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TIPM Relays - External

Summary

Totally Integrated Power Module (TIPM) location under the hood
Totally Integrated Power Module (TIPM) - Location varies for each vehicle

The installation of an external relay is the not-so-elegant way Dodge/Jeep decided to fix the chronic fuel pump relay issue that plagues many Dodge/Jeep/Chrysler/VW vehicles. To identify if you have an external relay, see below. Unfortunately, only 2011-2013 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee owners can receive this external relay at no cost under a recall because (according to reports) they were more vocal than others. The recall started in September 2014 and the same faulty fuel pump relay manufacturer and part number is present on nearly all affected vehicles.

If your 2011-2013 Dodge Durango or Jeep Grand Cherokee doesn't have the external relay, your dealer can likely install one for free or you can use one of our proven solutions: TIPM Solutions.

Our patent pending TIPM Plug-In Fuel Pump Power Bypass/Test System is a simpler, cheaper, and easier to install alternative to the external relay that doesn't involve cutting wires under your TIPM. Installation takes 5-15 minutes with no reprogramming or dealer visits.

How To Identify If You Have An External Relay

Location of the external relay and how to identify if you have one
Location of the external relay and how to identify if you have one

Many people don't know if their vehicle has an external relay that was installed per the recall. 2011-2013 Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee owners likely already had an external relay installed during a trip to the service department of their local dealer. Most other vehicles DO NOT have an external relay installed. This external relay was the manufacturer's "not so elegant" way to bypass a faulty fuel pump relay in the cheapest way possible, in that it involved cutting two wires under your TIPM and tapping into a third wire. To check if you have an external relay, locate your fuse box (TIPM) under the hood of your vehicle. Open the black plastic lid and locate a large hex hut in the upper left corner that is your positive battery connection. This connection feeds 12 VDC to your TIPM via a large diameter wire (about as thick as your thumb). If you have an external relay, you'll also notice a second smaller wire (normally red in color) under the hex nut that runs outside the TIPM. Follow this wire and it should lead to the external relay - a small black box that is normally attached close to the headlight within 1-2' of your fuse box. It normally has the manufacturer's name Omron displayed on top in white letters. Three additional wires travel from the Omron relay under the TIPM to the location where the wires were cut/spliced within your wire harness. Note that many people continue to have problems with these Omron external relays after several years.

External relay installed in vehicle
External relay installed in vehicle
The positive battery connection is used to feed 12VDC to an external relay, if installed
An external relay is not present in this vehicle (note the lack of a second smaller wire under the hex nut). The positive battery connection is normally used to feed 12VDC to an external relay, if installed.
 

Installation Overview

Owners of affected vehicles outside the recall can attempt to install their own external relay, but instructions only exist for 2011-2013 Durango and Grand Cherokee vehicles (although they will apply to most vehicles - wire colors may be different but pin numbers are often the same). Your dealer may be able to install an external relay on your vehicle (Dodge Caravan, Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Ram, etc), but prices are often $400+ and better solutions such as our TIPM Plug-In Relay exist. We can only recommend the installation of an external relay similar to the recall for those who are comfortable installing it themselves with cutting and soldering of wires being required. You'll need to partially or fully remove the TIPM from the vehicle in order to gain access to the harness wires that will be cut, soldered, and tapped.


External Relay
External Relay Kit (CBP4P541AB, 68142156aa, or Wells 20370)

If Problems Still Exist After External Relay Is Installed

If you're stuck on the side of the road with a vehicle that won't start, try your remote start or tap/hit the Omron external relay in case the normally closed pins are welded together. Trust me, these tricks have saved others. Or, remove the external relay from the wire harness and jumper pins 30 and 87 to provide full-time power to the fuel pump until you get home.

If you already have an external relay and starting problems continue, you're likely stuck with it because the dealer cut wires under your TIPM that completely disconnected the fuel pump circuit inside the TIPM. The only way around it is to reverse the dealer modification and use one of our TIPM Solutions. However, recent reports indicate that replacing the external relay can help. Fortunately, this relay replacement is simply a matter of unplugging the old and plugging in the new unit and it should take less than 5 minutes to do so. We have them in stock and ready to ship the same day as the order is received. Note that the part we sell is only the relay portion, without the wires and receptacle that should already be installed and soldered to your TIPM wire harness. The relay should be attached to the body of the vehicle near the front headlight and TIPM using a one-way plastic fastener. This fastener isn't designed to come out easily, so you may need to break and replace it with something similar.

Online ordering capabilities are temporarily hidden during our November 20-26, 2017 closure. Our store will reopen on November 27, 2017.

If A New External Relay Doesn't Help

  • Is there gas in the vehicle?
  • Is the fuel contaminated?
  • Is your gas gauge working properly? If you've been at 3/4 tank for weeks, chances are you're out of gas.
  • Is fuel pump working properly? You can remove the external relay from the wire harness and jumper pins 30 and 87 on the wire harness when the vehicle is off to test fuel pump electrically.
  • Is fuel pump providing adequate pressure? Perform a fuel pressure test (normally 50 psi).
  • Try starting the vehicle in neutral
  • Verify that all TIPM connectors are adequately seated and secured to the bottom of the TIPM
  • Check all fuses and plug-in relays under the TIPM lid
  • Is your cam or crankshaft sensor working properly? If not, replace.
  • As a last resort, park your vehicle in front of the nearest dealer, pop the hood, and place a sign that reads "P.O.S." with a large yellow lemon. You'll likely have someone from the dealership ready to help you in less than 30 minutes. Trust me, I'm almost there with my 2011 Dodge Durango, which is the worst vehicle I've ever owned.
  • Buy a used TIPM if all else fails. A low restocking fee is normally available if the TIPM doesn't solve your issue.

Installing An External Relay

New external relay installation diagram showing two wires that must be cut/soldered and a third wire that is tapped/soldered
New external relay installation diagram showing two wires that must be cut/soldered and a third wire that is tapped/soldered

This repair option can be performed by your dealer if your vehicle is recalled, or you can attempt to install an external relay on your own. This solution is Star case #S1308000399 where you'll need to purchase a external fuel pump relay to take the place of the defective TIPM-mounted fuel pump relay. You can also search for part number CBP4P541AB on the internet, which is the complete external relay kit. The bad thing about this solution is that it involves cutting, soldering, and heat shrinking several wires in multiple wire harnesses. After going this route, you'll always need to count on the external fuel pump relay (even if you eventually purchase a new or used TIPM) because you've cut the fuel pump wires leading to the TIPM fuel pump relay. Our TIPM test/bypass cable will not work to test your fuel pump, fuel pump relay, or bypass a faulty relay once TIPM wires are cut.

The September 20, 2014 recall performs the above modification, which is a cheap and easy way for Dodge to repair faulty fuel pump relays. This is Dodge/Jeep's version of a duct tape, zip tie, Elmer's glue fix. I'm not impressed. Manufacturers should replace each TIPM or provide a TIPM that is serviceable!!

Many owners had difficulty in purchasing the external relay kit from their dealer because their dealer claims the kits are intended for Durango and Grand Cherokee owners only. We continue to receive many calls from owners who vehicle still will not start after the recall modification has been performed.

 

Documentation

Customer Comments

Below are customer comments sent via email.

-Just wanted to say thanks for your website and the information you provide, it probably saved me hundreds or more, and a lot of headaches. My 2011 Durango had the recall external relay installed and I guess it started to fail. I bought the relay you are selling and installed it and the problem has since disappeared. Add me to your data as someone whom this has worked for. I just bought a second relay with the assumption that the new one will go bad after 2-3 years again and I will just keep a spare in my vehicle. -September 8, 2017