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Thread: How To: Turn Signal Switch and Flasher Repair/Replace

  1. #1
    ToPassUnnoticed Guest

    Default How To: Turn Signal Switch and Flasher Repair/Replace

    TURN SIGNAL SWITCH REPAIR AND REPLACE

    This is a super easy repair!

    Symptoms: On my car the symptom was an intermittent failure of the turn signal. Signal would turn on, flash a few times and then just stop. Wiggling the stalk would make it start blinking again but it would stop again after a few flashes.

    Tools and Supplies Needed: You will need a phillips head screwdriver. A twelve volt power source and some test wires as well as an ohm meter will be useful for troubleshooting but you can often get a friendly parts guy at the local Autozone or Napa to help you test. Some canned air and electrical contact cleaner may be be required.

    Parts: Depending on what is wrong, you may need either a turn signal switch or a flasher.

    Autozone: Duralast Turn Signal Switch, SW1144, $95.99
    Autozone: Tridon Electronic Flasher, #006415, EP35, $9.99

    The Ford part number for the flasher is shown in the picture below




    Removal Instructions

    1) Disconnect the negative battery cable. Words cannot express how embarresing this picture is.




    2) While it is not absolutely necessary to remove the lower steering column cover, it will make removing the electrical connectors and flasher a bit easier. Remove the lower steering column cover by removing the three phillips head screws. Rotate the left/drivers side of the cover down and remove the cover toward the center console. Be careful not to knock the rubber ring around the ignition switch opening out of the hole.







    3) Remove the upper steering column cover by removing the two screws as shown.







    This is view of the turn signal switch assembly looking down at the top of the steering column.




    4) You can pull out the flasher at the bottom of the switch now if you want. Or you can do it after you remove the turn signal assembly, your choice.





    Continued Next Post...

  2. #2
    ToPassUnnoticed Guest

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    ...Continued From Previous Post


    5) Disconnecthe electrical connectors. The connectors each have a hook at the top. Squeeze the tab at the bottom of each connector and rotate the bottom of the connector toward the front of the car and up and remove the connector.






    6) Remove the turn signal switch from the top of the steering column as shown in the video.






    Troubleshooting

    You can skip the troubleshooting steps if you want and just replace the parts. The turn signal switch is close to $100 new so you might want to have a shot at trying to determine if the problem is the switch assembly or the flasher. If you don't feel confident with electrical testing then find someone who is handy with electrical stuff or ask at the counter at the local parts store.

    If the switch has obvious mechanical damage or failure, you will need to replace the switch. If you cannot find any obvious cracked or broken parts, you can try blowing some canned air or some electrical contact cleaner into the switch.

    DO NOT SPRAY ELECTRICAL CONTACT CLEANER INTO THE SWITCH WHILE IT IS WIRED TO THE CAR, WITH THE KEY ON OR WITH THE BATTERY CONNECTED. ELECTRICAL CONTACT CLEANER IS EXTREMELY FLAMMABLE AND A SPARK COULD IGNITE.



    The flasher is momentary double contact switch. It has three metal prongs, one horizontal and two vertical. Apply 12 volts across one of the horizontal tabs and one of the virtical tabs and you should hear the flasher click. If it does not click, try the jumping twelve volts across the horizontal tab and the other vertical tab. If nothing happens when you jump twelve volts, the flasher is probably bad. Consider youself lucky if your flasher is bad becuase it is much less expensive than the turn signal switch assembly. you can use your car battery as the 12 volt source. If you don't have test wires wires with allegator clips then take the flasher (and turn signal switch) to your friendly parts store and ask them to test for you.



    You will need an ohm meter to test the turn signal switch. One of the electrical connectors on the turn signal switch has three prongs. Move the stalk to either the left directional on position or the right directional on position and test across the center and either of the outer prongs as pictured. One pair of prongs should measure little or no resistanc and the other pair should measure infinite or high resistance. Move the stalk to the position which would cause the other directional to be on and test again. The measurments should reverse - the prong pair which previously had low resistance should now be high and the pair which previously had high resistance should now be low. If this is the case then your switch assembly is good. If you get high or infinite resistance across both pairs of prongs when the stalk is moved in either direction then replace the turn signal assembly.



    DO NOT ATTEMPT TO TAKE APART THE TURN SIGNAL SWITCH UNLESS YOU ARE VERY GOOD AT WORKING WITH EXTREMELY SMALL PARTS. THE SWITCH IS NOT DESIGNED TO BE REPAIRD. IF YOU ARE GOOD AT SMALL PARTS REPAIRS THEN YOU CAN CERTAINLY DO IT BUT BE WARNED THAT YOU MIGHT NOT GET IT BACK TOGETHER IF YOU TAKE IT APART.


    Reassembly Instructions

    The turn signal switch slides down onto the top of the steering column opposite of how it was removed. DO NOT FORCE IT! The assembly should slide onto the column with very little resistance.

    Reinsert the flasher. Put some dielectric grease on the electrical connectors and reinstall both connectors. Reconnect the battery at this point and test. If it doesn't hurt your pride, you can drive around without the covers until you are sure the problem is solved.

    When you install the lower steering column cover, be careful not to dislodge the rubber ring around the ignition switch hole. Put the right side of the cover on first, making sure that the ring and hole are centered around the ignition switch and rotate the left side of the cover up. Screw in place.

    Ensure that the decorative bellows around both stalks are seated properly on the lower cover before installing the upper cover. Do the same with the bellows when installing the upper cover. See the picture below.



    Screw down the covers and enjoy.

    Editorial Comment: On my car the flasher was bad. I was ready to buy the switch assembly but I spotted a multimeter behind the counter and asked the guy if he could test flashers. He called an older man out from the back room who obviously knew elecricity. The guy jumped the flasher with a small motorcycle or car battery and said, "The flasher is bad. Come over here." He then showed me the multimeter and that when he switched the stalk on, it had low resistance indicating that the swich had made contact. Nice guy. The point is, just ask. It can't hurt and the worst they can say is no. if they won't test, then go down the road to the next guy and buy the parts there.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Chicago IL
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    Excellent write-up! Took me 10 minutes to replace my switch assembly...
    2000 T-red SVT w/Prarie Tan Interior w/113,000 miles
    2006 3L True Hybrid w/40,000 miles

    2000 Silver Frost SVT w/Midnight Blue interior w/39,000 miles
    2006 Port-matched 3L w/20,000 miles.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Fox Lake, WI
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    14,919

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    Old thread but it just helped me troubleshoot this issue with my brother over the phone on his '99 SE. Thanks . Great pics and writeup.
    *CLICK HERE ---> 1995 SE 3L WITH MATCHING TRAILER <--- CLICK HERE*
    25 Contour / Mystiques and counting......
    I'M POWDER COATING AGAIN! PM ME FOR REQUESTS.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    New Britain, CT
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    2,975

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    thanks for popping this back up. I'm on my second stalk assembly with the same problem. Definitely gonna go through these steps soon!
    Chris
    1998.5 Black Ford Contour SE 2.5 V6 MTX
    1988 Rosso Red Merkur XR4Ti 2.3T I4 T5 MT
    1982 Candy Flare Blue Honda CB650SC Nighthawk

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