Just picking the right LED bulb for your turn signal isn’t the end of the story. Unfortunately, LEDs act differently than your regular incandescent light bulbs. When you put an LED in place of your original bulbs you get a fast blink problem. They only way to fix this problem is to mimic the original bulb by tricking the computer into thinking you have a regular bulb there. The way we do that is with load equalizing resistors. You may be thinking, “Why can’t I just replace the flasher?” That is a common fix in a lot of vehicles, but the 350z flasher is built into the BCM. You can’t replace it with a different one and you can’t re-program it. You may also ask, “Why not try a different LED bulb that doesn’t have a fast blink issue?” Well, it doesn’t exist. Unfortunately we have to install resistors—it’s the most reliable way to sole the fast blink issue.
Here we have the 50W Resistor Kit from GTR Lighting. This kit comes with everything you need for the install including instructions. Be sure to read the warning, “Always secure to metal away from anything that can melt or burn. This product gets hot, up to 240 degrees Fahrenheit.” Remember this warning when completing your install. We really like using the GTR Lighting resistors because they have long wires that make securing the resistor in a safe place easy. If you watch our 350z turn signal video here you can see step by step instructions on how to do this install.
Both ends of the resistor have a black wire. One wire will be attached to ground and the other attached to positive. When properly installed, the resistor will be directly connected to power and ground with the resistor in the middle creating heat. This resistor set-up mimics an incandescent bulb with positive and negative side wires that have a filament in the middle creating light. This tricks the car into thinking the resistor is a bulb and solves the fast blink warning. Both wires on the resistor are the same, so id doesn’t matter which way it’s connected.
To demonstrate how to install resistors in a 03-05 Nissan 350z turn signal we removed the headlight. With the headlight removed, you can easily access the turn signal bulb wires. If you are having trouble finding or reaching the wires, read this previous blog about how the remove the 350z headlights.
After finding the wires, and with the power disconnected, strip both so you have exposed copper. Next strip and expose the copper in the ends of the resistor wires. From here it’s actually pretty simple: one end of the resistor goes to one bulb wire and gets twisted around, and the other end of the resistor goes to the other bulb wire and gets twisted around.
Once both ends of the wires are wrapped up really well to the bulb wires, solder each of the connections and tape so both of the connections are safe.
The 06 and up 350z has a similar resistor install for an LED turn signal, however, there are three wires attached to the turn signal bulb.
One of these wires is the ground wire, and two of the wires are positive. You’ll need to check what the wires are with a multi-meter because one wire will be dim for the parking light function and another will be bright for the blinking function. You’ll need to check because the resistor needs to be attached to the blinking wire. When we checked, be found that the blue wire was dim, the green was bright, and the black was neutral. However, depending on when your headlight was made, your wires may be different so be sure to test yours. Now, much like the previous headlight, connect the resistor between the ground and bright wire in the exact same way. Both sides of the resistor are the same, so it doesn’t matter which side is connected first.
If you watch our 350z turn signal video here you can see step by step instructions on how to do this install.
Now that are resistors are wired into the wiring of the turn signal bulb, find an isolated place to mount the resistor. Remember, the resistor get really hot, so mount in a safe place and mount onto metal. Here we found a small metal cross member that doesn’t get in the way of the headlight or other wires.
Use the self-tapping screw that came in the kit and screw the resistor to the metal location. After attaching the wiring harnesses to the headlights, be sure to test all of the bulbs to see if everything is correct before wrapping up the install.
If you have questions, feel free to contact us, but you can also watch this video and it should answer ALL your questions about upgrading the turn signal lighting on your Nissan 350z!