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97.5 Regal.:.Left Turn signal out / right brake lamp out


wet architect
11-11-2004, 01:10 PM
Are these two problems possibly related?...

[1] My right brake light is out and has been out for some time. It is not the bulb or the fuse. The running light works. I may have ruined the bulb socket when I replaced the bulb by stupidly pulling on the wires. How do I replace this piece? Any ideas?

[2] My right blinkers are fine. BUT - My left blinker went out a few days ago. It makes a quick click click click noise and the dash signal does not come on. The left rear blinker still flashes (fast), but the front blinker is definately out. He's the real clinker: about 5% of the time, the left (front/rear/dash) blinker does work normally, usually immediately after I use the right turn signal. So, unfortunately, I think that the turn signal switch may be malfunctioning.

Any ideas / reccomendations would be greatly appreciated. I've been looking at the manuals and it appears that I have a difficult project ahead of me if I have to remove the steering wheel / and disable the air bag to do it.

I just did a search on this problem, and there appears to be a few posts regarding turn signals. Mr. D has a very detailed response from July.

Thanks for reading.

sierrap615
11-11-2004, 01:30 PM
1. you can test the socket with a test light. then follow the wires up to the next connector and test for power there. if you are sure the socket is bad, then cut the old one out, solder in the new socket, and use heat shrink to seal the repair.

2. keep it simple - check the bulb

wet architect
11-12-2004, 12:11 PM
[1] brake light - I checked the bulb by switching them. they both work. I'm borrowing a test light and i'll let you know what I find.

[2] front turn lamp - I checked the bulb by switching them. bulb is ok, but left turn signal and cornering lamp still out. all 4 Hazards work - sometimes. what next?

Mr_D
11-30-2004, 02:50 AM
Your hazard lights work because they have their own set of contacts that are contained in the turn signal switch assembly. That means the lights and wires are all good.

If the turn signal "dash indicator" lights up when you use the 4-way flasher but NOT when you use the blinker that means the turn signal portion of the switch isn't working. I hope you just have a socket or a bulb problem but that doesn't seem likely.

The turn signal switch has 6 contacts inside (not counting the 4-way flashers) and if one of them is high resistance then the bulb it goes to won't light and the remaining bulb on that circuit isn't enough load so it blinks fast.

I ended up cleaning the contacts on my turn signal switch twice so I know it can be done in under 30 minutes, but that first time could take several hours especially if you follow the factory service manual. The switch is pretty tightly sealed so contact cleaner doesn't seem to be able to get in there without taking it apart.

You have to disable the airbag, remove the lower kick panel and other parts in the way such as some of the steering column. The book has you removing the whole steering wheel with a puller, all the wires, the airbag itself, the horn switch, etc. I did NOT do that.

I was able to seperate the upper and lower plastic sections of the steering column housing and gain access to the switch that way. It takes a bit of bending and removing the proper screws etc but if you have to go in there, that's a better option than taking the whole thing apart. Then I ground down the end of the steering wheel cover (that is normally hidden anyway) to make removal easier in the future.

Cleaning the turn signal switch is pretty tricky work, there are little parts to keep track of and you need some very small torx bits but it can be done.

The brake light problem is related.
The brake light signal goes through the brake light switch AND the turn signal so if you push the turn signal either way it disconnects the brake light circuit and connects it to the blinker output instead. That's how it can blink one side while having a steady brake light on the other side. I suspect the blinker switch is the problem here too but you can check it before taking too much apart.

The output of the blinker switch to the rear lamps is as follows:
Connector 201:wire 19 (dark green) goes to the right rear lamp.
Connector 201:wire 18 (yellow wire) goes to the left rear.
The large wire connector 201 is located above the gas pedal and a bit towards the rear. Use a 12volt test light to test each output. This is complicated because that's the way it's designed. Do you know how to read electrical schematics? It's all in there.
Good Luck.

wet architect
11-30-2004, 12:09 PM
Thanks, Mr. D,

Please note that my front left Hazard lights do not work anymore. So cleaning the contacts of the signal switch worked for you, but you have done it twice already?

I'll check the system as I may and let you know what I find.

wet architect
11-30-2004, 12:28 PM
what are these torx bits you mention? Are they like little allen keys with a bendable/posable turn shaft? I have a wratchetless screwdriver set with a long bendable/posable turn shaft, but I'm sure it is too large for the operation at hand.

I'm going to check the lights again by switching the sockets to see what happens.

Since the both the left turn signal and left Hazard signal (both interior & exterior) do not work, does this affect my possible problematic schematic?

I like your suggestion of avoiding the steering wheel/airbag removal to clean the switches. But, I have a feeling I will need a new switch, not just a contact cleaning. Do I have to take the steering wheel off to change the switch? As an optimist I'll try the easy tests first.

As far as wiring schematics goes, I can read them, but I am certainly a beginner by any standards.

Thanks for the well wishes.

