Since the late nineteen sixties, right and left hand turn signals have been required on motor vehicles in the US. Turn signals are an important safety feature on a vehicle as they signal to other people a driver’s intention to turn or change lanes.
A turn signal assembly is a housing with an amber colored lens behind which is a light bulb. When you turn on the signal, a relay causes the light to blink repeatedly until you have completed your turn or until you switch off the light manually.
On many modern vehicles, the turn signal light and lens is mounted inside of the headlight and tail light assemblies. But on some vehicles, especially older models, the turn signals were mounted in their own independent assemblies, often paired with running lights.
The most common problem with a turn signal assembly is a burned out bulb. When that occurs, you will notice that the turn signal indicator on the dashboard blinks at a faster rate than normal. This is because the voltage in the turn signal circuit has been modified by the bad bulb. In that case, the old bulb must be replaced.
The turn signal assembly might also need to be replaced in its entirety if it becomes broken. It is unlawful for the bulb to show through a broken turn signal lens.
To replace a turn signal assembly or bulb, a technician must open the hood or trunk, remove the fastener(s) holding the assembly in place, and carefully dislodge the assembly from the vehicle, taking care to avoid breaking any mounting tabs or clips. The level of difficulty for this operation varies from one vehicle to the next and from simple to quite complex. If the bulb alone needs replacement, the technician will remove the old bulb and insert a new one of the same type before reinstalling the assembly.
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