When I engage the turn signal lever, the flasher lights up and clicks very fast for a few seconds, then returns to it's normal speed. Is this just a bad flasher and if so, what's the best method to reach it for replacement?
[updated:LAST EDITED ON 04-Mar-02 AT 11:52 AM (EST)]I had the same problem, believe it or not, it was the RH rear bulb that wasn't always working. The lights all worked but not the turning element of the one bulb. After going through the flasher replacement it turned out to be a simple bulb. I recommend closely checking all the turn signal bulbs.
Hope this helps.
BTW, rear bulb access is easy once you drop the tailgate.
I had the exact same problem with my '97 F-150. Basically, when I engaged the right turn signal, my flasher would click rapidly, but the arrow LED in my dash would not illuminate. My actual turn signal bulbs would not light up either. However, if I lightly pushed up on my turn signal lever (as if to change lanes), everything functioned just fine, bulbs and all. My left turn signal always functioned fine, and if I "man-handled" the lever some, I could occasionally get my right turn signal to function correctly for a short period of time.
I found the cause of and the solution to the problem on a forum like this. So out of gratitude, I am giving back by sharing my experience in gory detail with you all now.
If your blinker is behaving similar to what I described, the problem is most likely with your multifunction switch. What is a multifunction switch? It's a rather large component screwed to your steering column that services your wipers, blinkers, hazard lights, brights, etc. Basically, Ford made an all-in-one switch to handle everything - obviously to cut production costs. The problem, from what I have read, seems to be that Ford used poor contact grease inside of this switch (if any at all). Hence, the contact points inside the switch are highly prone to corrosion. This corrosion is most likely the source of your problem. Whenever you engage the blinker, the contact points inside the switch are not making a clean connection, and therefore, the blinker is not engaging. This is similar to your battery terminals becoming corroded and the battery appearing to die because a clean connection no longer exists.
So what are your options? You could take your truck to a mechanic. The switch itself runs about $60. Labor on top of that would be anywhere from $150 to $200 (I am guessing). It all depends on the mechanic. However, I cleaned my switch myself with the good advice from some other forums I read (so I cannot take credit for what I am about to tell you). Hopefully, the steps below will help you all fix your problem as well. It doesn't matter if your left blinker is failing, your right blinker, or both. It all depends on which contacts inside the switch happen to corrode first. The repair is not TOO difficult, but I would definitely give yourself some time (at least a day, with a day to spare). Start on Saturday morning, leaving yourself Sunday if needed. Ok, here goes:
1. The turn signal lever is attached to the multifunction switch, which is attached to the steering column. In order to get to it, you will first need to remove the plastic covers from the steering column. This part is not too difficult. There are three screws underneath the steering column that hold the two pieces of the plastic casing (top and bottom) together. These screws are buried in little holes underneath the steering column. I found that if you move your driver's seat all the way back, it is pretty easy to lay down on the floor with a flashlight and see the screws in the holes underneath the column. Just get yourself a Phillips head screwdriver and remove these screws first.
2. Disengage your battery. Just remove one of the cables from the battery terminals.
3. The next step is to remove your ignition. Do not panic! This is extremely easy. I thought it was going to be hard when I first attacked this, but it was the easiest part. First, insert your key into the ignition, and turn the ignition forward to engage all of your check lights (the position just before the starter engages). Next, crawl back under the steering column. You probably noticed a fourth hole while you were down there before that did not have a screw in it. If you shine your flashlight in that hole and look carefully, you will see a little ball (pin) that locks your ignition in the steering column. If you stick a thin screwdriver into the hole and push this ball (pin) in, you will be able pull your ignition out of the steering column (key and all) with ease. It's very easy to put back in, so do not fret.
4. The fourth step is to remove that pesky steering wheel height adjustment lever. This caught me off guard because as hard as I tried to turn that sucker, I could not get it to budge. You will ultimately need to turn it counter clockwise. It just screws into a metal plate beneath the plastic column cover. There is nothing magical about it. I am picky about my truck, and I did not want to damage the painted finish of this lever. However, you're not going to be able to avoid it completely. I purchased a metric Craftsman 8 piece Open End Ignition Wrench Set to do the job. It's basically a bag of 8 tiny wrenches. You don't need to get the same thing, but in this set, I had a 5 mm wrench. That is what you will need to use. If you look closely at the lever, just past the cone shaped grip, you will see a flat area on the lever where you can grab it with a wrench. This is where you will need to use a 5 or 5.5 mm wrench to unscrew the lever. It's pretty simple after that. It screws right out.
5. Once the steering wheel height lever is removed, it's time to use some persuasion to get the plastic covers off. Just pull, tug, etc. until your able to get the covers off.
6. Now, you will be staring at the guts of your steering column. You can now get a clear view of the multifunction switch. It's much bigger than you might think. It constitutes almost the entire left half of the steering column. If you look at the steering column from the left side, you will see two star screws (one on top of and one below the steering column) that hold the multifunction switch against the column. Mine were gold. You will need to remove both of these screws. This is pretty easy.
7. As you remove the two star screws, you will begin to feel the multifunction switch come lose from the steering column. You're almost there! The last thing is to remove the two connectors on the backside of the switch that snap a bunch of wires into the switch. This can be tricky, but I will tell you the easiest way to approach this. Ford designed these clips well enough that if you use a flat head screwdriver to pry up the clips on the ends, it will both lift the clip and push the entire connecter out of the switch. Just play around with it some, and you will see what I mean. Once the two clips (they appear gray) are removed, your multifunction switch will be free!
8. Next, you will need to take the switch inside and open it up. Take your time here. There are 5 star shaped screws that hold the switch together. Remove these screws slowly. Open the switch with care! There are a bunch of loose parts that will fall out of it if you are hasty. As long as you can visually inspect where everything goes, you can easily reassemble it later. But definitely take your time. I would suggest laying it on a counter and carefully lifting it apart once the screws are removed.
9. Inside the switch you will see a bunch of copper contacts. These contacts will likely be covered with green corrosion. I would recommend using a little rubbing alcohol to remove this corrosion. Clean the contacts thoroughly. I would also recommend using some contact grease on all of the copper parts. Just spread a thin film on top of all contacts. In order to get good access to these contacts, you will likely need to remove one last wire clip inside the switch. It will be holding the two halves together. Just look for a hole on the outside of the switch where you can insert a thin screwdriver, lift the clip, and push it out. If you do not want to mess with cleaning the switch, you can always buy a new one from an auto parts store. They run about $60. You will get a new turn signal lever and all.
10. Once the contacts are thoroughly cleaned and lubed, work backwards to reassemble everything. Take your time. Getting the plastic covers back on the steering column may take some persuasion. Just be patient.
I hope this helps! Good luck! This is a common problem from what I can tell.
Yes I would like to say I had the same problem. Emergency flashers would not work turn signals would work sometime. What I did after reading on this forum what my problem was, I sprayed some liquid wrench into my emergency switch button worked it up and down several times now it works just fine turn signals and all. I used this stuff and wd 40 to clean contacts on other things and it worked. Thankfully it worked on this also. Just wanted to let everyone know you might give this a try if it happens to you. It's a little messy but you can clean it up.
Last edited by dusty62; 01-05-2012 at 04:24 PM.
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