Guess one of those things that nauseate me most when driving? It’s when my turn signals blink faster than they should.
But the safety rule prohibits me from turning the blinkers off when it’s right and legal to leave them on.
I’m sure you may have faced a similar issue in the past.
The turn signal is one of the various lights in an automobile. It’s essential for signaling the direction your vehicle will go on the road when you’re turning.
Everyone loves the drill when the ‘click, click’ sound of your turn signal or blinkers aligns with the cabin-bound song oozing from your car.
What happens when the indicator light suddenly starts to blink fast? What should you do? Let’s see it together.
Why Is My Turn Signal Blinking Fast?
The most common reason your auto-turn signal light, also called blinkers or indicator light, will start to blink fast is when you have a failing bulb.
There are more whys behind a fast-clicking blinker than a defective LED or halogen bulb.
Poor lighting, wrong wiring, the bad ground connection, and low voltage are all potential suspects when you have a blink-off-blink-on turn signal.
Unfortunately, not many drivers or car owners pay attention to these important details.
Trust me, after reading this article, you’ll come to understand more why your turn signal has to blink at a normal rate. The starting point is to look at what fast blinker means.
If I say fast blinkers or that my turn signal blinks fast, what do I mean? It means that the turn signal has exceeded its cadence maximum.
On average, a turn signal should blink 120 times per minute. In other words, the average cadence of a good and healthy turn signal is between 60 and 120 blinks per minute.
Anything beyond this is abnormal and illegal. When something goes wrong with your car’s electrical system, it’ll affect the blinkers, causing a fast blinking. What’s responsible?
However, if your car’s using a LED turn signal, it’s prone to what we call hyper-flashing. Hyper-flashing refers to the fast blinking of your LED turn signal.
When the specs of the LED bulb turn signal don’t match the feature and operating design of your car, you’ll experience hyper-flashing.
What Causes Turn Signal To Blink Fast?
As earlier noted, a wide range of things can cause the turn signal to click faster than normal. Sometimes, you may not be aware until you look at the indicators on your car dash. Here are the top five causes of fast blinkers:
Make no mistake, a poor bulb is the main culprit when you see the blinkers click faster than normal. The resistance switches in an electrical circuit can start blinking fast.
This happens mostly when the bad bulb either interrupts or alters the circuit’s resistance. As a result, the blinker will receive an affected current.
How do you determine if the turn signal bulb is the problem? Simply carry out a test on the bulbs to see if any of them is completely out.
Alternatively, you can also inspect the bulb for broken filament. There’s also a possibility that the glass section of the bulb is cloudy, black, or dark.
What will you do? The best thing to do is to immediately replace any bulb that’s visibly out. After changing the bad bulb, try to take the light test again by activating the signal.
This way, you can be 100% sure that the bulb lights up.
Fried Or Loose Connection
Generally, the electrical system in your car is responsible for all issues relating to lighting. It triggers the turn signal to come on and goes off.
After all, the blinkers are connected by electrical wires. When the turn signal malfunctions or behaves abnormally, there’s a chance that one of the wires is wrongly connected.
It may be that the wires are fried, worn out, or corroded. The corrosion occurs when there’s a loose connection that often affects the blinking speed and resistance.
Similarly, the flashers and relays can be in despair over time. What you should do is trace the flashers, relays, and wires in the system. At least, you want to see if any of those parts are responsible for the fast blinking.
Bad Ground Connection
When your turn signal blinks fast, your blinkers may be operating around dirty combination switches.
In the same way, damaged combination switches can cause the bulb to receive poor or low voltage.
Of course, a low voltage causes the lights to blink abnormally, and faster than they should. What should you do? The best thing to do is to clean the combination switches.
Incompatible Lighting Fittings
Needless to say, aftermarket electrical components that are incompatible with your car model and design will cause the turn signal to blink fast.
It must be reiterated that not all auto accessories are made for all cars. When replacing any duds, make sure you go for the right ones.
For instance, you cannot replace a LED with halogen bulbs without properly electrical rewiring. You should avoid upgrading to aftermarkets that don’t match your blinker’s operating design or capacity.
This is a no-brainer. If your vehicle’s blinkers receive lower-than-normal voltage, they won’t work effectively. How about thinking of your body system working with a low blood or water level?
The car must receive sufficient voltage that it can transmit to indicator lights to make them blink normally.
How Does Turn Signal Work?
Our starting point should be to understand the working dynamics of the turn signal. The good news is that the turn signal of most vehicles, -regardless of model or make –operates the same way.
Once you ignite the engine and it starts running, some current flows from the circuit through the different lights, including the turn signal.
The signal circuit receives power from the battery and sends it through the signal fuse to the turn signal relay.
When you move the signal control up, down, or forward, the control circuit activates the right or left signal light.
The power circulation continues through a second load circuit and gets to the bulb. This then activates the bulb based on the signal direction you have triggered.
However, rather than activating a solid and stationary ‘on’ state for the light, the power gets to a flasher to cause the flashing in the signal bulb.
The temperature-controlled, heat-resistant flasher is designed essentially to turn at some intervals, depending on the electrical configurations of your car.
The flashing component is built with a small band of metal through which the current flows.
