Turn Signal Flasher with LED Bulbs

nubuilder

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I've been looking at replacing all my exterior bulbs with LEDs.
However, I know the old thermal flashers won't work.
I need to find an electronic flasher.

I found the one in my truck I think (right by the park-brake peddle).
It is a 4-prong.
Here is what it says on it:
Combination Flasher
GM11516051
DOT
Potter & Brumfield
Made in U.S.A.


Can anyone tell me what all this does?
(I tried my 4-way flashers and they don't work; I had pulled it out)
I thought thermal ones had a large aluminum canister to them?
Does this mean I already have an electronic flasher?


Thanks!

(If I stuck this in the wrong place, please move it so its right)
 
B

Bernie

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There's two main types of flashers, standard duty and heavy duty. Sounds like yours is a heavy duty, which is good for you because that means it'll work with your LED's.

Both types are "thermal", in that a bi-metallic strip in the flasher heats up, bends, and opens/closes the contacts.

With a standard flasher that's done using the current flowing in the circuit to heat the strip.

With a heavy duty flasher it's done by using a resistor, so that the load is steady. That's important because with a standard flasher, if you hook up say a trailer connector, the extra current powering the trailer lights makes everything blink really quickly. Using a heavy duty solves that problem because it flashes at the same rate, no matter how many bulbs are connected to it.
 

nubuilder

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Thanks!

That makes perfect sense because when I plug in our boat trailer, the lights flash normally.

Appreciate the explanation!!
 
B

Bernie

Guest
you need a no-load electronic flasher with LED bulbs

Not always... A HD flasher supplies its own load (it'll flash with nothing connected usually), and many, many aftermarket LED replacement bulbs have a resistor built into them to provide a load similar to a regular bulb, so they'll work with any flasher. With those types you're not reducing the current they draw, it'll still be close to what you have with regular bulbs, but you gain the other advantages of LED's (faster bulb response, long life, etc.)
 

nubuilder

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Well, I'm just going to order the bulbs and see what happens. I'm getting side marker, parking lights, tail lights, reverse, and license plate.

Thanks guys!!
 
B

Bernie

Guest
Well, I'm just going to order the bulbs and see what happens. I'm getting side marker, parking lights, tail lights, reverse, and license plate.

Thanks guys!!

Something to bear in mind... Not all aftermarket LED replacements are DOT approved (usually marked as "for off-road use only" or "for show use only") and could result in a safety inspection failure, a fine (if you get stopped) or even more serious issues in case of an accident.

(Can't you just see the other guy's lawyer arguing that he never saw your lights because they weren't DOT approved, thus making the accident your fault?)

Unlikely, yes, but still possible. Just a FYI...
 

DarrenWS6

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