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Turn signals are an important part of driver-to-driver communication. Back in the day, people had to use hand signals to inform other drivers of their intentions. Thankfully, sticking your hand out the window to tell a driver you’re turning is a thing of the past…unless you have blinker problems.
A properly functioning turn signal will blink at around 60 to 120 blinks per minute. But as components fail or become worn down, your blinker speed or sound may increase. Since most vehicles have very similar turn signal circuitry, a trained technician will be able to quickly identify any issue and get you back on the road quickly.
A Failing Bulb
The most common cause of an improperly blinking turn signal is the bulb. When you turn your blinker on, electricity runs through a fuse in the fuse box to the turn signal circuit. It then activates and sends power to a secondary load circuit that’s connected to your blinker’s lightbulb. If the bulb is faulty, it alters the resistance in the circuit, making it blink erratically. You can test each turn signal to see if they are illuminating properly. Check the bulb for darkness, cloudiness, or a broken filament. If you notice a difference in your blinker, you’ll most likely need a new bulb, which a service provider such as Jiffy Lube can replace in no time.
Poor or Damaged Electrical Connections
An improper electrical connection anywhere in the circuit–whether it’s the power or ground connection–can significantly alter the current flow. A bad ground will cause resistance in the turn signal circuit which will deprive the blinkers of power and cause them to dim or blink inconsistently.
Issues with a faulty electrical switch can also alter the resistance or blinker rate of your turn signal. Corrosion, worn insulation, or even burns can result from faulty switches. Worn-down relays and flashers can also be a cause of a poor connection to your blinker. That clicking sound you hear when you activate your blinker comes from the turn signal relay/flasher. So, keep your ears open for any atypical clicks, too.
Today’s cars have many complex design features that make it trickier for you to correct issues yourself. Heading to your neighborhood Jiffy Lube will help save you time and headaches from determining what underlying electrical issues your car may or may not have. But if you’re a staunch Do-It-Yourselfer (DIYer), there are a few steps you can take to determine what the blinker issue may be.
Check all wiring for any damage or wear and tear. Clean the turn signal components and the surrounding areas. Check your fuses to make sure they’re all working. Test your car’s battery to see if it’s underperforming. Replace your blinker bulbs if your car light is out.
Replacing the blinker bulb in most cars is relatively easy. But if you don’t feel 100% confident in doing it yourself, it’s better to bring your car to a trusted automotive service center like Jiffy Lube to complete the service for you. If you decide to replace it yourself, follow these easy steps:
Properly working turn signals are a vital part of safe driving. A nonfunctioning blinker can not only put you in danger, but also endanger other drivers. And in some states a damaged blinker can earn you a traffic violation. So, if your turn signal starts blinking fast, head over to the professionals at Jiffy Lube where they will help ensure that your car’s lighting/electrical systems are meeting or exceeding your vehicle’s Original Equipment Manufacturer’s (OEM) standards.
Now that you have a better understanding of your vehicle’s turn signals, you can learn more about other components of your car with “Tips in a Jiffy.” New content is added regularly, so you can come back to the site to answer any questions about your vehicle.
Please note: Not all services are offered at each Jiffy Lube location. Please check with your local Jiffy Lube service center or visit jiffylube.com for specific services offered.