Arguably, one of the easiest ways to irritate other drivers on the road is to forget your turn signal. Rightfully so, as this can create safety hazards or simply inconvenience other drivers. Perhaps the most frustrating part about poor turn signaling is that it is not always the driver’s fault. Have you ever heard honking on the road despite careful driving? Or found that your turn signal is making unusual noises? Perhaps you find that drivers are frequently not letting you over when you signal a lane change? These are all signs that you may be due for a turn signal bulb replacement. All eight Chapel Hill Tire mechanic locations offer bulb replacement services. Here is a quick look at everything you need to know about your turn signal lights.
The Basics: Turn Signal Bulb Overview
Most turn signal lighting systems include four separate bulbs: front left, front right, rear left, and rear right turn signals. These are often placed within the headlight/taillight systems. Many newer vehicles also feature two additional turn signal lights: one placed on each of the side rearview mirrors. In North Carolina, your front turn signal lights must be white or amber in color, and your rear turn signal lights must be red or amber in color.
Front and Rear Turn Signal Bulb Replacement
For your safety on the road and a pass on your annual inspection, all of your turn signal bulbs must be bright and effective. Thankfully, the vehicle bulb replacement process is easy for professionals. A mechanic will often detach your headlight or taillight lens, carefully remove your old bulb, and install a new turn signal bulb. This is a quick and affordable repair that restores functioning to most turn signals.
If this does not repair your turn signals, there are a couple of different possible issues you may be experiencing. First, you may have an electrical or wiring problem. These issues are rare, but they can be dangerous. This makes professional diagnostics and service essential. More commonly, this may be an issue with foggy and oxidized lenses. The sun’s UV rays can discolor the acrylic on your headlights and taillights, which can make it difficult to see properly-working bulbs. Headlight restoration services may be needed to address these additional concerns.
Side Mirror Turn Signal Bulb Replacement
Side mirror turn signal lights are often powered by small LED bulbs, which use very little energy and have a long lifespan. They are much less likely to need replacement than traditional turn signal bulbs. The replacement processes vary based on the type of installation you have. For some vehicles, a small LED bulb replacement is a quick and easy fix. For other vehicles/systems, you may need to replace the entire turn signal attachment. Thankfully, rearview turn signals are an added convenience, meaning that they are unlikely to impact your vehicle safety or annual safety inspection.
How Do I Know If My Turn Signal Bulb is Dead?
The easiest way to avoid turn signal issues is to regularly inspect your bulbs. Luckily, burnt out turn signal bulbs are easy to detect. First, you simply need to park your car in a safe location. Next, turn on your emergency lights and circle your vehicle to ensure that all four of the main light bulbs are bright and working properly. Make note of any bulbs that seem like they may be dimming and have them replaced before they can become a safety hazard.
Additionally, many vehicles have a safeguard that will let you know when your bulb is dead or dimming. Newer vehicles may include a dashboard warning notification. For other vehicles, you may notice that your turn signal is beeping faster or louder than usual. These are all common signs that a bulb is dead or on its way out. However, some vehicles do not include any kind of lightbulb replacement indicator. You can check your owner’s manual for more insight on the turn signal bulb notifications your vehicle includes.
Dead Turn Signal Bulb Hazards
Whether you don’t know your bulb is burnt out or you simply haven’t had the time to get this replacement service done, a malfunctioning turn signal can create trouble on the road. First, it can limit your ability to communicate with other drivers. For example, your hazard lights will instead communicate like a turn signal when one of your bulbs is not working. This can also prevent you from effectively conveying your intentions to change lanes or turn.
Beyond the prominent safety hazards present, failure to indicate can earn you a ticket on the road. Even if you are properly engaging your turn signal, broken bulbs will prevent effective signaling. Additionally, a burnt-out turn signal bulb can earn you a failure on your annual vehicle safety inspection.
Chapel Hill Tire Local Turn Signal Bulb Replacements
When your turn signal light goes dark, the mechanics at Chapel Hill Tire are here for you. You can get your turn signal bulb replaced at any of our eight Triangle-area mechanic locations, including those in Raleigh, Durham, Carrboro, and Chapel Hill. Make an appointment with the experts at your nearest Chapel Hill Tire location for a turn signal bulb replacement today!