Flasher Can Repair
While working as an Automotive lecturer for TAFESA here in Australia, one of my students brought in a flasher can, which is used as a timed relay to activate the indicators on a car. He had replaced it at work as it had an intermittent problem and decided to bring it to class to see if we could diagnose the fault. Here is what we discovered.
Before getting down to checking the electronics on the board, we checked the relay side of the component. The coil had an acceptable amount of resistance. The contact points were not pitted and had good continuity when closed.
I then had a bit of a visual inspection, but couldn’t really find any obvious fault. It was nearing the end of the day, so I took the flasher can home for a closer inspection. When placed under my LED magnifying lens, the fault became obvious. Further testing proved my diagnosis.
A cold solder joint had developed at the output terminal of the switch points. This had created an intermittent fault that became apparent when the component heated up.
I returned to class the next day and showed the students what I had discovered. I had one of the students resolder the joint and then test the unit. We were able to connect a series of lights to load the system and then let it run for 10 minutes or so to confirm the success of the repair. This became a good teaching lesson for the class and the apprentice was able to take the flasher can back to work and show his employer.
This fault created a good opportunity to create a lesson developed on fault, cause and repair.
This article was prepared for you by Mark Rabone from Australia.
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