Were you cruising around with your Harley Davidson when someone told you that your blinkers aren't working? So, now you want to know the reason behind the problem? You’ve come to the right place, for we have researched this question and have the answer for you.
There are several possible reasons why the blinkers of your Harley Davidson are not working. A burnt-out bulb, a failed fuse, and a bad relay are common culprits. Bad wiring comes in at a close second place.
Let’s talk more about the possible causes of a failing blinker in the succeeding sections. Learn how to eliminate the usual causes and identify the real cause of the problem below.
Why Are Blinkers Important?
Blinkers or turn signals are very important safety components in any vehicle. The blinkers in various vehicles, from motorcycles to sedans, all the way to 18-wheeler trucks, use a universal language that conveys intent to any nearby driver.
Even pedestrians understand the meaning that blinkers or turning signal lights are communicating to them.
Its broad acceptance makes light signals in vehicles effective in maintaining safety. It helps maintain the safety of the vehicle, the driver, the passengers, surrounding pedestrians, and other vehicles.
Without signal lights, driving becomes more challenging and dangerous for motorists.
You should always use signal lights to alert nearby motorists of your intention to make a turn. This signals other motorists to expect you to slow down as you make a turn. Seeing your turn signal will prompt the vehicles behind you to match your speed to avoid a collision as you slow your Harley before making a turn.
Similarly, always use your signal lights when you’re changing lanes. The signal light will inform the vehicles in the lane that you’re turning and that you intend to move into their lane. This will allow them to adjust their speed to allow you to safely change lanes and avoid a collision with your Harley.
How To Replace A Burnt-Out Signal Bulb In Harley Davidson?
Your Harley Davidson will likely have four signal lights—two in front and two at the back. Not all Harley Davidson models have a brake light. These models use the same pair of signal lights at the back as the brake light.
Check all four lights for a response when you try to signal to turn. If only one of the signal lights is not working, then the problem is likely just a burnt-out bulb.
If the problem is with the back pair, you can double-check if the problematic bulb would respond to turning the switch or to pressing the brakes. A non-responsive bulb needs a replacement.
Here are the simple steps to replace the bulb of your Harley Davidson.
Removing The Old Bulb
- Use a Phillips screwdriver to remove the screws that keep the cover in place.
- If you have a modified bulb cover, you might need a flat screwdriver to push into the notch.
- Twist the flathead screwdriver to release the lock of the bulb cover.
- This type of removal is best done with a plastic trim removal tool to avoid scratching or cracking the bulb cover.
- Push the bulb in and rotate it counterclockwise.
- Partly pull the bulb out, but do not remove it completely yet.
- Rotate the bulb slightly clockwise until you can see the two small nubs on both sides of the bulb. One of the nubs is closer to the center of the metal connector, while the other nub is closer to the end. Take note of the location of both nubs so that you can position the replacement bulb the same way.
- Remove the old bulb and set it aside.
Installing The Replacement Bulb
- If you’re replacing a halogen bulb, wear gloves before handling the bulb. Fingerprints on halogen bulbs shorten their service life.
- Position the bulb in the same way as the old bulb with the nubs in the right location.
- Insert the replacement bulb and press it down.
- Turn the bulb clockwise to tighten it.
- Test the new bulb.
- If everything is working, reinstall the bulb cover.
- Reinstall the screws that hold the bulb cover in place.
How To Replace The Fuse On A Harley Davidson?
A fuse protects the circuitry of your Harley Davidson from getting too much current. Too much current in a circuit will cause the circuit to heat up and burn. This can be especially dangerous if it happens close to the fuel tank of your Harley Davidson.
To prevent this scenario, fuses are installed to protect the circuit against a surge in the electrical current. Once a circuit receives a current that is higher than what it is rated for, the fuse protecting that circuit will blow. A blown fuse will stop the flow of current to that circuit, protecting it.
If the fuse that protects the circuit of your blinkers is blown, then your blinkers cannot work because there is no electrical current passing through. This will be the likely culprit if the signal light is still not working after you replace the bulb.
Here are the simple steps to replace the fuse on your Harley Davidson.
Getting Access To The Fuse Block
- Remove the saddlebags of your Harley Davidson to access the left side cover.
- Pull the side cover from the top to remove it.
- You will see the main fuse at the center of the compartment after removing the cover. Make sure that you have access to pull out the main fuse later.
- Turn on your Harley and wait for the security light to turn off.
- Once the security light is off, you have around 15 seconds to remove the main fuse. This will stop the flow of electricity through your Harley while you work on the fuse block.
- Turn the motorcycle off.
- Disconnect the ground side of the battery.
Replacing The Blown Fuse
- Check the user’s manual of your Harley to identify which fuse protects the blinkers.
- Locate the fuse and pull it out.
- Check the fuse for damage.
- If your fuse shows signs of damage or if the filament is visibly broken, replace it with a fuse of the same ampere rating.
- If the fuse is not broken but shows signs of corrosion, use a stainless-steel brush to remove the corrosion on the fuse.
- Spray the socket with a contact cleaner to get rid of corrosion and dirt.
- Wait for the socket to dry.
- Install the replacement fuse.
- Reinstall the main fuse.
- Reinstall the side cover and saddlebags.
How To Identify A Bad Relay On Harley Davidson?
A common symptom of a bad blinker relay on your Harley Davidson is when your blinkers do not blink. If your blinkers stay on when you activate them for a turn, then it is likely a bad relay.
Fortunately, the relay is on the same circuit block where the fuses are located. This means you just have to follow the steps above for accessing the fuses to access the relay of your Harley.
Once you remove your relay, run a check on it if it needs a replacement. The following post has a section that enumerates the steps on how to test a relay using a multimeter—Ford Focus High Beams Won't Stay On—What To Do?
Replace your relay if you find it defective.
How To Check For Wiring Issues On Harley Davidson?
The way Harley Davidson designs its electrical systems is that everything can be taken off.
The purpose of this is that makes it easy to service the electrical part if it goes bad. It also makes it easy to replace if you need to. Moreover, a removable wiring harness also makes it easy to upgrade your Harley.
What this means is that every electrical wiring on your Harley Davidson has a connector to connect it to the circuit that makes it work. When you’ve done the initial steps above, but your blinker is still not working, then you might have to check the wirings that go to your blinkers.
Here are some steps that you can follow to diagnose the wiring of your blinkers.
Tracing The Blinker Wire
- Follow the wires coming from the blinker until you get to a connector.
- Check the length of the wire carefully and look for damage. If you find any damage, replace that wiring segment because damaged wiring can cause an uneven supply of electrical energy or an intermittent connection.
Checking The Connectors
- Disconnect the connectors.
- Inspect the connectors for corrosion or damage.
- Use an electrical contact cleaner to clean the connectors.
- If there is visible damage on the connectors, you have two options. You can order a replacement so you can replace the connectors yourself. Alternatively, you can bring your Harley to a service center to have them replace the connectors for you.
- Wait until the connectors are dry.
- Reconnect the connectors and test.
There are several reasons why the blinkers on your Harley Davidson are not working. Check each of the possible reasons until you get to the root cause of the problem.
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