Officially called “direction-indicator lamps”, turn signals, also known as “blinkers”, “directionals”, or “indicators”, are blinking lamps found at all corners of a vehicle. Some vehicles also have direction-indicator lamps on both sides. In some modern vehicles, turn signals are also found on the side mirrors. Drivers activate turn signals to indicate an intent to turn or change lanes toward a particular side.
Turn signals blink on and off at a steady rate between 60 and 120 blinks per minute. When turn signals are activated, a green indicator light on the instrument cluster blinks on and off in sync with the turn signal, and a “tick-tock” sound can be heard. In the event of a turn signal bulb failing, the driver is alerted by a faster-than-usual flashing and tick-tock sound.
Turn signals are almost always activated by pushing down or pulling up a horizontal lever or stalk found on the steering column. To turn left, the driver pushes down on the lever; pulling the lever up indicates a right turn. Turn signals also double as hazard flashers, which indicate to other motorists that the vehicle is in some kind of hazardous situation and should be given the right-of-way. It also helps the car to be visible to other drivers while parked for an emergency stop.
Because all vehicles nowadays come with turn signals, there is really no need to replace them with aftermarket versions, except for when they are damaged. However, some owners prefer to have a certain “look” for their vehicles, hence the popularity of clear or red turn signals. You should check your state’s or country’s traffic laws if this conversion is allowed.
There are also aftermarket LED turn signal lights. They perform much better than standard bulbs since they use clusters of LEDs. If one, two, or even three LEDs fail, the turn signal will still function. Bulb failure is the most common cause of the malfunction, so it’s actually a good idea to upgrade your vehicle’s to LEDs. However, LED tun signals may be more expensive than standard parts, so you really have to think whether you’re going to replace them or not. It is actually a simple process that doesn’t even take five minutes. It’s something that you can do all by yourself.
There is no real schedule when to replace turn signal bulbs. You can use them until they blow out, or replace them after a year or two of use. When replacing turn signal bulbs, it’s always best to replace both sides at the same time and keep the remaining working bulb in your toolkit as a spare. This will help you avoid the inconvenience of having the old bulb blow out and you have to do the job all over. Also, use replacement bulbs that have the same wattage as the original one. A bulb with lower wattage can easily burn out, while one with higher wattage may cause your wiring to melt or even catch fire.
Popular Bulb Sizes: 1157, 7440, 7507, 3157.