When this happens, the metal heats and cools through the straightening and bending procedure to make the circuit complete and cause the light to flash.
How To Fix Fast Turn Signal Blinking
You’ve asked the right question: how do I fix turn signal fast blinking now that you’ve identified the problem?
Here is how, but try to figure out what the cause is before taking any step. Guide yourself with the apt axiom attributed to Charles Kettering that ‘a problem well stated is half solved.
Well, if you make any mistake in the process, you won’t spend more than $5 at most to replace a turn signal bulb. And if you love LED, anywhere between $15 and $20 will buy a pair.
That’s not something out of your budget reach, isn’t it? But let’s look at the steps to fix a fast-blinking indicator light.
Check The Ground Connection
I’ve told you earlier that a problem with the ground connection can trigger lights to become inoperable. You’ve got to check the ground and the amount of power that gets into the lights.
Inspect the corresponding plugs to know power delivery. Simply remove the bulb at the faulty signal light section and test with a test light to see if there’s an issue with the prongs of the receptacle.
Connect the camp end of the test light to the ground. You should feel hotness at one end of the bulb receptacle. When this happens, the test light should come on.
Replace Bad Bulb(s)
There’s a chance that you found one or two of the bulbs inoperable during a routine inspection around the vehicle. You should replace it and install a new one. Make sure you test the replacement bulb to verify that it comes on and flashes as it should.
Install Inline Resistors
Start by finding out if there is any resistance-related issue. This usually occurs when you change from the LED turn signal bulb to the standard halogen bulb.
What you should do is buy and install specialty inline resistors to restore the flasher module operations.
The issue can also happen if the change is the other way round. The resistance in the circuit activates the proper operation of your vehicle’s flasher module.
Any issue with the resistance resulting from low-resistance turn signal halogen bulbs or low-resistance LED bulbs can trigger a rapid flash of light.
Change Flasher Relay
This is a tricky one, trust me. But you should carry out a general auto light inspection before replacing the flasher relay.
Also, fix all wiring–related issues. If these don’t resolve the problem, then we can turn to the flasher relay. Ideally, a turn signal replacement halogen bulb should correct any issue.
But if this doesn’t happen, the flasher relay can be a culprit. Replacing the relay is the best option. Make sure you go for the high-quality aftermarket flasher relay.
How Can I Turn Off A Fast Blinker?
Turning off a fast-clicking blinker depends on the kind of bulb installed on your car.
If you’re using a LED bulb as a turn signal and you discovered that it’s blinking fast, you’ll need a load resistor to successfully turn it off.
Once you notice that the turn signal is clicking too fast, the thing to do immediately is to install a relay or load resistor. The resistor works such that it can imitate the workings of the standard halogen bulb.
A load resistor or relay doesn’t increase the energy consumption level of the LED bulb as many people would want us to believe. On the contrary, the difference in energy consumption after installing a load resistor is so negligible.
The truth is that a professional and certified technician will do a good job here. It requires some special skills and technicalities. The resistor has to be installed in parallel. In other words, connect in the form of positive and negative terminals.
LED Or Standard Halogen Bulb: Which Is Better For Turn Signal?
Whether LED or halogen, there is are benefits for you and your car in the end. Typically, LED bulbs are popular for their brightness.
Their bright nature makes it easier for other commuters to quickly spot your car whenever you want to turn. Another great benefit of LED signal turn is the beauty it adds to your car.
When driving in the night or faced with a foggy cloud, LED will perform better than a halogen bulb. Halogen bulb, on the other side, is compatible with all cars and doesn’t select what car to work for and not work for.
However, their location on the car makes LED bulbs susceptible to quicker damage than standard light bulbs.
They are usually installed on the lower side of the car. Again, LED bulbs are prone to hyper-flashing which is the fast blinking of the LED turn signal.
It occurs if the design of your car is not compatible with the features and use specifications of the LED bulb.
The turn signal is perfect for reinforcing safe driving. When it comes on, it alerts other road users. But when it starts to blink fast, it portends danger.
I am sure the next time your car LED or halogen bulb blinks fast, you won’t panic or become anxious. Now, you know that it’s a common problem.
More than this, you can quickly fix a fast-blinking turn signal issue without having to hire a technician. A simple DIY procedure will get you off the hook.
From now on, I’ll expect you to always be on hand to answer the question ‘why is my signal blinking fast?’
I’ve also touched on the legality of a fast-blinking turn signal, how turn signal works, and what fast blinkers mean. I hope this article helps.
My name is James. Call me your ‘Born Auto Neighbor.’ I am an auto savvy with a burning enthusiasm to help vehicle owners, auto technicians, DIYer auto caregivers, and drivers like you have a seamless time with your vehicles. Do you own or work on a Dodge Convertible, a Chevy Crossover, a Ford SUV, a Toyota Hatchback, a Honda Coupe, a Datsun MPV, or a Mercedes Sedan? I have enough automotive content to help your auto service and repair on the go.
I have been around for more than a decade, examining and analyzing car issues while proffering practical fixes that will help you spend less time and money. I take auto care, service, and maintenance very seriously and my tested experience in the industry means that you can always get the best auto tips and tricks.
Don’t fall for the auto myths; take the facts as I give them out freely.
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