MrSharky

Turn signal blues

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Okay, so a few kittens may perish on this one, and I'm still scouring the archives, so please forgive....

Having some issues with Betty's turn signals.... they don't work. Some days. I went out to trouble shoot it the other night, and they were working. Not sure how to troubleshoot when it's working.

But this morning, no turn signals.

So let's see, what's happened.... when I first got her, they worked fine. I recently replaced the hazard switch (new from BLUNT) and they still worked. I replaced the turn signal switch (found the old switch had a cracked housing) - used, but in very good condition, and the turn signal still worked after replacement... at least they did for a while, and when they feel like it. I put in a new flasher relay (as described in the FAQ here: http://www.bmw2002faq.com/content/view/41/32/) and that seemed to help quite a bit.

The strangest part, for me, anyway, is that even when the turn signals aren't working from the switch, the hazards still seem to work. That would make me suspicious of the switch. However on the days that the turns signals work, the switch works just fine, which makes me think the switch is okay.

So - the working/not working randomness makes me think - loose wire somewhere, right? how does one track that down? Will bulb problems cause this? I have been checking the bulbs, and they all appear to be good (most are new) but I did find that one bulb wasn't working - the rear right side marker light - not in the cluster, the single on the side.

Anything else I should be looking at?

thanks in advance...

Matt

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I forgot about another symptom that I've seen - the constant "B" light. This is the time when the cluster "B" light stays on, but the blinkers work just fine.

Basically it cycles through those three stages - no blinkers at all, blinkers with constant B light, working fine. At any of these times, though, if I try the hazards, they work just fine.

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flasher switch and the 4 ways work properly, I'd suspect two things:

1. If you're using an aftermarket flasher unit, it may be good but it's wired up incorrectly...or

2. There's something hinky about your replacement turn signal switch--either wired wrong or there's an intermittent short inside the switch.

If your old switch worked properly but was just cracked, try reinstalling it and see if the symptoms disappear. If so, there's your answer.

Let us know whatcha find.

mike

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how's your horn & wipers working? You might want to check that the switch has a good solid ground. I had ghosts in my wipers & horn for a while, turned-out ground to the stock was terrible/intermittent. I connected an 8" wire to a bolt on the wiper switch (or signal switch - can't recall which now) casting, and the other end to the metal of the dash. Wipers & horn suddenly worked 100%. Not sure if the signal switch uses ground from the stock as well??

I agree w/ trying the old switch again too.

Scott

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I agree with the above suggestion that you re-install the old switch for a test. While you are doing the swap, carefully check the connections at the amphenol (multicontact) connector. You will have to operate the turn signals while doing a wire and connector "shake-down" and play with the wires until - if lucky- you experince a failure.

All of your observations and other's comments highly suggest a poor connection at this point or the stalk switch. Your comment that the 4 ways work when the directional selection doesn't suggest the stalk and column portion of the circuit.

Please do let us know your resolution. It would be great to eventually get a problem and solution matrix going here with posted outcomes to help others focus on most highly probable fault. I went through 3 switches until I detected a connector corrosion![/u]

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I agree with the above suggestion that you re-install the old switch for a test. While you are doing the swap, carefully check the connections at the amphenol (multicontact) connector. You will have to operate the turn signals while doing a wire and connector "shake-down" and play with the wires until - if lucky- you experince a failure.

All of your observations and other's comments highly suggest a poor connection at this point or the stalk switch. Your comment that the 4 ways work when the directional selection doesn't suggest the stalk and column portion of the circuit.

Please do let us know your resolution. It would be great to eventually get a problem and solution matrix going here with posted outcomes to help others focus on most highly probable fault. I went through 3 switches until I detected a connector corrosion![/u]

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Hmmm... horn & wipers are pretty good, I think. At least working this morning when I looked at it. However I do recall a day when the wipers didn't work at all.... then all of the sudden got going when I was driving. I'll definitely have to check that stalk ground....

I replaced the old switch back in this morning - just at the cable connector - didn't tear down & screw it in place, and there was no change - still had no blinkers, but had hazards. Not sure if it needs to be screwed in place to ground it.

Also, to throw this in the mix, I have to mention that I have just recently pulled the center console to work on it, so the hazard wiring is sort of lying there on the tunnel....again, not sure if it matters, but thought I'd mention it for the cause.

Is there anything in the cancelling ring that has anything to do with the circuit? I mention it because I noticed that when it is working the turn signals do not self-cancel. I figured it was just the cancelling knobby, and I'd fix it next time I had a chance to pull the steering wheel.

thanks for all the help... Hoping if it doesn't keep raining this weekend I can dig in a little further and wiggle wires & clean contacts. Damn you rain!!

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Another suggestion.

Clean the turn signal and tail light grounds to eliminate those as culprits. I was having intermittent turn signal "B". 3 relays, new fuses and cleaning the stalk switch didn't fix it. Cleaned and polished the tail light grounds and that solved my problem.

