Turn signals not flashing, intermittent problem

08Malibu

G-Body Guru
Feb 9, 2014
841
93
North Jersey
The turn signals on my 81 Malibu don’t flash when I first start the car, every so often. I’m thinking flasher, since all the bulbs work, and they start flashing after a bit. Opinions?
 

ELCAM

Greasemonkey
Jun 19, 2021
166
43
My guess is the alternator is not charging yet.
Do you have a volt gauge? If so what are the readings?

Sometimes my alternator takes its time to start charging.

Possible fixes.

Use a electronic flasher.

Change to a newer style alternator they are more efficient and have a higher output at a lower RPM.
 

ck80

Comic Book Super Hero
Feb 18, 2014
2,753
113
The turn signals on my 81 Malibu don’t flash when I first start the car, every so often. I’m thinking flasher, since all the bulbs work, and they start flashing after a bit. Opinions?
When they don't work right do any of the lights work? Do any of the gauge idiot cluster light light up when they don't work?

Could be a flasher, could be an intermittent bad ground. The fact that it's every so often throws a wrench into things.

Any external/environmental factors in common when they don't work? IE a recent heavy rain,
 

08Malibu

G-Body Guru
Thread starter
Feb 9, 2014
841
93
North Jersey
When they don't work right do any of the lights work? Do any of the gauge idiot cluster light light up when they don't work?

Could be a flasher, could be an intermittent bad ground. The fact that it's every so often throws a wrench into things.

Any external/environmental factors in common when they don't work? IE a recent heavy rain,
No rhyme or reason as to when they don’t work. They illuminate, just don’t flash. My lights work. I have leds in the dash, but I don’t see how it would be intermittent because of that. I know that all the bulbs add up to the proper resistance to make them work.
 

ck80

Comic Book Super Hero
Feb 18, 2014
2,753
113
No rhyme or reason as to when they don’t work. They illuminate, just don’t flash. My lights work. I have leds in the dash, but I don’t see how it would be intermittent because of that. I know that all the bulbs add up to the proper resistance to make them work.
Well, if you're of a lazy mindset it's about $4 for a replacement flasher from Napa, at least for one of my cars. I bought spares on a rock auto closeout even cheaper at one point.

So if your time means more to you than a cost of a beer it's a cheap swap, worst case you have a spare.

Next most likely culprit aside from a ground issue could be related to the stalk on the column, but, the fact it tells things to light just not blink makes me think that part is probably OK.

I've had bulbs that were dual filament based on what function that they served, idea being one filament served as the marker lamp and the second put out the blinker flash - think of nighttime driving, it's lit up but then flashes stronger when signaled right? Well, I've had one of the two filaments go out and lead to a blinker issue but the lamp still lit. Replaced the bulb and went back to normal.

Not sure if that helps at all.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

08Malibu

G-Body Guru
Thread starter
Feb 9, 2014
841
93
North Jersey
Well, if you're of a lazy mindset it's about $4 for a replacement flasher from Napa, at least for one of my cars. I bought spares on a rock auto closeout even cheaper at one point.

So if your time means more to you than a cost of a beer it's a cheap swap, worst case you have a spare.

Next most likely culprit aside from a ground issue could be related to the stalk on the column, but, the fact it tells things to light just not blink makes me think that part is probably OK.

I've had bulbs that were dual filament based on what function that they served, idea being one filament served as the marker lamp and the second put out the blinker flash - think of nighttime driving, it's lit up but then flashes stronger when signaled right? Well, I've had one of the two filaments go out and lead to a blinker issue but the lamp still lit. Replaced the bulb and went back to normal.

Not sure if that helps at all.
The filament issue is a possibility. I did have that happen on my truck, only they sped up.
I’m just spitballing here. I haven’t even looked into the problem at all. As cheap as the part is, I hate throwing parts at a problem. Thanks
 

Cuse99

Greasemonkey
Dec 21, 2020
219
43
I had this problem and it was a bad ground wire on the bulb socket. The design sucks. I was able to diagnose this by pulling the socket out, with the bulb still in, and switching the turn signals on. I started to put pressure on the ground wire and the blinking lights were on. As soon as i let go of the socket, the blinking stopped.
It could also be a bad bulb. In previous posts there was some information on how to tell which bulbs were suspect.
 
G-Body Performance Upgrades

GBodyForum is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Amazon, the Amazon logo, AmazonSupply, and the AmazonSupply logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.

Please support GBodyForum Sponsors

Classic Truck ConsolesDixie Restoration DepotMike's MontesP-S-TSouthside Machine PerformanceUMI Performance

ContactAdmin@GBodyForum.comfor info on becoming a sponsor