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Turn signals/emergency flashers--possible time-saving tip


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Had to pull off the Interstate to handle a complicated phone call, so I turned on my emergency flashers after pulling all the way off onto the shoulder.  The flashers blinked very rapidly, as if a bulb was out.   When I finished my phone call I got out and looked at all four lamps.  The fronts were kinda weak, and the rears were almost invisible they were so dim.

 

Then I tried the turn signals--and they were fine.  Normal flashing rate, nice, bright bulbs fore and aft.  

 

Since both turn signals and emergency flashers use the same relay, that was puzzling.  Then I remembered that while they use the same flasher relay--and the current for the turn signals flow through the same switch, they're on different fuses, since the turn signals work only with the ignition on, while the flashers must work regardless of the ignition switch position.  This is accomplished by two sets of contacts inside the emergency flasher switch but that's another story.

 

Once home, I checked the relevant fuse (8 on 12 fuse roundies; 4 on 6 fuse roundies; 2 on squarelights) and it was too hot to touch.  I wiggled it a little and the emergency flashers settled down to their normal flashing speed and normal lamp brightness.  

 

So...as has been foot-stomped many times before--the first thing to check when there's an electrical glitch is the fuse box.  They may look good and clean, but they probably aren't.

 

mike

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Yes the legendary German Tuneup, roll the fuses.

 

Actually had my turn signals & hazard rely fail completely. So I replaced it with my spare with the same result, nothing. When I had them bench tested, they were both bad!

The local BMW dealer had one signal flasher relay in the warehouse. This relay is used on several BMWs not just '02s.

$182 later, everything works again.

 

Had my turn signals quit on the 1988 M5 suddenly, rollin the fuses, pushing in relays & saying scheissen! Then everything worked as it should. Cussing it made all the difference!

 

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