how to check a flasher relay with a multimeter

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Have you ever been driving along and suddenly your hazard lights start going off on their own? If so, then you may have a problem with your flasher relay. But how can you tell if it’s the relay or something else?

One way to check is to use a multimeter. Just follow these simple steps and you’ll be able to diagnose the problem in no time.


Flasher relays, or turn signal relays, are one of the most important safety features on a vehicle. One of the most common problems with flasher relays is that they can burn out, causing the turn signals to stop working. But before you replace the relay, you need to check it to make sure it’s really bad. Fortunately, this is a relatively easy process that only requires a few tools.

What is a Flasher Relay?

A flasher relay is an electromagnetic device that is used to flash the turn signals or hazard lights on a vehicle. The relay controls the blinking of the lights, and when it fails, the affected lights will either stop blinking or remain on constantly. A multimeter can be used to test a flasher relay for proper functioning.

How to Check a Flasher Relay with a Multimeter

Flasher relays are used to control the blinking of turn signals and brake lights on vehicles. The multimeter is an electronic testing device that can be used to test the flasher relay for proper operation. This guide will show you how to check a flasher relay with a multimeter.

First, locate the flasher relay on the vehicle. It is usually located in the fuse box under the dash. Once you have found the flasher relay, remove it from the fuse box and test it with the multimeter.

Set the multimeter to the “ohms” setting. Touch one of the probes to one of the terminals on the relay. Touch the other probe to each of the other terminals on the relay, one at a time. The multimeter should read zero ohms when both probes are touching identical terminals on the relay. If not, then the relay is bad and needs to be replaced.

Why Would a Flasher Relay Go Bad?

Flasher relays, like any electrical component, can go bad over time due to age, corrosion or damage. If the flasher relay is not working, the turn signals and hazard lights will not work. Although the flasher relay is not a complex component, it is integral to the turn signal system, so a defective flasher relay should be replaced as soon as possible.

How to Replace a Flasher Relay

If your turn signal lamps are blinking too fast or not at all, it may be time to replace your flasher relay. A multimeter can be used to check whether the relay is working properly. Here’s how:

1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.

2. Locate the flasher relay. It is usually mounted on the dashboard or near the fuse box.

3. Remove the relay by gently pulling it out of its socket.

4. Set your multimeter to the ohms setting and touch one lead to each of the large terminals on the bottom of the relay. You should see a reading of zero ohms if the relay is working properly. If not, replace the relay with a new one.

5. Reconnect the negative battery cable and test your turn signals to make sure they are working properly.

Tips and Tricks

Before we get started, let’s go over some tips and tricks that will help you get the most out of your multimeter.

1. Firstly, make sure that you have the right type of multimeter for the job. If you’re not sure, check the manual or ask a professional.
2. Secondly, always double check your connections before taking a reading. This will help to prevent accidental damage to your equipment.
3. Finally, when taking readings, always use the highest setting on the multimeter that you can. This will help to ensure accuracy.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get started!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a flasher relay?

A flasher relay is an electrical circuit that controls the flashing of a vehicle’s turn signals. When the turn signal switch is turned on, the relay receives power from the turn signal fuse and activates the turn signal bulbs. The relay usually has four terminals: two for the turn signal bulbs, one for the power supply, and one for ground.

Why do I need to check my flasher relay?

It is important to check your flasher relay because if it is not working properly, your turn signals will not work properly. If your turn signals do not work, other drivers will not be able to tell when you are turning, which could lead to an accident.

How do I check my flasher relay with a multimeter?

To check your flasher relay with a multimeter, first set your multimeter to the “ohm” setting. Then, disconnect the power supply from the relay by removing the fuse or disconnecting the battery. Next, touch one lead of the multimeter to each of the terminals on the relay. The meter should read zero ohms when you touch both leads to the same terminal. If it does not, then there is a problem with that terminal and you will need to replace the relay.


If the flasher relay is working properly, the multimeter will show continuity when the switch is turned on. If there is no continuity, the flasher relay may be faulty and should be replaced.


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