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Flickering Car Lights

car dashboard with all warning lights illuminated Wouldn’t it be great if our cars could talk to us? Like KITT from Knight Rider, you and your car could carry on a conversation. While that may happen someday in the future, today’s cars are capable of communicating with drivers in other ways. Your vehicle communicates to you through the dashboard as the computer observes internal operations. Your dashboard can communicate things such as low wiper fluid and if your tires are low on pressure, to major engine troubles through the check engine light. When your lights begin to flicker and flash, from the turn signals to the dashboard, or your dome light, any number of things can be going on with your vehicle. Here’s what your car might say if you could ask it why your lights are flickering.

Why Does My Turn Signal Blink Fast?

Most of the time a fast blinking turn signal or blinker indicates a bulb is out. You see, each turn signal has a flashing unit that briefly pauses the circuit which produces the blinking action for front and rear turn signal bulbs. Turn signals operate at a specific resistance, as bulbs fail the resistance changes its pace by flashing and clicking faster. If my turn signal flashes but the bulbs are in good shape, this may indicate that the flasher relay has failed, it’s not getting enough voltage, or there’s a problem with the ground connection.

Why Do the Interior Lights Go Dim?

Dim interior lights such as my dome light, often dim due to electrical issues relating to the battery, alternator, or voltage regulator. To find out which one is giving me trouble, have the battery’s voltage tested. A low reading will tell you the alternator is likely responsible. Keep in mind, a poor alternator can weaken the battery, so make sure you have the alternator issue addressed right away. If a technician determines that the alternator is functioning correctly, my battery may be dying. A technician will need to test my battery by measuring the voltage to see if that’s the cause. Don’t hesitate to replace it if it is beginning to show signs of losing its charge to avoid any inconvenient circumstances. Not my alternator or battery? Check my ground wires. Loose ground wires can also produce dimming lights.

Why Are the Dashboard Lights Flickering?

The alternator is a crucial unit that supplies electricity for electrical components (such as electric locks, the radio, etc.) and helps keep the battery charged while we move down the road. While the alternator doesn’t need much attention, it’s important that you recognize when this component begins to deteriorate. The alternator is struggling when you notice flickering dashboard lights, dimming headlights, battery unable to maintain a charge, unusual sounds coming from the battery or belts, battery light illuminates on the dashboard, or I’m having trouble starting or continue to stall out. A qualified technician can confirm whether the alternator is responsible for the headlights and dash lights flickering in the car when idling. While the alternator is likely the cause, a loose belt, bad wiring, a blown fuse, or the starter can also cause flickering.

The starter helps create the spark to get the engine to start. If the starter has failed, it may make my dashboard light pulse or flicker as well as cause slow turnovers, no crank, grinding, or freewheeling. Freewheeling means the starter is unable to engage the flywheel producing a loud, whining sound. Many drivers confuse my starter problem with battery or alternator issues. A professional technician should perform a thorough inspection on me to be sure.

Take Me to Sun Auto Service

Because the alternator and battery’s main responsibility is to help me start and keep me powered while moving, if they’re having trouble supplying enough electricity, inconsequential parts may receive little to no power than others to keep moving. While the dashboard lights may be flickering, you may also notice difficulty with the radio and the accessory port, the one used to charge your mobile device, may not work.

While I can’t talk like you, I have subtle ways of telling you when I need assistance. The best way to take care of me is to take me to Sun Auto Service. Their qualified Technicians are certified, meaning they are knowledgeable in their field and are able to understand what I need. From an oil change that makes my engine stay cool and functioning optimally, to testing my battery, or replacing my transmission when I’m in a real fix, Sun Auto Service is the place I rely on for quality auto care. Sun Auto Service has many locations, so finding one near us is easy! Plus, as the Dealership Alternative, you know I’m in good hands, receiving the same quality service the dealer provides, at a competitive price. I’ll be happy with the care they provide, and you’ll be happy with the 2 year/24-month Nationwide warranty and A+ business rating through the Better Business Bureau. Schedule our next appointment online, today!