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ContinuousWave: Small Boat Electrical
Blinker lights work in unison, like hazard light
|Author||Topic: Blinker lights work in unison, like hazard light|
posted 08-30-2008 05:30 PM ET (US)
I have a two year old boat & trailer (20 foot, runabout). Last weekend, the blinker on the tail lights began mis-behaving. When I turn a right blinker (or left one), now both lights blinks. The brake light, and hazard still work fine. the connection from my SUV to the trailer is a 4 wire-connector.
I saw one of the lights has a rusted bolt. I replaced it but the symptoms persist...
has anyone seen such behavior before? any thoughts on how to troubleshoot this issue?
posted 08-30-2008 09:15 PM ET (US)
Usually wierd problems like this are ground problems, but this
smells like a problem on the vehicle side, or a short between
the left and right brake/turn lights. You can get a tester
at most auto parts stores that you plug into the vehicle.
Or just hook up a buddy's boat to your truck. That will
isolate on which side of the hitch the problem lies.
MMM, are the brake/tail lights dimmer than usual? When you
posted 08-31-2008 11:14 PM ET (US)
If you have bulbs and not LED's try spinning the bulbs. Mine used to do that when I had taken a couple bumps too hard and the bulbs got loose.
posted 09-02-2008 11:39 AM ET (US)
Or get one of these:
http:/ / www. basspro. com/ webapp/ wcs/ stores/ servlet/ Product_10151_ -1_10001_58362?cm_mmc=froogle-_-200-4-2-_--1-_-38-525-006-00& hvarAID=fr oogle& mr:trackingCode=8D75F186-4E78-DD11-98CA-001422107090& mr:referral ID=NA
posted 09-02-2008 11:35 PM ET (US)
I agree with Chuck; it sounds like a bad ground to me.
Make sure you have a good chassis ground on the tow vehicle, through the plug connection to the trailer.
posted 09-04-2008 03:39 AM ET (US)
Thank You Chuck and all those who took the time to provide me with your valuable feedback.
Here is the status:
1- I hooked up car to another trailer. The trailer exhibited similar behavior. Like chuck said, the issue is on the car side.
2- None of auto parts stores I visited carried the tester. So took it to a trailer dealer and they plug the tester and confirmed that the issue on car side: either a loose wire or more likely need to replace the light controller.
So, my next step is to get under the car to determine which of the two possibilities is causing the issue...
posted 09-04-2008 09:58 AM ET (US)
It's not going to be a loose wire. It's going to be a short
between the left and right brake/stop light signals, either
between the wires themselves (trace them) or inside the
controller. If there's nothing obvious wrong with the
wiring, I'd replace the controller. For most vehicles you
can get a plug-in unit, no need to splice in the new one.
What vehicle? Some have a couple of unique bear traps.
posted 09-05-2008 12:18 AM ET (US)
Is the trailer connection on the car new?
Did you make any changes or repairs immediately prior to this problem occuring?
Has it worked normally in the past?
It's most likely that there is a short between the left and right turn signal, but it could also be that it is wired incorrectly. Perhaps someone switched up the green and yellow wires with the brown.
Does your vehicle have orange turn signals, or red? If it has orange signals, it will need a special adapter to be able to output to a 4-wire trailer plug.
posted 09-05-2008 04:34 AM ET (US)
I have not had a chance to take a look under the car yet. I'll look for a short between the two turn signals. This is my task for this Saturday.
As for my car, it's a Toyota Landcruiser '97. It's been well maintained, and I've been using it to pull boat for past couple of months with no problems. I did not do any new wiring before I noticed the failure. The car is still using the original towing kit that came with it. I've used it many times thru the years.
The trailer dealer provided me with a 'tail light converter' that takes a 5 wire system to a 4 wire system.
Again, thank you all for your insights.
posted 09-05-2008 09:10 AM ET (US)
Check the convertor. A failed diode in the convertor could cause your symptom.
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