Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: How do you work the turn signals on my car?

asked by on

How do you work the turn signals 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?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
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 you work the turn signals 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: How do I use the trip meters?

The trip meters show you how many miles you have driven over a certain period. This can help you determine how many miles you drive a month, or how much distance you have covered during your current trip. Your car...

Q: How do I use the driver side door keypad to disable the autounlock function?

Your car’s autounlock function is very convenient. It’s designed to unlock the doors in the car when you shift from drive into park. Of course, you might not want the doors to automatically unlock, particularly if you have children in...

Q: What functions are on the turn signal and headlight stalk?

Several key functions are built into this control, including the following: Turn Signals: Flip the stalk up or down to activate your left or right turn signal. Headlights: Turn the control to activate parking and taillights, and headlights. ...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...