How a Car Turn Signal Works

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A requirement for all automakers is to equip each vehicle with proper, standard lighting. Every vehicle is equipped with several lighting systems including:

  • Headlights
  • Taillights and brake lights
  • Corner marker lights
  • Hazard or warning lights
  • Turn signal lights

Turn signal lights are important for the safe operation of your vehicle. They indicate your intentions to change lanes, turn a corner, or pull over to the roadside. While not everyone uses their turn signals as regularly as they should, their usage dramatically reduces the number of accidents and driver errors.

How Car Turn Signals Work

Turn signals require electrical power in order to illuminate the turn signal light bulbs. The circuit is protected by a fuse in the power junction block in case of an electrical fault. When the turn signal lever is activated in either direction, a circuit is completed that allows power to flow to the front and rear turn signal lights on the selected side.

When the signal lights are turned on, they are not illuminated constantly. They flash in a rhythmic pattern to draw the attention of other motorists and indicate your intention. This is achieved by routing the power to the turn signals through a flasher or module that sends pulses of power to the lights instead of a steady stream.

When you complete your turn and turn the steering wheel back to center, a cam on the steering column catches on the turn signal lever and cancels the turn signal operation. If the cancel cam on your steering column is broken or you only take a slight turn, the signals may not cancel on their own and you will need to turn the signals off by moving the signal lever on your own. Make sure to get your turn signal fixed as soon as possible.


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YourMechanic Turn signal light is not working Inspection Service

Average Rating

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Number of Reviews

71

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Peter

42 years of experience
1285 reviews
Peter
42 years of experience
Honda Civic - Turn signal light is not working - Phoenix, Arizona
Peter is an awesome mechanic and is definitely the first person we would turn to for our cars maintenance.
Buick Regal - Turn signal light is not working - Phoenix, Arizona
Very helpful and knowledgeable, he has worked on 2 family members cars and has done an excellent job.

Reginald

36 years of experience
32 reviews
Reginald
36 years of experience
BMW 325i - Turn signal light is not working - Los Angeles, California
Reginald was incredibly helpful in helping me to diagnose several issues in my car, as well as repair issues to help me pass a break and light test. He even went so far as to come to the brake and light testing location so that he could ensure that the car passed and be there if anything else needed to be fixed on the spot. Absolutely would recommend him to anyone who is looking for an honest and knowledgeable mechanic!

Julio

13 years of experience
19 reviews
Julio
13 years of experience
Ford Focus - Turn signal light is not working - Chandler, Arizona
Julio did a great job with diagnosing my rear signals and brake lights problem. He was very personable and easy to work with and explained things thoroughly and gave me options. He also advised me of other maintenance needs and prioritized them without trying to push me to fix things that weren't urgent problems. He ruled out the fuses or switches being issue and correctly identified the problem as coming from the bulbs (I didn't realize the bulbs could be multi-function so had not checked those). I highly recommend Julio Pereyda.

Matthew

13 years of experience
15 reviews
Matthew
13 years of experience
Pontiac Firebird - Turn signal light is not working - Euclid, Ohio
Matt kept me apprised of his est time of arrival. Upon arriving he immediately got to work diagnosing the issue with my repair. He pointed out to me in great detail the problems of my repair, he gave me a quote and we've scheduled the actual repair for next Saturday that coincides best with my schedule. He recommended a inspection before submitting the repair. So I am very pleased with the service Matt has provided so far. I will submit an updated review next Saturday after my repair. This is my 2nd time using the "Your Mechanic" service and just like the 1st time, this service is a "Godsend" not having to spend an entire day off sitting in a repair shop and getting an accurate assessment of my repair and an affordable price. I have already referred "Your Mechanic" to my friends and family after my 1st repair with them last year. But I will keep singing their praises for as long as they keep up the level of service I've experienced so far. Thank you once again.

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