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Resolved Blinkers speed up in the Cold

Posted by Mech Addict, Nov 24, 2020

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  1. Mech Addict

    Mech Addict Supporting Member

    409
    142
    Joined Jun 9, 2019
    Jackson, Wyoming
    So here where I live we're getting below zero morning temps. My GSX is running OK; starting and whatnot. A little belt squeal, but I can figure that out. The weirdest thing is that my turn signals go at double speed. On one cold day recently, they even stopped "blinking" and just did some kind of buzzing sound. I have seen posts about blinker speed related to wrong bulb wattage, and I have not verified that mine are all correct. Seems like a cheap/ easy fix to just replace them all. But has anyone experienced this temperature-related speed change? They go about double the "normal" rate. In the afternoons, when things get up to a toasty 29F, they're back to normal (which still seems a little quick, but I haven't had the car long enough to know what normal really might be). :idontknow:
     

    Street Build 669  6

    1990 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    awd · manual · 1G DSM
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  2. motomattx

    motomattx Proven Member

    3,230
    1,157
    Joined Dec 9, 2010
    wampum, Pennsylvania
    The conventional flashers work by heat internally, they have a heating element that heats a bi-metal strip and the light bulbs filament's run in series through that heating element, so on hot or cold days that heating element will heat up slower or faster and can cause faster or slower flashing, its either a flasher issue or a bulb issue, the right wattage bulbs need installed in the right sockets to start.
     

    Drag Race Build 4K  10  24

    1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
    fwd · manual · 2G DSM
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  3. Mech Addict

    Mech Addict Supporting Member

    409
    142
    Joined Jun 9, 2019
    Jackson, Wyoming
    So I’m familiar that style, from the days when I owned a 69 Dodge. However, according to most sources, including the FSM, the dsm cars don’t use that style; they have a solid-state unit with a capacitor circuit that controls it. When I did own my old Dodge, I also used it in the cold, and even though it used a bimetal heated strip, I never noticed a flasher speed difference with ambient temp. They sold plenty of dsm cars up in Canada, as well as other parts of the west and upper midwest, so I’m sure I can’t be the first one to operate in this weather.
    I do agree that the right bulbs are relevant, but not yet understanding why the wrong bulbs would cause this variable condition.
    I agree that swapping in proper bulbs is likely my next fix. Also need to troubleshoot my popup mechanism so I can have real headlights. Lucky for me that new cars lately have so many bizarre headlight styles, driving with my headlights on but down, and with fog lights on doesn’t draw attention from the Five-0:nono:
     

    Attached Files:

    Street Build 669  6

    1990 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    awd · manual · 1G DSM
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  4. Mech Addict

    Mech Addict Supporting Member

    409
    142
    Joined Jun 9, 2019
    Jackson, Wyoming
    Purchased all new bulbs yesterday and swapped them in, no luck. My garage was around 25F, and the rate was doule-time. Not to say I know for certain that the new bulbs are the exactly correct resistance, but they have the correct SAE codes; 1156 and 1157, as shown on the chart page 54-25 of FSM volume two. They behave this way regardless of left, right, or hazard switch activation. Now suspecting either the flasher unit internals, or some very weak short lowering the circuit resistance ( if that’s a thing ??).

    Anybody have experience with aftermarket units? They are around $10 from rockauto. Pins look same, but body a little different in the photo (which could be generic, of course). Amayama shows new oem available (at least until you try to order one) for $65. Performance Partout has used availability, but I try to avoid used electronics when feasible. I’m going to check on oem with the other supporting vendors, and see what they charge. If I knew this was the problem, the price wouldn’t be much consideration, but as a means of diagnosis....well....
    Still need to get my popups working, and the list goes on...
     

    Street Build 669  6

    1990 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    awd · manual · 1G DSM
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  5. Mech Addict

    Mech Addict Supporting Member

    409
    142
    Joined Jun 9, 2019
    Jackson, Wyoming
    Based on this troubleshooting in the FSM, pretty sure something is awry with the flasher. I may even try my two local parts stores to see what they have. Buying replacement bulbs was like a revelation, walk in with a box of old parts, walk out with new versions of them: what a concept. No waiting, shipment tracking, wondering what the parts will look like. More of that, please.
     

    Attached Files:

    Street Build 669  6

    1990 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    awd · manual · 1G DSM
    Loading...
  6. Mech Addict

    Mech Addict Supporting Member

    409
    142
    Joined Jun 9, 2019
    Jackson, Wyoming
    Just replaced the flasher unit; problem solved. It was around 8 degrees this morning, and the rate is now slower than any of the previous states, including summer operation. The new one had a different part number than the old, and carries a Denso label, but does have an MB part number. Got it from JNZ (thanks Josh, helpful as always). I think they had knock-offs on Rock Auto, but I try to stick with OEM when available and if cost is not prohibitive. The new unit looks physically a little different; same terminals, of course, but smaller body, and didn't have to the two plastic prongs that hold it in. It didn't feel like the new one is going anywhere, however, as long as I keep the "Dukes of Hazard" jumps to a reasonable level. Anyone ever having problems with the flasher speeding up in the cold (looking at you Canadian owners), might give this a try.
     

    Street Build 669  6

    1990 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    awd · manual · 1G DSM
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    19Eclipse90 likes this.
  7. TK's9d2TSi

    TK's9d2TSi Supporting Member

    4,290
    1,668
    Joined Sep 11, 2017
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Glad you figured it out. I was going to suggest this. Run it in all my cars and blinkers last forever. LED compatible too. You do have to flush it out every 100k as the electrolytes wear out

    3DF978F7-2BA5-4D93-A9F3-FCE5EC040C7E.png
     

    571  3

    2000 Jeep Cherokee Sport - Classic
    awd · automatic · Misc Vehicles

    621  4

    93 Civic 4 Door -sold-
    fwd · manual · Misc Vehicles

    Street Build 3K  6

    1992 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    12.2 @ 120 · 1G DSM
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    Mech Addict and Mello like this.
  8. Mech Addict

    Mech Addict Supporting Member

    409
    142
    Joined Jun 9, 2019
    Jackson, Wyoming
    Yes, best to keep a jug of it rolling around in the back so you always have some spare. It is sold in the same aisle as level bubble juice.:thumb:
     

    Street Build 669  6

    1990 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    awd · manual · 1G DSM
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    TK's9d2TSi likes this.

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