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Your Side Indicators (Side Marker Lights) worn out? » Read more about common malfunctions • Repair • Replacement manual
When we say "blinker", we actually mean the turn signal, an important car component used for clearly indicating the intention of changing direction, motor lane or for initiating an overtaking manoeuvre. Not using the turn signal constitutes a high safety risk, putting yourself as well as other traffic participants in danger. The turn signal's function should therefore be guaranteed at all times.
Where are the blinkers situated?
- At least two blinkers at the front and at the rear of the car are mandatory. They can be installed as a combination with the day time running lights or in a separate housing.
- Many new cars are equipped with additional turn signals on the side, e.g. installed in the side mirrors or on the front fenders.
How does the turn signal function?
- Depending on the age of the car, the process of generating the blinking rhythm differs considerably, as it was repeatedly modernised.
- Bi-metallic strips and a flasher relay were used in vintage cars.
- The introduction of electronics enabled a switch to the electro-pneumatic blinker relay, at a later stage replaced by astable multivibrators and the electro-magnetic relay.
- Nowadays, micro-controllers with higher programming are used. The typical sound caused by the flasher relay is now a simulation.
What happens in case of a defect?
- Warning mechanisms for defective blinkers were installed in the car at an early stage.
- Typical is the warning sound going twice as fast as the usual blinker rhythm. The warning light in the dashboard will light up as well, making it virtually impossible for the driver to ignore the defect.
- A bulb burning out could cause damage to the connections.
- Despite their relative sturdiness the fittings might cease to supply the lamp with current due to age and material fatigue.
- Electric cables could develop a malfunction, the control unit might be failing or a defective fuse could be the cause of a defective turn signal.
To the garage of DIY replacement?
- Replacing a turn signal may be somewhat more complicated than the installation of a new lamp. Yet, with help of a screwdriver even a layman should be able to unscrew the housing and replace the spare part. There is not a lot you can do wrong.
The right lamp – LED for traditional armatures
Many cars are fitted ex works with the new bulb, the LED (Light Emitting Diode) offering plenty of advantages as it uses less power with the same light intensity and lasts considerably longer than the traditional version with its filament. Buying a blinker for your car which was originally equipped with LED provides you with the right bulbs right away. If you have traditional armatures, it might be different. In this case, you have the choice between a traditional bulb and the so-called LED retrofit lamps with the bulb fitting, though using LED technology. They can be used on condition that is ECE-approved for your car type. This allows you to equip old cars with new LEDs without having to perform extensive alterations.
What costs can be expected?
For blinkers, the margins for price as well as life span are wide. Lamps in a small housing can be obtained for a few bob. These will last several years. Modern turn signals, LED lights included can cost up to several hundreds of euros, generally lasting an entire car's life span. Specifications are determined by car manufacturers and therefore, spare part manufacturers have little influence on this. Replacing a modern blinker can be relatively expensive when buying directly from the manufacturer. There is no need for that. In our shop we regularly offer discounts and budget prices, considerably lower than the prices recommended by the manufacturer. With these bargains you can save a lot of money.