Mr_D
11-30-2004, 07:19 PM
No, you do not have to remove the steering wheel to access the switch. It will take some bending of the upper and lower steering wheel housing pieces to remove them but this still seems like a better option than getting a steering wheel puller and taking everything off including the airbag.

Yes, the problem with the blinkers and hazard lights are related, the switch contacts for both are contained in one assembly. There is also a DRL (daytime running lamps) module that is part of this circuit but the symptoms you described do not sound like that is the problem.

Torx bits have a star shaped head on them.
I uploaded some photo's of the turn signal switch and some other jpg's to my user gallery so you can see what you will be dealing with.

Yes, I had the blinker switch out twice. My left blinker quit and I fixed it, then a few months later I had to fix the contacts for the other side.
I've had no problems since.

If you go through the hassel of removing the switch I'd recommend putting in a new one. If you work on the switch itself you will need a #8 Torx to take it apart and also a very short Torx #25 to remove the switch as you can see in the photo's. There is hardly any room between the lower retaining bolt and the steering wheel. There are other bolts to remove that you should be able to find as well as one that is hidden up near the top right side near the ignition switch that you have to remove from below before the upper cover will come off.

wet architect
11-30-2004, 07:55 PM
Hello Mr. D,

Thanks for the great advice and nice photos. The visuals really make the work more realistic for me. I have Torx bits already. I hope that I have the right size bits.

You mention that if I go through the hassel of removing the switch you'd recommend putting in a new one. As far as I know, you did not put in a new switch.

Did you put in a new switch?

If you did not replace the switch, what exactly did you "fix"? Or was "fixing" just cleaning the contacts?

How much does it cost? It looks pretty expensive.

Do you know the SKU#?

I really appreciate the help. I'm quite busy and you are saving me a lot of aggrivation (i hope!)

Mr_D
11-30-2004, 09:32 PM
I recommended installing a new switch because it is rather difficult to get to and mine acted up again later (once) after I cleaned it.

No, I did not put in a new switch, a new one was well over $100 back when I checked.

Yes, I cleaned the copper contacts inside the switch with electrical contract cleaner. I also checked out the operation of the switch to make sure each set of contacts was moving as it should and then I checked it out with an ohm meter.

I will post a another picture later showing the internal switch contacts.
A quick search on the Net located the switch but I don't have a GM part number. It might be in my service manuals. The only variable is that some versions in 1998 don't have the cruise control function on the end of the blinker lever. So get one that matches yours.

Rather than writing a whole book on this forum some other means of talking may save time. You can request my contact info with an Email if you get stuck.

dreager
12-30-2005, 06:12 PM
I recommended installing a new switch because it is rather difficult to get to and mine acted up again later (once) after I cleaned it.

No, I did not put in a new switch, a new one was well over $100 back when I checked.

Yes, I cleaned the copper contacts inside the switch with electrical contract cleaner. I also checked out the operation of the switch to make sure each set of contacts was moving as it should and then I checked it out with an ohm meter.

I will post a another picture later showing the internal switch contacts.
A quick search on the Net located the switch but I don't have a GM part number. It might be in my service manuals. The only variable is that some versions in 1998 don't have the cruise control function on the end of the blinker lever. So get one that matches yours.

Rather than writing a whole book on this forum some other means of talking may save time. You can request my contact info with an Email if you get stuck.

1991 Regal 3.8L sedan 200Kk
Pics for removal of steering wheel. and switch

http://www.autozone.com/servlet/UiBroker?ForwardPage=/az/cds/en_us/0900823d/80/0e/de/5a/0900823d800ede5a.jsp

Ok DA Mr_D. got it. All lights , stop/signal go thro' indicator switch. Just saved me $300 buckaroos.
In my case dirty contacts weren't necessarily the culprit, (altho' I cleaned anyway per MR_D instructions) NO.... the indicator lever pivots on 1 screw (only thing holding it). Over time being plastic it gets sloppy/worn. Not enough pressure is exerted therefore "one" signal light wont flash, then one tail light or both go out.
I needed to remove signal switch and bend ALL the contacts up to compensate for now sloppy pivot point. (put more spring into them) This requires removal of steering wheel. (Puller, rental from Can.tire.)
In Canada I was quoted $268 bucks from NAPA for a new switch. Gawd knows what GM wanted. Autozone in US has em for $63.( not advertising....public service)
Careful with the dimmer switch. Need to hold it in place with screwdriver(or it will unspring) while screwing on the indicator lever. Make sure it clicking 'fore you screw it in. If it seems not to be working pull hard on it and it clunks into place. That was the biggest part of job, cause I had no clue what was happening.
All the pics saved me a lot of work.
Total cost, 1 can of contact cleaner $5, and gas to keep car warm lol.
Time excluding dimmer problem, 1 1/2 hours. (no air-bag)
Thanks all! Blessings will be bestowed on you

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