Q: How Do the Turn Signals Work on My Car?

asked by on

How do the turn signals work on my car?

The turn signals are sets of lights that use a flasher or timer element to cycle the correct set of lights for both the front and rear of the car, to signal other drivers when you are turning or changing lanes. There is a main switch integrated into your steering column which allows you to select either the right or left turn signal and has a built in or additional switch for the four way safety flashers.

When the switch is moved to the correct right or left position, the circuit is completed to allow a control, either the manual flasher or computer circuit, to make and break contact to that set of lights. The components of the circuit would include a fuse, switch, wiring, lights, and ground. This is known as a complete circuit.

Some vehicles have side marker lights which will also be activated or lights in the side-view mirrors. These lights are intended to inform other drivers of your intent to an upcoming turn or a change of lanes. When activated, they will be cancelled or shut off by a physical assembly in the steering column know as a cancel switch.

Vehicles today also come equipped with a monitor system that will chime in to inform the driver if they have forgotten to cancel the turn signal or if they’re riding for an excessive time with a signal on. Another feature that is common is the ability to slightly push the signal handle either to the right or left, and have it cycle three or so times to indicate a lane change as opposed to a full turn. The lights generally cycle faster when a bulb has burned out and some models may even have a waring monitor that will display when a light is out.

Proper signals improve road safety by allowing everyone to know your intended turns or lane moves, giving time to brake or leave proper space for safe travel.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. How Do the Turn Signals Work on My Car?

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: My shifter is locked in park as a safety feature because my turn signals won't work.

The system requires the brake lights to turn on to unlock the shifter. If you check the brake lights and the lights do not come on then check the brake light fuse to see if it is good. If the...

Q: No light dimmer radio

Hello. On your dashboard, there should be a three piece button that is located between the speedometer and the radio. One of the three buttons should have a plus and minus symbol on it. There should also be a picture...

Q: Hi, Could use a lot of help. I have a 2006 Audi A4, recently purchased. Just recently the PRNDS lights are flashing, had it tested

Hello, thank you for writing in. The vehicle is likely having an issue with the TCM, or transmission control module. The issues you are having are classic of a TCM failure, and the issues will get worse. Unfortunately, there are...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.