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Stupid LED indicators...

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by music, Apr 10, 2010.

  1. Hokay, So, as I turned on my bike as I left from work today, the indicator was flashing from when I parked. No problem, Ill just cancel it, I thought. Except that once I did that, my indicators stopped working all together. No indicators, front or back, or idiot lights flashing at all when I try and use the indicators.

    Further information: My bike is a Kawasaki Z750, 1st gen, and it has aftermarket LED indicators on the back, which i suspect are somehow the problem, or at least related to the problem...

    Also, as the result of an adventure that I will most likely post up for others amusement later on, my bike got very muddy last weekend. Perhaps this has worked its way into a fuse, or indicator, or something... I would check under the seat, but it seems the terminator was on duty when they serviced my bike, as I cant undo the bolt...

    So, are there any other options apart from somehow getting the seat off? where do you think the problem would be?
  2. sell the bike :)
  3. Fuse? Headlights/parkers working OK? Do you know what's on the same fuse as the indicators to cross check?
  4. the indicator relay thingies... whatever they are.. (whats the difference between a relay and a fuse?) is under the seat on the side of the bike that got very very muddy, so I think if I can figure out how to have a look at those, that might fix it. It's only the indicators that are affected, everything else is fine. It's strange, no indicators front or back, left or right are working, and nor are the instrument lights for them. Does this sound like a fuse? Or maybe those relays that might have dirt in them or something? I know very little about this sort of thing, but will give it a go if I feel capable. Right now I'm (struggling) to interpret a electrical diagram for the turn signals.

    EDIT: oh, and it appears that the indicators are on a separate system to the tail light, and license plate light, both of which are fine.
  5. A fuse is like an electrical safety valve. If you draw too much current you could burn out your wiring and/or electrical devices. By putting a fuse in the line if you draw too much current the fuse blows which effectively breaks the circuit protecting the wiring and devices. This is why you need the right grade fuse. If you have one rated to low it will blow all the time and be a pain in the butt. If you have one too high it may not blow at all and the expensive bits blow instead.

    A relay is effectively a remote switch. For example when you hit the starter button you draw a huge amount of current. To prevent the wire burning out you need a bloody thick wire that can take it. Without a relay you would need to run a long piece of thick huge wire from your battery to your starter switch, back to your starter and then to earth. Expensive, ugly and heavy. Because a relay only draws a small current you can run a a thin wire from the battery to your starter switch and back to the relay on or near your starter and then you only need to run a short piece of heavy duty wire from the battery through the relay to the starter and on to earth. Lighter neater and cheaper.

    When you hit the starter button you are actually completing a circuit that makes the relay work. Its the relay working which completes the circuit that makes the starter turn over.

    With your indicators, start with the obvious. First thing to do is check your fuse. If they are OK. Then you will need to start working out how far along the wiring your have power. Where it starts and where it stops may give a clue to what's gone wrong. For example do you have power going into the indicator switch? Do you have power on the other side of the swithch. Ditto for the flasher unit.

    Not sure but don't LED indicators require a led compatible flasher unit?
  6. Thanks GreyBM :) I don't think it needs a special flasher unit, the indicators were hooked straight up to the existing wiring as far as I'm aware, and they just ended up flashing a little faster than normal... although I suppose this could be a symptom of a existing electrical fault that eventually caused a failure. Could it?

    I have anther theory too: The switch for the indicators is rooted. Possible I suppose.

    Nevertheless, I have to get a new rear tyre tomorrow:)D I love new tyres), so I will ask for some help from the mechanics in diagnosing the problem, and undoing the bracket that gets the seat off so I can have a look at the fuses...

    In order of likelihood, I think it is one of the following:

    -a fuse is gone

    -the indicator wiring has somehow come undone under the pillion seat (the bloke who did the indicators did some very untidy work)

    -Mud has messed up the indicator switch... although why it worked for several days after the incident is beyond me.

    -relays are stuffed.
  7. All of the above are possible. It's a matter of eliminating them one at a time until you find the culprit.

    If it is the switch, it may simply be dirty rather than broken. Try spraying with some contact cleaner. But if you still don't know if a fuse is gone then check that first. It's going to be the simplest thing to check.
  8. Sweeto Burrito, thanks for your help.
    I feel like a douche riding without indicating.
  9. hand signals bro :)
  10. been doing that, right hand overtakes are hard lol.
  11. Fixed, It was a fuse.
    occam's razor :)