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Old 02-10-2011, 06:41 AM   #1
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Something I've never seen before

I was on the way home last night, and I went to use the turn signal. It turned on, but did not blink. I knew that when the bulb blows, usually it will blink really fast. However, I had never had to replace a bulb in this car, so I figured that I had a blown bulb.

I went to the parts store on the way home. I shut the car off, turned the key back to "run" and got out to check all the lights, so I would know which one(s) to replace. I turned on the hazards (the lights all turned on, but did not blink). They were all working. All the lights were fine.

I started the car and drove home. The turn signals worked for the trip home, and for the drive to work today.

Has anyone ever seen this before? The car is under warranty, but the dealer people around here are idiots. I figure I should have a diagnosis when I go in there.
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Old 02-10-2011, 08:49 AM   #2
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Re: Something I've never seen before

Blinker relays do occasionally go bad. I had one fail in my 740 once. Now that is a 22 year old car, so it was sort of to be expected. Mine had a similar work sometimes, not others symptom. Could also be loose/dirty contacts, so you need to find it either way.
The relays are pretty easy to find; turn it on (while it's working) and let your ears direct you to it. They are usually found in the fuse box and that clicking you hear is noisy.
You can buy the new relays at any auto parts store aftermarket in the electrical section.
Good luck.
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Old 02-10-2011, 10:25 AM   #3
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Re: Something I've never seen before

Depending on the flasher used, a bad bulb can be indicated by either a rapid flash, or no flash. It could be something as simple as a loose bulb that doesn't always make contact.
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Old 02-10-2011, 12:35 PM   #4
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Re: Something I've never seen before

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Originally Posted by Jay2TheRescue View Post
Depending on the flasher used, a bad bulb can be indicated by either a rapid flash, or no flash. It could be something as simple as a loose bulb that doesn't always make contact.
It's weird, because it was stuck ON, not off. All bulbs are working now... I think I'll end up taking it to the dealer, since it has the extended warranty. I was thinking relay, and the 1st poster made that suggestion.
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Old 02-10-2011, 01:11 PM   #5
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Re: Something I've never seen before

I've had cars whose flasher sticks ON when a bulb (or circuit supplying the bulb) fails.
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Old 02-10-2011, 04:01 PM   #6
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Re: Something I've never seen before

Yeah, That's what I was referring to, I've seen them light, but not flash when a bulb was bad.
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Old 02-10-2011, 04:52 PM   #7
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Re: Something I've never seen before

In most cars there are two different flashers one for the turn signals and another for the emergency flashers, if that's the case with your car that would indicate both flashers were bad at the same time which is highly unlikely. Only other two things that I can think of besides what's already been mentioned is if your emergency flasher and turn signals are both on the same multi function switch like they are on some cars, would be the multi function switch or some of it's wiring has a short or bad connection in it.

Edit: I just thought of something else that could be the problem. Sometimes when an ignition switch is on it's way out some of the accessories will not work correctly. This happened many years ago to my brother only it was his headlights that didn't work. Most if not all electrical components are in some way routed through the ignition switch.
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Old 02-11-2011, 05:16 AM   #8
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Re: Something I've never seen before

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Originally Posted by Ford Man View Post
Edit: I just thought of something else that could be the problem. Sometimes when an ignition switch is on it's way out some of the accessories will not work correctly. This happened many years ago to my brother only it was his headlights that didn't work. Most if not all electrical components are in some way routed through the ignition switch.
In those cases, the ignition switch will control accessories that turn off when the switch is turned off. The hazards continue to work even when the switch is off, even though the turn signals only work when the key is in "run."

I talked to a Honda tech yesterday, and he said the problem is likely a relay. He said it is really rare for this to happen in such a late-model, low-mileage Honda, but he has seen it happen in mid 90s-models before.

Since everything is flashing again, I'll keep an eye on it. If it stops again, I'll change out the relay. According to the dealer, it's viewed as a "bulb" or "throw-away part" and is not covered by the warranty. As far as I have seen, NOTHING is covered by the warranty. :-/
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Old 02-14-2011, 09:47 AM   #9
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Re: Something I've never seen before

1. pure thermo-mechanical flashers will flash slower with a bulb out. hybrid electronic/mechanical and full electronic flashers will blink lower.

2. turn signals and hazards use different flasher modules because there are a different number of bulbs involved (IE different current) and turn signals are legally required to indicate a bulb-out condition (and they almost all use current draw to do so) If they used the same flasher module, it would indicate a bulb-out condition (blink fast/slow) whenever you used the hazards. therefore, 2 blinkers. unfortunately almost all aftermarket flashers are the same type as hazard blinkers and don't indicate bulb-out.

the civic may have a blinker relay module or it may be computerized. since they say it's a throw-away part I imagine it's the relay. Of course either way, for it to be under warranty they'd have to see it fail
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