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HomeTips & GuidesWhy Are My Turn Signals Not Working: What You Should Know

Why Are My Turn Signals Not Working: What You Should Know

Why Are My Turn Signals Not Working? Turn signals undoubtedly play a crucial role in all vehicles.

They ensure drivers behind you receive information and avoid overtaking in the direction of changing lanes.

Thus, lacking the signals will put you on the wrong side of the law.

However, turn signals may malfunction, and you may wonder. ‘Why are my turn signals not working?’.

It could be a poor connection, a short circuit, a burnt bulb, etc.

Whichever the case, today we will show you how to access the damage and make the necessary corrections.

Table of Contents

Common Turn Signals Problems

They include;

Either Turn Signals Isn’t Working

Usually, this is our top concern pertaining to turn signals in vehicles. Luckily, it is an easy fix and will only take a while.

Begin by checking the bulb, either via the boot if it’s rear or via the engine bay for front bulbs.

Ensure the two-bulb filament connect, and the glass isn’t already appearing dark.

You can then replace the bulbs. Moreover, ensure the socket is undamaged, but if you have more corrosion, you can substitute it with a new one.

My Hazard Lights Fail to Work, But the Turn Signals Do

Under such circumstances, a similar circuitry often connects the turn signal lights and hazard lights. As a result, you might experience:

  • An electrical short or open circuit in the wiring of your external lights.
  • A loosely connected circuit that attaches the flasher to the signal switch.
  • A poor connection at your turn signal switch.
  • A bad fuse, in cases where the flasher is in good condition.
  • A malfunctioning hazard light flasher.

If you experience the last two, replace the flasher of the fuse. For the remaining three, ensure you have the correct connection.

 (Hazard warning light)

Turn Signal Lights Don’t Work

Sometimes, your signal lights may not work due to a faulty flasher, short/open circuit, or blown fuse.

Other times, the reason for the malfunction can be a defunct signal switch, corroded bulb socket, and damaged bulbs.

Your first interest should be the bulb’s ground connection which you can check or call in a mechanic.

Also, your vehicle’s repair manual may come in handy in fixing most of the problems.

Turn Signals Don’t Flash

First, examine the burned-out bulb to ascertain that your emergency and turn signal lights are stable.

Alternatively, you can check your turn signal switch and test the turn signal flasher.

Steps here involve knowing how to reach the signal switch electrical connector and identifying specific wires.

In the process, disconnect the car system to prevent airbags from inflating.

Turn Lights Don’t Turn Off

Your turn light may not turn off because of the breakage of the canceling clockspring/cam or the switch’s canceling finger.

Fixing this issue will require replacing the clockspring or switch based on the car model or make.

Switching on the turn signal

(Switching on the turn signal)

Turn Lights Flash Too Fast or Slow

The issue isn’t often noticeable or common, but it does occur.

Reasons for a faster or slower flashing rate:

  • It could be an undercharged battery or alternator (slower).
  • Also, it could mean an overcharging battery (faster).
  • Grounding at the lamps or bad power connection.
  • A loose connection in the turn signal switch.
  • Wrong bulb or flasher installation that doesn’t match your car model. It often happens after replacing a light bulb or flasher.
  • Burnt-out bulb that results in a faster light flashing.

Dashboard’s Turn Indicators Don’t Flash

To try and fix the problem, follow the steps below.

  • First and foremost, confirm whether the turn signal lights function perfectly. Consider a faulty flasher unit if they do turn on but with no flash.
  • However, if any of the turn lights don’t turn on, proceed to your bulb. Inspect the ground for poor connection, then the bulb socket for corrosion or damages.
  • Finally, look between the signal switch and non-functioning bulbs for an open circuit.

Turn Indicators Don’t Work but Turn Signals Do

Lastly, you may have perfectly functioning turn lights with defective indicator lights due to:

  • Corroded bulb sockets
  • Brown-out indicator bulbs
  • The flasher unit is having a problem 
  • A poor ground.

Note; some car models use one light for both turn signals, while others use distinct lights for the left and right turn indicators. In that case:

  • Examine the flasher unit for a one-indicator light. Your car model could have a combined turn signal, brake light, and taillight in a single light bulb.
  • Secondly, accurately install a replaced bubl/lamp.
  • For a deficient two-indicator light but a working turn signal lamp, explore the flasher unit and indicator light bulbs.
A broken tail lamp

 (A broken tail lamp)

What Causes Turn Signal Problems?

  • Broken Flasher Module

Normally, the turn signal system receives power from the flasher module. The connection between the flasher device and fuse is possible using a strip of lead.

If you have a damaged lead piece, the exterior blinkers will not operate, despite the turn signal working.

  • Blown Out Fuse

A fuse acts as a sacrificial electrical component in most devices and machines.

In other words, if the devices generate excess energy, the fuse will melt, halt the current, and thereby offer protection to the circuit.

A blown fuse will turn off the power to your car’s electrical turn signal system.

  • Oxidation On Bulb Sockets

Oxidation is a graduall process that occurs in different parts of a vehicle.

However, lack of maintenance might form rust or accumulate dust which affects the circuit connection between the bulb and blocker socket.

Consequently, the turn signal will malfunction.

A vehicle with a damaged blinker

 (A vehicle with a damaged blinker)

  • Faulty Turn Signal Switch

A turn signal switch regulates your vehicle’s light signals. When you have a defective signal switch, the blinkers won’t receive any signals and hence, won’t work. It could be that the switch or the wiring has a problem.

Ideally, the blinker will be good but have poor wiring or switch, which is a bit technical to correct.

  • Dead Light Bulb

A lifeless bulb occurs more often than you imagine. Reasons range from the turn signal burning out or poor wiring.

The former is an easy fix since you’ll only need to replace the bulb.

How To Fix Turn Signal Problem

Being on the road with no turn signal can be dangerous to other road users, besides reducing your overall car value.

Other times, you’ll be forbidden to go through state inspections. Therefore, you’ll need a quick fix.

The five steps should guide you.

  1. Ensure you turn off the ignition key before starting the engine.
  2. Secondly, find the PDC (Power Distribution Center) or fuse panel, then examine and locate all the system fuses.
  3. If the problem is in the turn signal replay or flasher unit, there won’t be a blinking action.
  4. The blinker won’t operate due to an open or short circuit in a false turn signal switch.
  5. Lastly, if the flasher module is faulty, several lights won’t work. Therefore, you’ll have to reprogram or update the module.
  1. How Much Does It Cost to Fix a Broken Turn Signal?

Even though a  damaged turn signal doesn’t impact other car systems, it can be unsafe and illegal. The cost of repairing a turn signal depends on the vehicle model, signal problem, and your mechanic.

A rough estimate will resemble the list below:

  • Replacing a broken blinker – $270 to $400
  • Car parts – $200 to $300
  • Labor cost – $70 to 100
A car headlight and a turning signal

 (A car headlight and a turning signal)

Conclusion

Now that you know how to reverse the turn signal damage, we hope any current/future breakdown will be easy to solve.

In summary, locate the problem and then fix it accordingly by either rewiring, maintaining, or replacing it.

Hi I am Christa, sales manager of Cloom.

I have extensive expertise and experience in wiring harnesses and I believe I can help you.

And we have a very professional technical team who can clearly understand the customer’s needs and give professional suggestions and solutions after receiving the drawings.

If you also have wiring harness needs, please send me the drawing so that we can give you our quote and start our business.

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