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Old 09-15-2005, 07:35 PM
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What Causes Turn Signals to Blink Rapidly?

Recently noticed that the turn signals seem to blink more rapidly than they used to and don't make an audible click. Both front and rear turn signals do blink. This is on a street rod that has been in and out of various shops the past few months so I don't know when the blink rate changed.

But, when the emergency flashers are activated, all four lights flash at what I would consider a normal rate and make an audible click.

Is this fast blink rate an indicator of some problem?

John

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Old 09-15-2005, 07:47 PM
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In most cases the 4 ways use a different flasher than the signals.. Your signal flasher is probably going for a crap. Get a heavy duty flasher, they usually click slower, and louder.
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Old 09-15-2005, 07:47 PM
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The flasher is kinda like a circuit breaker. If a bigger load is put on it, it will break the circuit quiker, and most of the time, it's a wire problem. The bulbs act as a resister, and make the flasher heat up to break the circuit, it cools, closes, and the light is on, heats up again, and breaks. If it blinks fast say on the left side, but not the right, recheck bulbs, and sockets on that side, along with grounds. If it blinks fast on both sides, try a different flasher for the normal signals. The 4 ways, use a different flasher. And by what you said, I would simply try a new flasher for the normal signal lights. They also go bad, and will flash fast.
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Old 09-15-2005, 08:36 PM
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If one of your bulbs is out, this will happen.

Alan
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Old 09-15-2005, 11:45 PM
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bulbs

Doc here,

What everybody said is sound advise..

Also, In addition, if you get stumped....check the lamps/holders for corrosion build up .. a real problem in those and they add more Resistance to the circuit..causing the flasher to weird out on ya..

Also you may have some ungrounded body parts..not knowing what kind of street rod this is, I would obtain and install a roll of wire braid , (cheap in the roll at rat shack) and ground the doors to the door posts the fenders to the frame, the radiator frame to the frame, the trunk (if you even have one) to the body, gas flap to the body..then run a 10 gauge to your main grounding point at the battery or where ever it is located from the firewall..use sheet metal screws, and/or tech screws with proper star washers and locks , and burnish all paint and dirt from those areas.

Check to be sure one of the shops didn't change a bulb out for you finding a bad one, and stuck the wrong one in there.

Doc
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Old 09-15-2005, 11:56 PM
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Sometimes a light-duty flasher will flash too fast if it's used with a multi-bulb rear lighting system like an old Pontiac, or with a trailer. Too many bulbs = too much current running through the flasher, which makes it flash too fast. The cure is a heavy-duty flasher.
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Old 09-16-2005, 08:57 AM
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Doc,

I have noticed your post on proper grounding and I am far from that.

The car had a frame off restoration so frame and body have new paint. Wiring was done by the shop, not me, so I have to try and follow the wiring visually.

My battery is in the trunk. The heavy ground cable is grounded to the frame about half toward the front of the car and doesn't look like the paint was ground off of the frame at the connect point. There are no other wires running from this ground point.

The block is gounded to the frame via a medium gauge wire (probably 8 gauge). I don't see any other obvious body to frame to block grounding wires. There is a webbed ground wire on the back of the block, passenger side, hanging loose apparently because it wasn't long enough to reach the frame.

Electric fans are grounded to the radiator support bracket which is of course bolted to the frame. Headlights appear to be grounded to this core support also.

Tail lights appear to be grounded to body frame at rear of car.

Not too good, huh?

John
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Old 09-16-2005, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horvath
If one of your bulbs is out, this will happen.

Alan
54 Chevy Pickup
One bulb out should slow it down, not speed it up. Having one filament drawing current makes the flasher slower to heat up and thus slows down the time it takes to go open. Adding a bulb to the circuit would cause more current draw and the flasher heats up and opens faster.

So... You have not added tailights have you? Also, the hazards are on a different flasher so this might be the reason they are OK. Have you tried a different flasher? I did not remember you saying that. Flashers do go bad and will act wierd in both directions.

Rich
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Old 09-16-2005, 09:55 AM
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Hey, Rich

The last time I had one bulb burn out, my blinkers blinked exactly twice a fast; not slower! I replaced the bulb and they blinked at normal speed again.

Alan
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Old 09-16-2005, 10:13 AM
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All four turn signals flash so the bulbs are okay.

I will try a new flasher. By the way there are only four bulbs in the circuit, no side markers, if that makes a difference.

John
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Old 09-16-2005, 12:17 PM
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ok, so what would make them stay on and force you to manually blink?
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Old 09-16-2005, 01:49 PM
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If they stay on and you have to manually blink that means there is not enough current draw to heat up the strip in the flasher to make them blink. Bad wiring, connections or bulbs out.

horvath, I am not doubting you but I dont know how that can be.

Here is what happens. You have a bi-metal strip in the flasher. When you turn on your signals the power goes through the flasher (strip) and because of the current flowing it heats up. As soon as it heats up it opens a contact and the circuit breaks which makes the lights go out. As soon as it cools the contact closes and the lights come back on. The process is started all over again.

The more current going through the flasher (more bulbs connected) the faster the strip heats up. So short on times.

Want to add we are talking about traditional flashers here and nothing electronic which is uneffected by current draw.

Rich

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Old 09-16-2005, 01:52 PM
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Thanks for the clarification, Rich. I guess, in some cases, if a bulb is out it can send more current to the flasher ... in other cases, less current.

Alan
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Old 09-16-2005, 02:00 PM
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Well not if the bulb is removed, but I have seen filaments melt and drop down and short internally and draw more current. You cant rule that out !

Rich
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Old 09-16-2005, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
One bulb out should slow it down, not speed it up.
Any time I had a buld go bad the turn signal would flash faster than normal.

rrmccabe....Check all four of your signal lamps along with your signalstat. If one bulb is odd man out it can change your flashing rate also. Usually you have 1156 for tails, and 1157's for flashers which are the most common but there are other ones also. So I would check for that if all four are flashing.
Here is an interesting article on automotive flashers: CHECK IT
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