Even if you’re just driving to the corner store, you need your turn signals to work. Using your turn signals is not only required by law, but it’s the only way to let people know that you’re turning.
If your turn signals don’t work, you can cause an accident. Not only will this cause injuries, but it can also cause a lot of damage to your car. To avoid this, it’s important to make sure your turn signals are working.
Normally, if your turn signals aren’t working, you’ll know. Either you won’t see it light up on your dashboard, or you won’t hear the clicking noise. Sometimes, your turn signals won’t work at all. Other times, they work, but only some of the time. This can be frustrating. Before you take your car to the mechanic and spend hundreds of dollars to fix it, see if you can diagnose the problem and fix it yourself.
What a lot of people don’t realize is that your turn signal system is connected to a lot of other systems in your car. For example, your turn signals are connected to the same wirings as your brake lights, warning lights and parking lights.
If there’s something wrong with any of these components, it could cause problems for the rest of the systems. It’s better to get an idea of what could be wrong before you pay someone to diagnose it for you. It could be a matter of a $10 fix.
You don’t want to spend a ton of money on something that you could’ve done yourself. Here, we’ll talk about the 5 most common things that cause your turn signals to only work some of the time. We’ll also offer a possible solution for each.
Does your: Turn Signal Works Sometimes? – Check out this checklist
Are Your Turn Signal Light Bulbs Dead?
Light bulbs die – eventually, they all do. Turn signal light bulbs should last for at least a few years. Most people will have their turn signal lights last for the life of the car. It all depends on how much you drive and how often you use your turn signals. Since these bulbs are pretty cheap, it’s a good idea to replace them and see if it solves the problem. If it does, great. If not, then you need to look a bit further. The problem could be a bit more complicated.
Do You Have a Faulty Turn Signal Switch?
The turn signal switch is the device near your steering wheel that you use to turn your signals on and off. If they can’t send a signal to let the computer know to turn the signals on, then it won’t work. It could be the wiring or the switch. If the switch is just getting stuck, you may be able to fix it. However, if it’s something more than that, you need to go see a professional.
Your Bulb Sockets Could Be Oxidized
At some point, almost all parts of your car will suffer from oxidization. This is another fancy word for rust. Things like rust and dust can make your turn signals not work properly. It disrupts the contact between the bulb and the socket. The best way to avoid this is to perform routine cleaning and maintenance. If the problem persists, you may need to take your car to the local mechanic.
Maybe You Have a Blown Fuse?
Most people have heard of a blown fuse. Usually, this happens at your house. Maybe you have too many things plugged in and it blows a fuse. Or, your air conditioner is working on overdrive and blows a fuse. All you have to do is reset the fuse or flip the main breaker. When it comes to your car, it’s not so easy. Your fuse may blow because you have too many signals going at one time. Or, the fuse can actually melt if the energy level gets too high. If your fuse is blown, you will need to replace it. The good news is, new fuses aren’t all that expensive. And, it’s not that hard to do.
Broken Flasher Module – This May Require a Mechanic
There is a thing in your turn signal system called a flasher module. This is what sends the power from the battery to your turn signal system. If this breaks, no power is going to get to your turn signal. Remember we said earlier that your turn signal system is connected to a bunch of other systems. They may all blow at one time. This module is connected to your fuse through a piece of lead. If this lead breaks or is damaged, it will not work. This isn’t something you can really fix yourself. You’ll need to take it to your local mechanic to get fixed.
Always Use Your Manual to Troubleshoot Your Turn Signal Problems
It’s easy for us to describe the most common problems when it comes to your turn signals. However, it’s not always that easy to troubleshoot your system. You may have to get to certain parts of the turn signal system that is hidden. You might have to remove the covers, the steering wheel and disable the airbag. Otherwise, you can trigger any of these and cause bigger problems. To do this, you need to consult your service manual.
If you aren’t comfortable doing this yourself, take it to your local mechanic. They’re going to consult your car’s manual or, one of the more common books called Haynes Manual. Since every make and model is different, they’ll need to make sure they understand your system. This way, they can diagnose and fix the problem safely and correctly. While this may cost you a couple of hundred dollars, it’s money well spent. If you get into an accident or get a ticket for having bad turn signals, it’ll cost you a lot more than what it costs to fix it.