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noquacks 12-17-2011 01:16 PM

Turn signals all quit at once!
88 sunbird, put in new flasher in 2/2010, and starting about a week ago, turn signals clicked abnormally - erratic pace- jumpy. Suspected flasher, but was not sure. Now, I go to signal, and no green arrow indicator even goes on on the instrument cluster. Nor right nor left. Not 1 of the 4 lights (2 rear, 2 fronts) even light up, never mind flashing.

Isnt it probably the flasher quit? Isnt it quite improbable that ALL signal bulbs burn out at the same time (all 4)??


noquacks 12-17-2011 01:17 PM

Cheasp aftermarket AZ flashers..........sheesh.

DexterII 12-17-2011 02:34 PM

Yes Sir, for the price of it, I would start with a flasher. Should be able to get one, probably better quality than off the 'net, and not much more by the time you consider shipping cost, at a local mom and pop auto parts store. Make sure though that you are changing the one for the turn signals, as some cars have one for the signals and one for the emergency flasher. In fact, now that I think of that, if you do have two, it might help you nail the problem. Also, on some cars, even a single lamp going haywire can cause a problem throughout the circuit. If neither of those pan out, I would star checking for a bad ground.

noquacks 12-17-2011 03:35 PM

Yup- theyre the same flasher. $12.99 avd auto. Guess I'll stat with that as its not worth chasing so many other wires if thats all it is, right Dex?

noquacks 12-17-2011 03:44 PM

OK- just went out there to my car and checked the emergency flasher button and they work. Dang- looks like the flasher IS good. (assuming the parts guy was right saying the car has only one for both turn signal and emergency) . Now time to study the shop manul's schematics. Good Sat night reading in bed, eh?

MecGen 12-17-2011 03:54 PM

Hi just thought I would give you a heads up, some GMs use two different flasher relays, one for turn and one for hazards. Check all your bulbs just to be sure, front and back to make sure they lite. I have seen a bulb melt and cause all kinds of weird problems. Foot note : Those GMs are problematic for multi-function switches going bad


Woops I see Dex has already answered

noquacks 12-17-2011 03:57 PM

dang, Mcgenn, I hope your rihgt!! Going out there again before it gets dark right now!! Thanks!!

DexterII 12-17-2011 04:40 PM

Do you happen to have a 12 volt test light? If not, Advanced will have that as well, and, in my opinion anyway, it's a darn handy tool for cars, lawn mowers, etc. It's just a probe with a light, and an aligator clip that you attach to any available ground. Anyway, since the emergency flasher portion is working, you might remove the flasher, and check the socket with the flashers on, to see what it tells you, then try it with the turn signal, and see what you get. If you're not getting power to the socket, it's most likely the turn signal switch or multi-function switch, as MecGen mentioned, and if you are getting power to the socket, then it's most likely a bulb or ground problem. Also, at some point, I would check to make sure that all of the bulbs are the exact same part number as the owner's manual says they should be, because even a good bulb, in the wrong application can cause problems, due to current draw.

Bondo 12-17-2011 05:24 PM

Ayuh,... Check the Fuses,....

Blinkers, 'n Hazards are usually different circuits...

noquacks 12-17-2011 05:27 PM


Originally Posted by DexterII (Post 796159)
Anyway, since the emergency flasher portion is working, you might remove the flasher, and check the socket with the flashers on, to see what it tells you, then try it with the turn signal, and see what you get. .

I dont get this, Dex- if that emerg flasher is working, (we know it is cuz I tried it and reported it here) why would one test the socket contacts for voltage since if there was NO voltage the flasher would NOT work at least, for the haz flasher- right??

noquacks 12-17-2011 05:34 PM

Ohhhhhhhh, I think I got it, Dex! Just hit me! Yes, the haz switch is different than the turn signal switch!! Yeah, Thats it! OK, Dex. No need to explain post #10 unless you wish to of course, or add something else. Tomorrow its time to test!

MecGen 12-17-2011 05:34 PM

Dex wants you to check for 12 volts at the flasher socket, not the bulb socket :wink: I think

PS...both hazard and turn signal go thru the multifunction, testing this will send you to the correct side of the circuit.

DexterII 12-17-2011 05:57 PM

Yes, you are correct, but there are numerous places to look, so you need to narrow the search pattern.You have determined that the flasher works for the 4-way flashers, and that the bulbs, wiring to the bulbs, and grounds all function on that circuit. But, you have two circuits in play here; one for the four-way flashers, and one for the turn signals; and considering the cost of a multi-funtion switch, I would want to verify that is the problem before jumping to that conclusion.So, my suggestion is that since you know the 4-way's work, pull the flasher, turn on the 4-way's, and I believe that you if you probe one of the flasher sockets your test light will flash, so that you will know exactly what is supposed to happen at that point. Then you could turn on your ignition, turn on the turn signal, and you should get the same results. If not, the turn signal or multi-function switch would be the most likely candidate for replacement. If you do get the same results, then I would say that the turn signal switch is working, in which case I would suspect a bad bulb or socket.So, we're back to why go through this if the 4-way flashers work, right. The answer is because the flasher circuit, as well as most circuits in an automobile, operate on milliamps, and sometimes in a most finicky way, so, in my opinion, it is very conceivable that while a problematic bulb or socket may work fine with all 4 corners operating together, they may not operate properly with only one side flashing.

DexterII 12-17-2011 06:00 PM

Yes, you've got it, Noquacks. I was typing while you were posting. I know it might sound hokey, but as I mentioned, automobile circuits can be finicky sometimes, so the closer you can get to the actual problem, the sooner you'll have it worked out.

cjm94 12-17-2011 07:37 PM

Some flashers were four and five pins and have two circuits and one side can fail don't remember on that age though.

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