Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Hazard / Turn Signal Flasher

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The hazard and turn signal lights found on the vast majority of road going vehicles are controlled by a flasher, which is commonly referred to as a relay. The flasher is an electrical component that serves as the switch that allows the lights to flash on and off. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and designs, which will vary according to the specific needs of the vehicle.

When current is applied to the relay the circuit inside cuts on and off, which results in the clicking sound of the relay, as well as the flashing of the turn signal or hazard lights. While they are a very simple component in both design and operation, flashers play an important role in the overall driveability of a vehicle, and can compromise safety when they fail. Usually a bad or failing flasher relay will produce a few symptoms that can alert the driver of a potential issue.

1. Turn signals or hazards do not function

The most common symptom of a bad or failing turn signal / hazard flasher is hazards or turn signal lights that do not function. If the flasher breaks or has any internal issues it can cause the lights to malfunction, or not respond at all when the turn signal lever or hazard light button are pressed. While this will not necessarily cause engine performance issues, it will leave the vehicle without functioning hazard lights, and more importantly turn signals, which can be a compromise in safety.

2. Turn signals or hazards stay on

Another symptom of a faulty flasher relay is hazards or turn signal lights that stay on. If the flasher has any sort of internal short it may cause the hazards or signals to stay on when they are activated, instead of flashing. While they may still light up, the lights will not be able to serve their intended purpose of signaling a turn or emergency situation. These same symptoms can also be caused by electrical issues, so having the vehicle properly diagnosed is highly recommended.

2. Additional lights are not working

In some instances you may also find that certain other lights, such as headlights, running lights, and even brake lights may malfunction along with your hazards. Certain vehicles will wire other lights through or with the flasher, and as a result will also have an issue if the flasher fails.

While issues with the turn signal hazard relay will not normally affect the driveability of the vehicle, they can cause problems that can compromise vehicle visibility and safety. While flasher relays are not complicated components, they can sometimes be difficult to diagnose due to the highly complicated nature of electrical systems. If you suspect that your vehicle’s turn signal hazard flasher may be having an issue, have the vehicle diagnosed by a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic, to determine if the relay should be replaced.


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YourMechanic Turn signal light is not working Inspection Service

Average Rating

5/5

Number of Reviews

70

Rating Summary
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Peter

41 years of experience
1231 reviews
Peter
41 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.

Julio

12 years of experience
17 reviews
Julio
12 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

12 years of experience
15 reviews
Matthew
12 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.

Abdul

9 years of experience
404 reviews
Abdul
9 years of experience
Nissan Altima - Turn signal light is not working - Tucker, Georgia
Abdul always does a great job. Arrived on time (few mins before, actually), very professional and very knowledgeable. Highly recommend!

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