Computer and the relay turns off, the computer would have to be suspect.
Thursday, August 4th, 2011 AT 7:40 PM