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Interesting. What are the "tail light grounds"? I've got a squaretail...

Another suggestion.

Clean the turn signal and tail light grounds to eliminate those as culprits. I was having intermittent turn signal "B". 3 relays, new fuses and cleaning the stalk switch didn't fix it. Cleaned and polished the tail light grounds and that solved my problem.

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I just had some flasher problems (the non human kind) and so I changed out the flasher to an aftermarket EL13. The first one was having issues---of course I figured that out after changing out ALL the tail light bulbs to rule that out. I re-checked the wiring as well 2 - 3 times. So I went back and returned the flasher for another one. Since I used male/female connectors, it was an easy swap and it worked right the first time. So based on my experience:

- check the wiring (I can take a picture tonight and post up) to the flasher. I grounded the brown ground wires just in case too even though you don't need to

- change out all the rear tail light bulbs (will cost about $40-$50)

- optional: cut female harness off and solder (now) bare wires to new female connectors to male flasher unit. this is what i did instead of using new male connectors to the existing stock flasher female harness plug

- clean the tail light tabs (the part that makes contact w/ the rear of the bulb) with very fine grit sandpaper (i used 1200) and bend the connectors *into* the tail light bulb holes. thus when you plug in the bulb, the tab has enough tension to make good contact w/ the bulb end.

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Interesting. What are the "tail light grounds"? I've got a squaretail...
Another suggestion.

Clean the turn signal and tail light grounds to eliminate those as culprits. I was having intermittent turn signal "B". 3 relays, new fuses and cleaning the stalk switch didn't fix it. Cleaned and polished the tail light grounds and that solved my problem.

The ground is the wire that connects to the housing, all the other wires should connect to bulbs.

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Okay, I've gone through the whole system... at least quite a bit of it, and I'm still nogo with my blinkers. I cleaned both tail light housings & made sure bulb connections were good. There is a crack in the plastic on one tail light, so it doesn't make a great connection, but I wedged it in there pretty good, and it does light up when I do the hazards. I'm looking for a replacement too.

So the ground in the trunk.... It looks like someone had the ground for the entire back system going to one of the four bolts attached to the tail light lens. l moved that over to one of the three bumper bolts, and I'm not too sure about that one, either - any suggestions are welcome.

And I was checking the switch wiring, and it was a little loose where the switch connected to the harness. I took each one out of the plastic coupling and tightened them down, to make sure each one had a good connection..

Still no turn signals.... hazard flashers still work....

Guess I'm still suspicious of the switch....even though I've seen it work, but since everything works with the hazard switch, I don't know where else to look. Is there any way I could bypass that switch ? i.e. - could I close that system to mimic what the blinker is supposed to do?

Pricing out new switches....

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Sounds like sketchy grounding to me... Clean the grounding point(s) to shiny metal. Then apply di-electric grease and the ground wire and re-attaching. Bad grounds cause the majority of electrical glitches. I have been there myself many times, and just about every time it has been the grounding of the lights. A test light will get you pretty far with the problem. Try each function of the light by hooking the test light directly to the wire and touching the point to a known good ground on the body while running the signal in question. Hope that this helps you out.

Best Regards,

73tiieff

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I replaced the old switch back in this morning - just at the cable connector - didn't tear down & screw it in place, and there was no change - still had no blinkers, but had hazards. Not sure if it needs to be screwed in place to ground it.

did you re-connect the old switch, bolted to the steering column? Or if you didn't, you could connect it again and run a wire from it's metal casing to a clean ground point on the car. (it is a metal casing, right?)

Scott

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Yep - put the old switch back on, bolted it in (two screws, actually) and tried it out - still nogo. I ran a new ground wire to the switch, (tested the ground with a mm) and screwed it in between the switch & steering column, and yes, it is a metal casing. The switch still works to go from lo-beams to hi-beams, but not for turn signals. And as always, the hazards still work when I release the hazard lights button.

I've been pouring over the wiring diagram which shows more wires coming off the switch - like 9, whereas my switch has 6. It also shows the plug has 8 terminals (more wires, but 8 terminals) but mine also only has 6 terminals populated. Of course, the turn signals did work at one point, so i don't think that I'm that far off.

The diagram I'm looking at is this one:

http://www.bmw2002faq.com/component/option,com_forum/Itemid,50/page,viewtopic/t,316840/

So... I've got a brand spanking new switch ordered from Blunt, and I'm still a bit stumped - can't figure that the switch I had jut went bad, but maybe so....

still scratching my head...

I replaced the old switch back in this morning - just at the cable connector - didn't tear down & screw it in place, and there was no change - still had no blinkers, but had hazards. Not sure if it needs to be screwed in place to ground it.

did you re-connect the old switch, bolted to the steering column? Or if you didn't, you could connect it again and run a wire from it's metal casing to a clean ground point on the car. (it is a metal casing, right?)

Scott

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