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Dash Turn Signal Light Blinks Once

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Guest Anonymous

This is the standard response of a turn signal flasher (relay) when one of the exterior bulbs is out. The dash indicator will blink only once or a few times, and the outside turn signal lights will blink at twice the normal rate. This is to warn you that your turn signals are not working correctly. This applies to virtually all cars.

This usually happens when one of the bulbs is burned out, but it can be caused by any condition which reduces the current through the flasher: wrong bulbs, open ground connection at the socket, bad connection between bulb and socket, bad connection between fuse and fuse clips, or bad connection anywhere else in the turn signal wiring. Only rarely is this due to a bad flasher or turn signal switch.

On an older car such as a 2002, which has had many "repairs" by previous owners and mechanics, the problem is usually a wrong bulb. This can be true even if all four turn signal lamps illuminate. The easiest and quickest way to fix this is to replace all four bulbs with the correct new ones. Do NOT be cheap and re-use old mystery bulbs.

The front turn signal bulbs offer additional failure possibilities, as they are usually two filaments within one bulb. A dim filament serves for the parking light and a bright one is for the turn signal. This kind of bulb is designed to fit into the socket only one way, but if it is forced into the socket 180 degrees off, or if the wires to the socket are swapped, the turn signal circuit will get the dim filament and misbehave. This will also happen if the socket's ground is disconnected. As with an incorrect bulb, the lamp will illuminate but draw too little current to satisfy the flasher. Here is a quick way to check these combination turn/park lamps: turn on the parking lights

(pull headlight switch out half way); observe that both parking lights are on dim; leave the parking lights on and turn on the hazard flasher; each front light should now alternate between dim and bright.

When separating the front signal lamps from the body of a 2002 for troubleshooting, add a temporary ground wire from the socket frame to the car body.

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Guest Anonymous

signal woes.. spot on advise check those bulbs and use the correct silver base ones as opposed to those yankee copper color based ones. The turn signal light on the dash is funky but once you clean things up it works as it should, flashing regularly. My E30 just acted up, the right turn signal flashing xtra fast even though the bulb was not burnt out. It ended up the bulb was jamned in wrong causing a poor contact and I broke the glass off trying to extract, so had to buy a new housing.

m3spotter.JPG

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Guest Anonymous

also, (as you know) the front turn signal bulb is grounded by the screws that attach the housing to the fender. Those grounds can of course be suspect, particularly if the car was repainted or the screws are corroded.

... Seems a high amp alternator helps the current get thru, too!

Cheers,

Ray

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Guest Anonymous

This is good stuff and so well explained, it

becomes a joy to read. Good job

Michael

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Guest Anonymous

work right, pop the cover off the flasher unit with it still connected to its wiring (unclip from the body, it's grounded)and with the turn signal on, observe the two sets of relay points. The set that works intermittently is the culprit. Bend the moveable arm until it operates reliably, even with the headlights and heater blower on, and you've fixed the problem without having to buy a new flasher (mucho dinero).

Mike

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