The turn signal on your vehicle is mounted on the front and back of the vehicle, on both the left and right sides. Once your turn signal is activated, the left or right side lights flash to indicate which way you are turning. Some modern cars have turn signals on the driver’s and passenger’s side mirror as well.

How to Check Your Turn Signal

If you suspect one of your turn signals is bad, you can check it without any equipment. A bad turn signal is normally indicated by a quick flashing light when you put the blinker on. To check the signals, turn your vehicle on and put it in park. To test the right turn signal, push the blinker to upwards. With the vehicle still in park, get out of the car and see if the signal is blinking both in the front and in the back and on the right side. Next, get back into the car and push the blinker all the way down, indicating a left turn. Get out of the vehicle and check to see if the light is blinking both in the front and in the back on the left side. If one of the lights is not illuminated or is blinking rapidly, you may need to replace the bulb.

Potential Problems With Turn Signals

If the turn signals light up, but do not flash, it is time to replace the flasher. If there are no turn signals on either side, check the fuse as it may be defective. Another problem is both turn signals on one side not working. This could indicate bad bulbs or bad ground in both housings. While testing the turn signal, if one signal light does not illuminate, check for corrosion in the socket, replace the bulb, and check for poor ground at the socket. It is a good idea to have YourMechanic look at your vehicle in case the turn signal switch needs to be replaced.

Basic Turn Signal Laws

While driving, you are required to use your turn signal. If you fail to use your signal while changing lanes, turning, or making other maneuvers while driving, you may get pulled over and be cited by a police officer.

Turn signals let other motorists know your intentions while driving a vehicle. If one or a few of your bulbs are not working, consult a mechanic in case the problem is more complicated than just changing a bulb.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as 3 Essential Things to Know About Your Car’s Turn Signal and was authored by Valerie Johnston.


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