i fixed it

Last Call: Relay that signal, please

The other day, I washed my Montero. As I was driving home the turn signals decided to stop working. All the other lights worked fine, including the hazard lights. But the turn signals wouldn’t signal my turns. Turns out (hehe) that it’s typically the relay that goes wrong here, so I popped into my local O’Reilly Auto parts and snagged a $7 relay. I snapped that in place, turned on the car, and voila – working turn signals! In fact, they now function at normal speed, which is nice.

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6 responses to “Last Call: Relay that signal, please”

  1. OA5599 Avatar

    Probably a flasher got replaced, not a relay.

    1. Jeff Glucker Avatar

      Is that not a relay?

      1. OA5599 Avatar

        No, but the parts guy knew what you needed when you asked for one.

        A flasher has two electrical terminals and the control and output use the same circuit. Originally, the insides contained a thermostatic strip that would normally complete a circuit until it got too warm, at which point the metal strip would bend, which opened the circuit. After a brief interval, the metal would cool off, returning to its original shape, and closing the circuit. That’s the clicking sound you hear in older cars when you use the signals or hazard lights. If you changed the load on the flasher (often by hooking up trailer lights), it would change the frequency of the flashing, and so a few other methods of construction have been developed more recently.

        A relay uses one circuit to control one or more other circuits and typically have at least 4 terminals. They make it easy to use, for example, an inexpensive, low-amperage switch to control a winch with a high current draw.


        1. Jeff Glucker Avatar

          I just picked it off the shelf. And it’s literally the one in the pic above, haha – and yes, my receipt says “FLASHER” so today I’ve learned a thing

  2. nanoop Avatar

    Yeah, that relayability issue won’t re-turn soon!

    1. OA5599 Avatar

      It would be Monterrible if that happened.

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