A turn signal bulb does exactly what its name suggests. It signals the drivers behind and ahead that you’re about to turn. A turn signal bulb can save your life. This Accident Analysis and Prevention Paper (Volume 128) blames many traffic crashes and rear-end collisions on turn signal neglect, especially among motorcyclists.
Only 40.13 percent of motorcyclists use turn signals. That number jumps to 68.27 percent among car drivers.
One paper from the U.S. Department of Transportation emphasized the importance of color. It found that cars with amber turn signals were less likely to encounter accidents. R.L. Moore, P. Odescalchi, and A. Crawford from the Road Research Laboratory Department of Scientific Industrial Research in the UK came to the same conclusion.
But an amber turn signal won’t help you if the bulb stops working. Many consumers buy their replacement parts from Autozone. But will they replace your turn signal bulb? This is what you should know:
1). What Is Autozone’s Purpose?
Autozone’s employees are salespeople. Their objective is to sell you as many parts as possible. Therefore, you can trust them to identify the best turn signal bulb for your vehicle. However, don’t forget their primary role. Autozone doesn’t hire them to fix or replace turn signals.
2). Why Does Autozone Offer Diagnostic Services?
Autozone employees provide diagnostic services. You can get a free OBD2 reading from the firm. However, Autozone’s people are not mechanical experts. The scans they perform generate a ticket with codes that drivers can present to a mechanic.
The mechanic will interpret the codes and perform the necessary repairs.
Don’t expect AutoZone to use the diagnostic process to identify and fix your vehicle’s problems.
This is where many consumers go wrong. They misunderstand the company’s services.
But why would Autozone diagnose your dead turn signal bulb if they won’t necessarily fix or replace it? Because they want to sell automobile parts. They won’t stop at performing a free OBD2 reading.
The company will offer you replacements for any faulty parts they identify. This makes Autozone somewhat risky. They may compel you to buy items you don’t need. As such, you should take their advice with a grain of salt.
Don’t take any drastic actions until you consult a mechanic you trust. Ultimately, a free OBD2 reading doesn’t mean you must buy Autozone’s products.
3). Can Autozone Replace A Turn Signal Bulb?
Surprisingly, yes, they can. This assumes that your bulb requires replacement. Again, take their advice with a grain of salt. Autozone’s services have limitations:
- Autozone will only replace your turn signal bulb if you buy it from them.
- The difficulty matters. Autozone is unlikely to perform a replacement if it means taking the car apart in some way. For instance, they may reject your request if the turn signal is part of an assembly they must remove to access the bulb.
- The service you get will vary from store to store. Some Autozones can replace a turn signal bulb because they have experienced staff on hand with the skill to perform the task. Others will deny your request because none of their employees are confident enough to replace a turn signal bulb. Therefore, you should call them beforehand to determine whether they can help you.
- Autozone stores have different policies. Some stores may reject your request even though they have the relevant experts on hand because their policy prohibits the employees from performing repairs and replacements.
How Do You Know That Your Car Needs A New Turn Signal Bulb?
If you want Autozone to replace your turn signal bulb, you’ve probably observed one or more of the following symptoms:
1). The Turn Signal Doesn’t Work
This is the first symptom most people notice. Park the car, switch the blinkers on, and get out. Check both the front and rear. Are the turn signals blinking? If they won’t illuminate, something is wrong. Don’t blame the turn signals until you troubleshoot the controls. For all you know, the switch that activates the turn signals has developed a fault.
2). Other Drivers Will Complain
The turn signal is not for you. It exists to aid other drivers by warning them that you’re about to turn. A turn signal is irrelevant if other people cannot see it. In some cases, other drivers will let you know by complaining whenever you make what looks like an abrupt turn.
In other cases, you will notice that the cars behind you never slow down, even when you switch the turn signal on. This can happen because they can’t see the turn signal. Try looking at the turn signal in a brightly lit environment. Sometimes, you need a new bulb because the old one is too dim to perform its task.
3). The Turn Signal Is Dim
Many drivers do not wait for their turn signals to die before replacing the bulb. They will take action once the bulb starts dimming noticeably.
4). The Turn Signal Won’t Switch Off
Most of the time, the turn signal switches off automatically when you complete a turn. A defect can compel the turn signal to persist. Mechanics rarely blame this issue on the bulb. However, they may replace the bulb all the same, just to be on the safe side.
5). The Other Lights Don’t Work
The turn signal lights double as the hazard lights. Therefore, hazard lights that don’t work point to a defect in the turn signal lights. Although, the fault may lie with the hazard light switch. You won’t know until you troubleshoot this system.
Your diagnosis should take the other lights into account, including the headlights and brake lights. If these lights are also dead, you have a bigger problem on your hands. Headlights and brake lights are expensive.
It is worth noting that turn signal bulbs have an average lifespan of 4,000 hours. Therefore, you can’t avoid replacing them.