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View Full Version : Defective Turn Signal?


Stavesacre21
02-25-2006, 10:25 AM
<!-- / icon and title --><!-- message --> Hey guys, got another quick one for all you troubleshooters out there. For some time, i've been having a slight problem with my turn signals/hazard flashers acting up.

Every now and then when I use my turn signal it will not flash at all, or will flash in inconsistant patterns. And the hazard switch...well i've tried to use it before and sometimes only one signal works then the other will kick in at times.

Have any of you had this kinda problem? Apparently 50resto.com sells a harness that is suppose to replace the original turn signal harness. Does this sound like it could be the source of the problem? Have any of you had turn signal issues? 50resto talks of the harness like it's a common problem...

would it maybe be this part:
http://images.latemodelrestoration.com/large/SW5605.jpg


Anyone else faced the same problems? I've heard before that this issue doesn't seem to be a rare occurance in mustangs.

Any response would be very much appriciated. Thanx guys

sssvtcobra
02-25-2006, 12:04 PM
Steve,

You might want to just try replacing all the bulbs first. Atleast the ones acting up anyway. I know this sounds weird, but if a bulb is ready to go out, or if one has gone out, then the other bulb(s) on the same side of the car will act up (flash in inconsistant patterns, not turn on, or flash at all.

If that doesn't work, you can try the flashing unit. I can't remember if these cars have them or not. But on one of my older cars, I had what is called a flasher unit. I had that go out twice. And when that goes out, you'll have the same problem your describing. But I would do the bulbs first, then check to see if they have a flasher unit. The flasher unit on my old car was under the dash on the driver's side, and it was silver in color and round in shape. It was a plug and play device.

Hope this helps

hiosilver
02-25-2006, 04:45 PM
I agree with the guy from Eugene, check the bulbs and sockets first. The flasher unit is designed to blink an exact number of bulbs as a load and if that load changes by a poor connection or burned out bulb, the flashing will quit or be intermittant. Since your four way flashers are acting up too, that would give an indication of the same thing (bad bulbs or connections) as they use a different flasher unit. Look inside the bulb sockets and make sure the connections inside are clean and not corroded. It may be that you will need the aftermarket harness, but checking the bulbs and connections won't cost you anything except a little bit of your time.

Good Luck

Pat

Stavesacre21
02-26-2006, 12:14 AM
Yea, after all this detailed analysis, i'll check the bulbs a lil closer first. Its just been a bizarre problem, and the weirdest part has been that if I DON'T flip the switch all the way, to the point at which it stays there, they blink properly. (AKA the changing lanes signal). I just checked again from storage, and I believe that this time, the hazards switch wasn't even doing anything at all... I'll check it all out a lil more in depth this week and see if i can find any bad bulbs. Thanx for the help guys! :)

I'll letcha know what i find.

SNAKEYE
02-26-2006, 10:43 AM
First, it's not the bulbs. Possibly a bad ground wire connection from the bulb sockets. Check, clean, and tighten any green screws you see in the engine compartment and trunk. Also, there are two green grounding screws on the frame on the right upper end of the console. One of these is ground for the flasher unit itself.

Second, it's not the flasher unit. Our flasher units are electronic (not the old bi-metalic strip types). They flash at a constant rate regardless of load.

Third, the device you pictured is the multi-function switch. All of your problems could initiate from here as, like it's name, multiple functions are controlled by this switch. Unbeknownst to you (because you aren't looking at them when in use) you may even be having brake light problems. I've never develed into mine, but if you remove the steering column covers perhaps you can squirt some contact cleaner into a crack or two in the housing to clean up the contacts. Failing that I say you're in for a new multi-function switch. Across the Ford line multi-function switches are problematic. Lots of stuff goes on within, and one problem messes up the works.

Stavesacre21
02-27-2006, 12:07 AM
From what i'd heard, someone else had a similar problem and replaced this switch, and it seemed to do the trick. I think i'm gonna check connections as aforementioned, as well as maybe bulbs or any other things I could touch up, such as the contact cleaner.

To be honest though, i've been banking on the switch being bad from the beggining, cause it's affected both turn signals and 4 way hazards. I guess i'll know here soon enough. Thanx for the pointers guys! :)

hiosilver
02-28-2006, 09:26 AM
Steve:

I had originally thought the 97 had the mechanical flashers and they are very load sensitive but it appears as if the 97's are the same as the newer 99-04 models and have an electronic flasher. I have diagrams from an 89 model and my 01 model and assumed that they made the change with the 99 model. Snakeye is right about the multi-function switch being the center of all problems as it has all the moving parts of the system. I don't have a scanner but can mail to you a couple of pages from my wiring diagrams that have a troubleshooting guide for the switch. It sounds as if you have a pretty good plan and if these things are problematic anyway, you may be able to solve all the problems by changing it.

You can know all the theory you want but nothing is better than experience--thanks Snakeye.

