Dashboard lights are flashing and clicking

Dashboard lights are an essential component of your vehicle as they alert you of possible problems with your car, thus showing you when it needs attention.

The warning lights in the dashboard are helpful to any driver, so when the lights start to flash and click, you must take immediate action.

Causes why dashboard lights are flashing

The battery-related issues bring about the common reasons contributing to the flashing and clicking of the dashboard lights. However, other possible consequences can be brought about by a bad alternator, damaged ignition switch, worn out spark plugs, bad alternator, or faulty starter. 

The most common step that you can take is checking the battery or a possible problem with the alternator. The steady supply of current or power in your car is essential to maintain normal functioning.

Thus this can be a case of you recharging your battery or fixing a steady supply of current to all electrical components in the car.

Below are some common reasons behind the flashing and clicking of the dashboard lights.

Bad alternator

The alternator plays a crucial role in charging your car’s battery and other electrical components. Thus when it undercharges or overcharges, it may cause the dash lights to flicker. 

Faulty starter

A starter is responsible for starting the ignition process by engaging the engine’s flywheel when the key is turned, thus rotating the engine.

However, in the case of a faulty starter, the car does not start. The starter solenoid and motor are the first to be checked to ensure that they pass an electrical current and turn to start the engine. 

Battery issues

The dashboard’s flicking and clicking indicate a battery issue that a loose connection could cause. Another common problem with the battery is when it is low on charge.

However, the difference comes when the battery does not take a full charge despite the time you put it into charge. The battery could also be dead, thus drawing less voltage that cannot power the electrical components of your car. In this case, the better option can be to replace it. 

Worn-out spark plugs

The spark plug ignites the air and fuel mixture that gets corrupted and wears out over time. Thus, when they wear out, you commonly witness the flicking of lights on your dashboard

A damaged ignition switch

The ignition switch powers many electrical components that contribute to the turning on of your car when the engine is on. Ignition switches also wear out with time, which means that they can be ineffective after a while.

Thus, when the dashboard lights and flicking sound are displayed, it is vital to consider checking the ignition switch. 

Can bad spark plugs cause lights to flicker? 

Yes. Bad or worn-out spark plugs can cause the flicking and clicking of the dashboard lights. Bad spark plugs contribute to the engine’s misfiring due to the low voltage and are thus displayed in the dashboard.

However, it is essential to know the differences in the display of lights and work around the different functions and effects caused by the electrical system. 

Apart from the engine misfires, common problems to be expected include lack of acceleration, reduced gas mileage, and hard starts.

On these occasions, the dashboard flicking and clicking will be present, thus informing you of a possible bad or worn-out spark plug.

All these are signs that you need to change your spark plugs. The common signs can be detected early and help you change or service your car a bit earlier before severe effects are witnessed. 

How to fix flashing dashboard lights? 

Finding solutions for the flicking and clicking of dashboard lights depends on the different causes brought to attention. Various causes have alternative solutions; thus, you should have adequate knowledge to avoid making mistakes.

  • Issues with an alternator will mean that you will have to replace it. This is an expensive change as replacing the alternator can cost $300 to $900.
  • Faulty starters can also be replaced by a new one, especially with the starter solenoid, which upon replacement, electric charge can pass properly with ease when you turn the engine. A starter can cost you up to $100 to $350.
  • Battery issues could be easily fixed by recharging your battery if it is running low on charge or improving the connection if the battery was made loose. A replacement is, however, needed if the battery is dead or not drawing enough voltage. This costs around $50 to $250.
  • Once your car is diagnosed with a faulty spark plug, a total replacement is needed. However, you must ensure that you pick the correct spark plug for your vehicle by following the car’s manual. This can cost between $75 to $200.
  • A faulty ignition can be fixed by replacing one, which costs around $180 to $275.

Take away

The flicking and clicking of the dashboard lights are hard to ignore as they are meant to alert you of possible issues with your car.

Therefore, with the lights and observing your car’s behavior, it is easier to understand the issues in your vehicle. It would be best if you also were mindful of where you take your vehicle to be serviced or repaired to avoid further complications.

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