Why Do My Hazard Lights Keep Flashing? [Detailed Guide]

Many car manufacturers have long since incorporated electric indicator lights in the manufacture of their new models. Among these are the hazard lights. Hazard lights are basically indicators used on special occasions. 

If your hazard lights keep flashing, the problem is likely to stem from one of the electrical components. Flashers are designed to be controlled by electrical relays which work to turn them on and off. If these relays happen to malfunction internally, the hazard lights are likely to be affected in that they will keep flashing. 

This article focuses on hazard lights, highlighting possible causes of malfunction and when it is the right time and place to turn them on. 

Why Do My Hazard Lights Keep Flashing?

why do my hazard lights keep flashing

Typically, the flashers are electrically controlled by relays that work to switch power to them. These electrical relays may malfunction internally and this may cause your hazard lights to act up. These lights are wired through the flasher relays and turn signals.

These can be found on the fuse panel of the engine bay. To diagnose the problem, you can use a multimeter to check whether they are properly working. If they are okay, the issue may shift to a wiring problem. It could be an electrical short that is causing the lights to flash. 

Another possibility that could be responsible for the flashing hazard lights is an issue with the hazard switches or turn signals. If the flasher has internal faults or breaks, it can cause the malfunction of the lights. It would be best to take the car to a professional technician for diagnosis and repair.  

What Is the Function of the Flashing Hazard Lights?

Hazard lights are technically warning lights used in the event that your car becomes a hazard. They should be turned on when your car is stationary to alert other drivers that it is causing a temporary obstruction.

This includes when you are changing a tire, your car has broken down, or in case of an accident. You can also turn them on if there is an obstruction ahead that other drivers need to be aware of. The Department of Transportation specifies the instances when you should and should not use the hazard lights. 

When Should You Turn On Your Car Flashing Lights?

There are several instances that prompt you to use the hazard lights. Remember that some state laws have specific rules that permit or deny when drivers can operate their hazard lights. It is important that you become conversant with the laws of the land you are plying through.

This means that you cannot just turn on your flashing lights without an authorized reason. Below are some of the situations that warrant turning on the hazard lights. 

When You Get Pulled Over by a Police Officer

The moment you notice the red and blue lights flashing from your rear-view mirror, this is a good time to turn on the hazard lights as you pull over. Doing so is a sign of acknowledgment that you will pull over at the earliest opportunity. 

A Car Breakdown

In case you are experiencing any car trouble, the first thing to do is to pull over as soon as possible at the safest spot. To alter the drivers, turn on your hazard lights. 

When Changing a Tire

If you have been forced to change your tire on the side of the road, hazard lights help other drivers see your car, especially in low visibility conditions such as at night.  

A Car Accident

In case of a crash, it is important to turn on the hazard lights to alert other drivers of the accident.  

When Should You Not Use Hazard Lights?

As earlier mentioned, some state laws restrict the use of hazard lights. In particular, there are some situations that do not call for turning them on (albeit many drivers think that it is okay to do so). For instance, when driving in bad weather.

The bad weather should be no excuse to turn them on. Other cases include slowing down to exit the highway or when you are parking illegally. Many drivers do the latter and flip on the hazard lights as an indication that they will be back shortly. This is unlawful and is against road safety laws. 

What Are Hazard Warning Lights on a Car?

Hazard lights are different from headlights, and they are not for decoration but rather a safety feature. Hazard lights can be described as a driver-controlled device that when enabled, causes all the required signal lamps to flash simultaneously.

This is to warn other approaching drivers of a potential vehicular hazard. In other words, these lights flash on and off periodically to alert other drivers of any dangerous situation on the road. 

How Do I Stop My Hazard Lights From Flashing?

Thankfully, it is possible to stop the hazard lights from flashing if they are malfunction. You are required to locate and press the reset button under the dash. For those with remotes, press the unlock button. Your owner’s manual will also come in handy to show you where the reset button is located. 

Will Hazard Lights Drain My Battery?

When the hazard lights stay on for a very long time, they are likely to drain your battery. This is the same case for all electrical devices such as radios, door pins, and headlights when left on for a long.

Moreover, they tend to be even more problematic if left on when the vehicle’s motor is off. Hazard warning lights are capable of completely draining your battery if they keep flashing. 

Final Words

Hazard lights are instrumental in any automobile. They serve the important safety purpose that warning and alerting other drivers of a potential hazard. However, you should use these lights properly and only in situations that call for their use. Improper use of these hazard lights can land you in trouble.

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