Pat

Stavesacre21
02-28-2006, 11:00 AM
Thanx for the info guys...it'll all be put to use here shortly. I don't think I should need any wiring guides, as I do have the Haynes manual for my 97. The biggest problem i'd imagine i'd run into would be takin the steering console apart. However, from my other source, it sounds like it's kinda like duplo blocks and just unstacks and pops out :thumbsup:

And just because I can tell no one seems to know the lesser, my name is actaully Andy. :p Stavesacre is a band, that is named after a type of flower that is beautiful on the outside, but rather poisoness and deadly if ingested. You wouldn't believe how often I get Steve, so yur far from the first. ;)

SNAKEYE
03-10-2006, 07:59 AM
Thanx for the info guys...it'll all be put to use here shortly. I don't think I should need any wiring guides, as I do have the Haynes manual for my 97. The biggest problem i'd imagine i'd run into would be takin the steering console apart. However, from my other source, it sounds like it's kinda like duplo blocks and just unstacks and pops out :thumbsup:

And just because I can tell no one seems to know the lesser, my name is actaully Andy. :p Stavesacre is a band, that is named after a type of flower that is beautiful on the outside, but rather poisoness and deadly if ingested. You wouldn't believe how often I get Steve, so yur far from the first. ;)
Well, it's been awhile now, have you gotten around to a fix yet?

The steering column cover is easy to remove. You may have to tilt the wheel down, but that will be obvious as you proceed. I've never replaced a multi-function switch myself. I delved into the wiring on my column so as to tap in for my mirror turnsignals, but those connections were further down the column.
It shouldn't amount to any more than a few screws and an electrical plug or two or three.

Post a note when you get'er done.

Stavesacre21
03-11-2006, 12:28 PM
Well, it's been awhile now, have you gotten around to a fix yet?
I know it's been awhile already, but I still haven't ordered the part from 50resto yet. It'll prolly be a few week before I do. I did check up in my haynes manual and according to that, it's gonna be a peice of cake to change the part out. The hardest part appears to be getting the exterior trim off...and as you can tell, even that isn't really a task.

I few different people have actually contacted me about this, because it seems to be a common occurance. I'll prolly take pictures along the way to show you all how it looks when I do so. and most definetely, I'll be sure to post when I finally have it changed out! Sorry it's takin so long though...a few other pressing "issues" have arose.

SNAKEYE
03-13-2006, 07:56 AM
I know it's been awhile already, but I still haven't ordered the part from 50resto yet. It'll prolly be a few week before I do. I did check up in my haynes manual and according to that, it's gonna be a peice of cake to change the part out. The hardest part appears to be getting the exterior trim off...and as you can tell, even that isn't really a task.

I few different people have actually contacted me about this, because it seems to be a common occurance. I'll prolly take pictures along the way to show you all how it looks when I do so. and most definetely, I'll be sure to post when I finally have it changed out! Sorry it's takin so long though...a few other pressing "issues" have arose.
First things first! Let us know the outcome. In the meantime, don't make any moves assuming that your turnsignals are telling others what you are planning to do. Also, make sure that the brake lights are functioning normally.

Stavesacre21
03-13-2006, 08:43 AM
Thanx for the heads-up bud...i'll be sure to check the brake lights and see if i'm gettin anything at all outta them. Last time i checked they were good to go, but who knows how long all this has been goin on anyway. :D

Stavesacre21
03-16-2006, 01:15 AM
ok so i took the Cobra out of storage today and the switch is even worse then before....if you "click" the signal up OR down now, it doesn't work...and the hazards doesn't work at all....

....SO i ordered the switch from latemodel resto and I'll be filling you all in as soon as I get it and have it installed...shouldn't be any later then mid-next week! I figured that with the trip to Tennessee nearing as well as the Columbus dyno day, this is kinda important to get in order, as I almost get rear-ended today because the person behind me didn't realize I was turnin and was comin strong. :eek:

Not something to be ignored i guess. I'll be in touch guys.

Stavesacre21
03-21-2006, 07:58 PM
OK everyone, today was the big day to swap out the old multi-function switch.

I was gonna take pictures but chose not to due to the freezing cold temps...i just wanted to get done and get inside...lol.

It took me about an hour, although if I did it again it prolly would be closer to 20 minutes

Fairly easy part to install, althought a little more disassembly of the surrounding trim covers was required then mentioned by the haynes manual. Just to list it real quick, i can remember the parts.

1) remove drivers steering knee panel - 2 bolts
2) remove steel knee cover - 2 bolts
3) remove top and bottom of steering column trim - 4 screws (below)
4) remove ignition lock (1/8" phillips/punch is used and just apply pressure - no assembly retaining parts) pull ignition lock STRAIGHT out.
5) remove black display panel overlay - 2 screws
6) remove multi-switch - 2 screws

Just a warning...ther is lots of pulling and tugging to get the 2 parts of the steering column trim. just wiggle them over the tilt lever and the key release switch. This was by far the toughest part of the installation, because i was taking extra caution NOT to snap the screw-in tabs off.

The switch itself has 2 harnesses that plug up. Those were a pain in the butt to get off without snapping the retaining clips off (each had TWO...overkill? i think so).

Reassembly is just the opposite.

Oh yea, and the whole point of the thread - this DID fix my problem with the erratic turn signals and non-functioning hazards. Everything works great now!

I know this seems to be a commen part that goes bad, so that's why i spent the time on this. If you have any questions, drop me a line and i'd be happy to help anyone out as much as I can! :thumbsup:

SNAKEYE
03-22-2006, 08:51 PM
Told you so! Congrats on the successful repair. Drive knowing that if you do get rearended it wasn't due to your lack of effort.

SNAKEYE is still down for the winter. It'll be at least several weeks before rollout for the season. The weather here still sucks anyway, and the roads still need a good downpour to flush them clean of road salt. Rollout may not happen even then as we are going "down under" the last couple of weeks of April.