Clicking Sound Of A Car’s Indicator Or Turn Signal — Reason Explained

By Abhinand V

Anyone who has driven a car would have used the turn signals. Along with the green blinking arrows in the instrument console, the turn signals are also accompanied by a unique 'tick-tick' sound.

While some of the recent cars have replaced the clicking sound of indicators with a more modern beep, certain manufacturers are still opting the traditional 'tick-tick' sound. So, what exactly makes the clicking sound of turn signals? Here is the reason!

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    Clicking Sound Of A Car’s Indicator Or Turn Signal — Reason Explained

    The peculiar ‘tick-tick' sound of the indicators was created at the beginning of 1930s. It was in the late 1920s when manufacturers used electric bulb-based indicators. Before that, the very few who had a car, used hand signals while turning.

    Clicking Sound Of A Car’s Indicator Or Turn Signal — Reason Explained

    Joseph Bell is the man behind the flashing light mechanism in cars. He patented the same in the 1920s. In the late 1930s, the American company, Buick became the first car brand to sell cars fitted with a flashing turn signal.

    Clicking Sound Of A Car’s Indicator Or Turn Signal — Reason Explained

    Soon, in the 1950s, turn signals or indicators became mandatory for every car. Coming to the clicking of indicators, the sound is created by the electrical component known as ‘flasher'.

    Clicking Sound Of A Car’s Indicator Or Turn Signal — Reason Explained

    Earlier cars were employed with thermal flashers for blinking the turn signals. In the system, current is sent to the bulb filament in short intervals via a bimetallic spring. This involves the constant heating and cooling of the bimetallic spring due to the current flowing through it and the resistive action of a resistor. This initiates an intermittent contact between two metal points, and inadvertently a clicking sound.

    Clicking Sound Of A Car’s Indicator Or Turn Signal — Reason Explained

    Today's cars use electronic flashers. Such systems use a chip, programmed to perform the intermittent flow of current. Compared to thermal flashers, the blinking frequency is also higher and can be adjusted by changing the chip architecture.

    Thoughts On The Clicking Sound Of A Car's Indicator Or Turn Signal

    Clicking Sound Of A Car’s Indicator Or Turn Signal — Reason Explained

    The clicking sound of a car's indicator is one among the minute details of an automobile that just cannot be replaced. The peculiar ‘tick-tick' sound of a car's turn signal can be easily replaced by the manufacturer. However, a good majority of car makers decided to stick onto the traditional clicking sound. Nobody's complaining about that either.

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