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Refreshing the '02 Flasher Relay

Refreshing the '02 Flasher Relay

Written by Mike Self Friday, 30 September 2005 Refreshing the '02 Flasher Relay

By Mike Self

Courtesy of BMW CCA


If your outside turn signals work, but the inside indicator doesn't (or is intermittent), the problem may be curable by a simple procedure to refresh the flasher relay itself. The problem is that the contacts that operate inside the relay itself rely on a small brass spring, which weakens with age. By carefully bending this spring back into shape, you can save the expense of a new flasher relay to fix the simple problem of the exterior lights flashing but the in-dash indicator not.


After making sure bulbs, contacts and grounds are clean fore and aft...

1. Unclip flasher unit from its home under the dash near the hood release.

2. Without disconnecting the unit from its wiring harness, carefully pry off plastic cover

3. Engage turn signals, and watch the two sets of relay points inside the flasher box. Big set--outside lights; little one, dash light. Watch as little point set only works one or two times, then quits.

4. Carefully bend the brass spring that tensions the points until they operate reliably. To get it just right, put a load on the electrical system by switching on headlights and heater blower. When interior light flashes all the time the signal is engaged, you've got it.

5. Snap cover back on, reinstall flasher box.

Happy flashing! (so to speak)

If you have any questions, feel free to post them to the Message Board!

COPYRIGHT 2002, BMW 2002 FAQ, Rob Shisler and Steve Kupper. All Rights Reserved.

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here are some pics... almost three years later.

I messed with mine today, since it had begun intermittently not working.

The problem with mine was dirt between contact surfaces.

The back of a piece of paper wiped them clean and problem-solved.

No bending needed.



EDIT:  turns out that was a temporary fix.  Still having trouble with it.

Edited by '76mintgrün'02
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How does the flasher relay "unclip" from under the dash?  Difficult to see what is holding to the inside fender wall.  We are talking about the relay just above the hood release right?  Thank You. 

UPDATE: John's solution just wiggle the relay while lifting straight up toward instrument cluster, a small 10mm tang will release it.

Edited by radkopff
Solution given.
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Just did mine. I fixed the replacement used Hella unit that was "mysteriously" included with the car. It's the above design, the stock BMW unit (or whoever made them originally) has different switches. I did need to clean up the front turn signal screws/grounds after bending the brass upright holding one end of the spring. 

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