How to Repair or Replace Turn Signal Flasher?
You're driving down the road or highway, signaling to make a lane change, and suddenly you notice that your turn signal isn't working. It's one of those moments that can send a chill up your spine as you think about how dangerous it could be if other drivers don't see your intentions and move out of the way in time.
Fortunately, this is something that most car owners can fix themselves without too much trouble - but first, you need to figure out whether it's an issue with the flasher itself or with some other part of the vehicle.
In this article, we'll explore the symptoms associated with a faulty turn signal flasher and how to diagnose the issue. We'll also discuss how to go about repairing and replacing it if necessary so you can get back on the road safely.
Symptoms of a Bad Turn Signal Relay
The 1st part of this guide is to identify if it's a bad turn signal flasher. Here are some common signs that your turn signal relay is going bad:
Turn Signal or Hazards Stop Working
When the turn signal relay is defective, it's no surprise that your hazards and turn signals will cease functioning. The broken component won't be able to tell these features to switch on, either if the relay fails or a piece of it falls off, making an open electrical circuit. You'll then lose access to both your hazard lights and indicators alike - ultimately causing potential chaos on the roads.
Turn Signal or Hazards Won't Turn Off
The usual sign of a malfunctioning turn signal relay is the inability to operate your turn signals or hazards. However, there are more subtle hints that may be indicative of an issue with this component as well - like when you can't get your indicators to switch off no matter what.Even though it's not likely for something like this to happen since it requires a piece of the part getting stuck "closed" compared to breaking apart easily, it still happens from time to time. Be sure and pay attention if either of these two signs pops up in order to detect trouble with your turn signal relay before any serious damage is done.
Other Lights MalfunctionAlthough it's the least frequent sign of a faulty turn signal relay, mechanics will tell you that electrical problems can cause unusual outcomes. While strange might not seem authoritative, this type of malfunctioning may be caused by wiring issues such as shorts or crossed wires, among others.
When electricity flows to undesired areas, it could lead to an enormous variety of unexpected effects. If your attempts at troubleshooting an electrical issue have been in vain so far, then evaluate the relays just one more time before giving up completely.
When determining whether to fix or replace a broken turn signal switch, consider the impact of cost, severity of the damage, and your personal expertise. Weighing these factors will help you make an informed decision that best fits your situation. In the next part, first, we'll guide you about how to repair the turn signal flasher, and then if it needs to be replaced, we'll help you do that. Keep reading...
How to Repair a Turn Signal Flasher?
You may think that repairing a turn signal switch is complex, but in reality, it contains only several components! To diagnose the issue, you should inspect it physically and test for electrical problems. It could be from various associated parts, such as a faulty relay or blown a fuse - even if the bulb itself seems to work perfectly fine. If your diagnosis confirms that this is indeed what needs fixing, then follow these steps for an uncomplicated repair process:
- Disconnect the car battery so you can start working on the turn signal switch.
- Remove any covers to gain access to it, then use a screwdriver to take out all of its securing screws.
- Carefully pull out the switch and unplug any wires connected to it for further examination.
- Check for signs of physical damage, such as cracks or breaks in its plastic material, as well as looseness on either lever or knob area if applicable.
- Check for any loose components and clean corroded or aged contacts with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to ensure proper electrical connection.
- Reinstall the switch and reconnect all wires securely.
- Test the switch to evaluate if your problem has been fixed.
How to Replace a Turn Signal Flasher?
Now that you understand how to repair a turn signal switch, we will discuss the process of replacing it. If your previous attempts at fixing the problem failed or you have determined that the switch needs a full replacement, then follow these steps for an uncomplicated process:
Gather the Necessary Tools and Parts for the Job
Obtain the correct replacement switch for your car make and model according to its specific requirements. Gather a set of tools like screwdrivers, pliers, and wrenches to take out the old switch.
Locate the Turn Signal Flasher
To locate the flasher, check your user's manual. Many companies install their flashers in the vehicle's cab beneath the dashboard so that we can also hear them make connections as they switch on and off. Some brands may instead have theirs situated under the hood inside a main fuse box - where exactly it depends upon its manufacturer.
Remove the Old Flasher
Once you have pinpointed the flasher, hold it firmly in your grasp. Its prongs can be removed by simply pulling them straight out.
To ensure a seamless transition, compare your new and old flashers for the identical number of prongs, their positioning, as well as equivalent electrical ratings.
Locate the Turn Signal Flasher
To replace your old flasher, simply slide the new one into place. If it fits snugly without needing to be forced in, you are good to go. However, if for any reason you find yourself having to exert some effort when pushing it in - stop immediately and assess what is wrong.
Test the Hazards and Blinkers
Once your new flasher is securely in place, use the car's hazard and blinker functions to determine if they are responding correctly. If both prove to be working correctly, then pat yourself on the back for a job well done.
It is recommended to perform a quick inspection of your car's turn signal switch at least annually. Taking the time to do so will ensure that all of your automobile's electrical connections are running optimally and make sure you don't get caught in a tricky situation due to a faulty switch. Have fun, and drive safe.
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