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faulty car blinker relay

Discussion in 'Troubleshooting and Repair' started by foTONICS, Aug 16, 2012.

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  1. foTONICS


    Sep 30, 2011
    So the relay to my rear right blinker is acting funny. sometimes the lightbulb gets shaken loose (the housing is broken) and instead of the steady blinking that we are all familiar with, ~1-2Hz, I get something somewhere two-three times as fast. if i go back to the trunk and fiddle with it it will start working correctly again.

    I can't see any broken wires and the bulb isn't loose. I thought maybe a wire could be broken underneath the insulation that I can't see. I'm pretty sure when the bulb is shaken loose it's screwing with the relay somewhere b/c my front right blinker reacts just like the rear blinker.

    so just to clarify things a bit.
    1. if the bulb gets shaken around too much my blinking rate increases by three times
    2. the little indicator on my dash and my front right blinker work during this malfunction but the rear right blinker does not.
    3. the housing of the rear right blinker looks like it has been very hot at one point, almost looks like it's been melted a little
    4. once i manage to get the rear right blinker to turn on again the malfunction of the whole system is gone and everything works correctly

    im guessing that the decreased load of the rear bulb is affecting the relay some how. would a short maybe cause an increase in current which could affect the switching rate of the relay? could this be a grounding issue? the housing his plastic
  2. CocaCola


    Apr 7, 2012
    This is normal, it's a 'blown' bulb indicator built into many modern blinkers... When they detect a blown bulb (less load) they go into a fast blink to notify you of the fault... It's also the reason when you upgrade to LEDs you need to force the load for the system to work properly again by grounding out the circuit thorough a resistor to increase the load...

    A short should not cause this...
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2012
  3. duke37


    Jan 9, 2011
    It could be a faulty connection to the bulb or a faulty ground.
    If the housing is broken, then the connections are likely to be corroded and so faulty. A bit of prodding and poking should be able to find the problem.
  4. shrtrnd


    Jan 15, 2010
    Most of the time I've seen happen to me, it's the socket.
    The plastics they're using nowadays are pretty poor.
    Jeep socket plastic would often get soft from heat of the bulb (parking light use warms
    the bulb), and plastic that the metal contacts were in would flex, causing bulb to go out.
    I fixed that problem by soldering a lump onto the metal contacts to make them rise-up
    a little closer to the bulb electrical contacts. When the bulb heats, and the plastic the
    socket metal contacts are in flexes, the bulb contacts still stay in contact with the
    socket electrical contacts. Just an idea to consider.
  5. markm6164


    Jan 22, 2012
    Totally agree with CocaCola this is 100% normal. When the buld blows the rest of the bulbs fash fast to indicator to the driver that one of the bulbs require attention. e.i. a blown bulb or bad connection etc. Just repair your faulty bulb holder or replace it.
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