Why Are Both My Blinkers Going Off?

If you’ve ever wondered why both of your vehicle’s blinkers are going off at the same time, it can be a puzzling and potentially dangerous situation. Understanding the possible reasons behind this issue can help you take the necessary steps to resolve it. In this article, we’ll explore the various factors that can cause both blinkers to activate simultaneously, providing you with valuable information to address the problem effectively.

1. Faulty Relay Switch

In many vehicles, the blinkers rely on a relay switch to control their operation. If this switch becomes faulty or damaged, it can result in both blinkers going off simultaneously. The relay switch acts as a bridge between the electrical system and the blinker lights, allowing them to turn on and off in a synchronized manner. When the switch malfunctions, the signals from the blinker lever or control unit may not be properly directed, causing both blinkers to activate at once.

To determine if a faulty relay switch is causing the simultaneous blinking, you can perform a simple test. Locate the relay switch in your vehicle’s fuse box, consult your owner’s manual if needed. Once located, try swapping it with a relay switch that controls a different function, such as the windshield wipers. If after swapping the switches, the issue no longer occurs, you can conclude that the original relay switch was indeed faulty and needs replacement.

2. Wiring Issues

Another common reason for both blinkers going off simultaneously is a wiring problem within the vehicle’s electrical system. Over time, wires can become damaged or loose, leading to unexpected electrical issues. When the wiring for the blinkers is compromised, it can disrupt the normal signal flow and cause both blinkers to activate together.

To diagnose a wiring issue, it is recommended to seek professional assistance. An automotive electrician or technician can inspect the wiring for any damage, loose connections, or other problems. They may use tools such as a multimeter to test the continuity of the wires and identify the specific location of the fault. Once the issue is identified, the problematic wiring can be repaired or replaced as necessary to restore the proper functioning of the blinkers.

3. Faulty Blinker Control Unit

The blinker control unit, also known as the flasher relay or flasher unit, is responsible for controlling the timing and frequency of the blinkers. If this control unit develops a fault, it can cause both blinkers to activate simultaneously. Over time, the internal components of the control unit may wear out or fail, leading to improper blinker operation.

Replacing the blinker control unit is typically the best course of action when it is found to be at fault. Consult your vehicle’s service manual or a trusted mechanic to determine the exact location of the control unit in your specific model. Once located, the defective control unit can be replaced with a new one, restoring the proper functioning of the blinkers.

4. Malfunctioning Blinker Lever

The blinker lever, which is located on or near the steering column, allows the driver to activate the blinkers. If the lever becomes faulty or stuck, it can cause both blinkers to activate instead of the intended one. This issue can be more common in older vehicles or those that have been subjected to excessive wear and tear.

To address a malfunctioning blinker lever, you can first try to manually manipulate it by moving it up and down several times. This may help to dislodge any obstructions or debris that could be causing the lever to malfunction. If this doesn’t resolve the issue, it may be necessary to replace the blinker lever assembly entirely. You can consult your vehicle’s service manual or seek professional assistance to correctly replace the faulty lever.

5. Vehicle-Specific Known Issues

Finally, it’s worth noting that some vehicle models may have known issues related to both blinkers going off simultaneously. Manufacturer recalls or technical service bulletins (TSBs) sometimes highlight such problems and provide guidelines for addressing them. Checking with the vehicle manufacturer or a trusted mechanic can help you determine if your particular make and model are affected by any known issues.

It’s important to address the issue of both blinkers going off together promptly, as it can confuse other drivers and compromise your safety on the road. By understanding the possible causes, such as a faulty relay switch, wiring issues, a malfunctioning blinker control unit, a faulty blinker lever, or vehicle-specific known issues, you can take the appropriate actions to resolve the problem and ensure your blinkers function as intended.