Turn signals that blink fast are usually a sign that one of the bulbs is burned out or about to burn out. This could also indicate a problem with the switch itself, the socket itself, or bad connections. Although this is less likely. Usually, blinking is pretty inconsistent, or it blinks twice as fast.
It might not be as simple as it sounds in your case. This guide explains why your turn signal is blinking fast, as well as how to fix it.
Why Do Your Turn Signals Blink So Fast?
To figure out why your turn signal is blinking fast, or why both of your turn signals are blinking fast, you must determine whether one or both of your turn signals are blinking fast.
Most likely you will only need to replace the bulb for whichever turn signal is blinking fast if just one is.
Your turn signal is set up in a pretty unique way. A flashing unit connected to your lights causes the blinking. Resistance results in perfectly timed blinking. With time, the bulb begins to fail, resulting in a lessened resistance that causes your turn signal to blink faster.
When you notice your turn signal is blinking faster, it could mean that there is an issue that needs to be addressed. Usually, all you need to do is replace the bulb. Sometimes, however, there could be something else that is causing the problem.
Make sure all of your signals are working properly before replacing a bulb if your turn signal is blinking fast. Also check for things such as blown fuses, a broken filament, and cloudy glass.
How Turn Signals Work
One must first gain an understanding of turn signal operation to understand why a turn signal is blinking rapidly. A turn signal circuit in a vehicle is powered by a fused hot wire that typically originates within the under hood junction box.
Using this hot wire, power is delivered through a flasher module to the turn signal switch along the steering column of the vehicle. The circuit is completed when the driver toggles the turn signal switch upwards or downwards, powering both the front and rear turn signals on the side of the vehicle that is selected.
Instead of continuous power being sent to these bulbs, intermittent power is sent through the circuit’s flasher module, which disconnects power for a brief period. The module makes and breaks connections using a heat-sensitive contact that expands and contracts as the temperature changes.
This flasher module operates by transferring power to the filament of a turn signal bulb through resistance. Due to the design of turn signal bulbs, a broken filament reduces the resistance, which causes the flasher module to work faster, causing the remaining bulb to flash more quickly.
How To Fix A Blinking Turn Signal
To fix a turn signal that blinks rapidly, one first needs to identify the root cause of the problem. The below steps will help you quickly diagnose the problem with your vehicle’s lights. So you can repair it fast if necessary.
Check The Turn Signal Operation
It is important to conduct a quick walk around of your vehicle when trying to determine the cause of a turn signal-related issue.
Check that both the front and rear turn signal lights of this side work after toggling your turn signal switch. Then, repeat this process in the opposite direction with the turn signal switch engaged.
Check The Power And Ground To Inoperable Lights
The turn signal lights should be checked for proper power and ground delivery at the respective plug if they are not working. A test light can be used to probe the prongs of the receptacle after removing the bulb in question.
If one of the prongs of the bulb receptacle is hot when connected to the ground, the test light should be illuminated. Likewise, when the opposite end of the light is connected to a 12-volt power source, contact with the other prong of the receptacle should illuminate the test light.
Replace Faulty Bulbs With New Ones
A new turn signal bulb should be installed if an inoperable bulb was found during “step 1” but power and ground were properly delivered. Once the bulb has been installed, check to ensure that it illuminates and flashes as it should.
In most cases, this will also restore the normal rate of flashing of all turn signals.
Replace The Flasher Relay (If Necessary)
When you replace standard non-LED bulbs on your vehicle and the problem persists, you may be dealing with a bad turn signal relay. A module like this can be purchased at nearly any auto parts store for a very reasonable price.
Replacing a fuse with a relay is also usually no more difficult than installing the relay. It is recommended, however, to consult manufacturer-specific service literature when trying to locate the module in question.
Resolve Issues Related To Resistance
If you recently replaced the standard turn signal bulbs in your vehicle with LED turn signal bulbs, then you’re probably experiencing resistance-related problems.
Since the flasher module of a vehicle draws power from a circuit that includes resistance. The installation of low-resistance LED bulbs can cause the flasher to cycle rapidly, as if an open filament were present.
Several specialty inline resistors are available to correct this condition, thereby restoring tropical characteristics to a flasher module.
Is It Illegal To Use A Fast Blinker?
According to the Federal appeals court, a fast blinker is illegal. This ruling relates to the incident that took place in Georgia (Greene County) on December 12, 2013. An officer had stopped a driver whose blinker was working at a fast speed.
This precedent was set by the panel of three judges who addressed the traffic stop that day. The rapid blinking lights indicate something is wrong with the car. You should get it fixed as soon as possible.
Don’t panic if your turn signal blinks fast! It is usually a simple fix that merely requires changing a light bulb. There are, however, identifiers that may be a sign of a larger issue, so make sure to pay attention to those.
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