Unable to make turn signals because of a faulty signal switch? Browse through Family Car's online catalogs and find the perfect replacement unit.
Mixed signals always lead to disaster. Ask any driver, and he'll tell you the same thing. As a car owner, you have to give accurate signals to other motorists, whether you're slowing down, stopping, or making a turn. With the right signals, drivers behind and in front of you can make the appropriate maneuver to avoid bumping into your car. A car sends signals through the turn signal lights located at the four corners of your vehicle. These lights are activated by the turn signal switch located inside the car.
This switch is activated by a lever that's installed right in the steering wheel or in a separate assembly near the steering column. Lifting the lever up or pushing it down sends voltage signals to the switch to activate the turn signals lamps. The switch is connected to a cancellation device that automatically brings the lever back in neutral position when the signal light is no longer needed. If your turn signal switch is broken, you have to replace it immediately because without it, you can't operate the turn signal lights. Faulty turn signals are not only illegal; they're also a safety hazard for you and other motorists on the road.
Finding a high-quality turn signal switch replacement is not hard to do, since there are many online auto parts stores that offer this safety component. If you're going to purchase a new turn signals switch, make sure that you get it from a reliable distributor.
Turn Signal Switch Buyer's Guide
- A turn signal switch is a lever mechanism that activates a car’s turn signal lights, windshield wipers, fog lights, headlights, and even cruise control systems.
- It is also commonly called a blinker switch, turn signal lever, or turn signal arm.
- The movement of the turn signal lever determines which light circuits are completed, switching a specific set of lights on and off.
- OEM replacement parts will cost you anywhere between $20 and $800. Turn signal switches are typically sold individually or as part of a kit.
- Your car’s turn signal mechanism is your primary means of communication with other drivers on the road. Replacement of a faulty turn signal switch is important for road safety.
Can you imagine what driving would be like if turn signals were never invented? Back in the 50s, drivers completely relied on hand signals to keep vehicles from colliding on the road. Thankfully, innovation has spared us from the need to rest our elbow on the window and extend an arm out of the vehicle to signal a turn. To better understand and appreciate how this mechanism works, let’s take a closer look at the turn signal switch and why it’s an important part of your car.
What is a turn signal switch?
A turn signal switch is a lever mechanism that controls your car’s blinkers. It is also commonly referred to as a blinker switch, turn signal lever or turn signal arm. This component also includes dials and other switches that activate other systems such as your vehicle’s windshield wipers, fog lights, headlights, and even cruise control systems. The turn signal lever is typically attached to the inside of the steering column.
How does a turn signal switch work?
As its name suggests, the turn signal switch is the component that activates your car’s turn signal lights. It is connected to the steering column which holds the circuitry that activates these lights. In some vehicles, the lever mechanism and internal switch are combined into a single component.
The turn signal circuit is powered as soon as you switch the ignition on. Power from your car’s battery flows to the fuse panel and into the thermal flasher which is connected to the turn signal lever.
To put it simply, the movement of the lever determines which light circuit is completed. Different sets of turn signal lights and dashboard indicators are switched on when you move the lever up and down. The same thing happens to other light and signal systems when the dial at the end of the lever is turned.
Canceling turn signals
Have you ever wondered how turn signals get canceled after making a turn? Most modern vehicles are fitted with a mechanism that automatically switches off the turn signal after a turn is completed.
Inside the steering shaft are four equally spaced notches. As the turn signal lever is moved up or down, a spring-loaded roller falls into one of the notches and holds it into place. At the same time, a plastic lever is pushed into a notch and lets each one pass as the steering wheel is turned.
As soon as the steering wheel spins the opposite direction, the plastic lever is pushed away and the spring-loaded roller is disengaged, allowing the lever to go back to its original position. This causes the circuit to be automatically switched off after a turn.
How much is a turn signal switch?
The cost of a turn signal switch varies depending on your car’s year, model, and make. OEM replacement parts will cost you anywhere between $20 and $800. Turn signal switches are typically sold individually or as part of a kit.
While it may be possible to install this part on your own, we recommend going to a trusted mechanic because replacement requires disconnecting the circuit from the battery and disabling your vehicle’s airbag system. Working with a trusted mechanic will ensure that your airbags are not accidentally deployed during repairs and all other components in the steering column are reconnected properly.
Why is a replacement turn signal switch important?
Your car’s turn signal mechanism is your primary means of communication with other drivers on the road. It gives other vehicles enough time to react before you make a turn or as you prepare to switch lanes. It is important to check for problems with your car’s signaling system to avoid accidents by effectively communicating your movements on the road.
You can tell if your car’s turn signal switch can be replaced if the lever doesn’t hold its place or doesn’t automatically switch back to its original position after a turn.
Another thing to watch out for is difficulty switching your blinkers on and off. If you’ve ruled out problems with the light assembly, chances are there may be damaged components within the turn signal circuitry.
As soon as you observe one or more of these signs, have your vehicle checked by a professional and consider getting a replacement turn signal switch.
The Automobile Basics: Turn Signal Switch
The turn signal light is one of the most important components of the lighting assembly. Drivers who are concerned about their safety on the road must ensure that this light is always in tiptop condition. Day time and night time driving makes this very necessary because it is the one used to give signals to other motorists when turning to another street or direction. The Turn Signal Switch activates this signal light. It is actually connected to a lever that is usually found on the steering column. From its neutral position, the lever is simply moved to the left or to the right, automatically activating the switch in the process. This, in turn, causes either the left or right turn lamp to blink. If the Turn Signal Switch is damaged, there is no way for the driver to show the appropriate signal to preceding or succeeding vehicles. Replacement of the whole Turn Signal Switch assembly is the best solution to this problem. A blinker that doesn't work properly and does not shut off after the turn has been made is clear sign that the switch needs to be replaced. There are many replacements available in the market these days, so acquiring one should not be a problem.
Important Facts You Need to Know About Turn Signal Switch
Driving is as much a discipline as it is an everyday task. Despite it being part of your daily grind, you have to bear in mind traffic laws governing driving behaviors. Those regulations include using your car's turn signals whenever making a turn or simply moving to adjacent lanes.Having a broken turn signal switch is no excuse for not following the law. Besides, replacing it would cost you far less than paying for a road violation ticket.Think about it. You're changing lanes and the driver on the adjacent lane receives no warning. He speeds up just at the moment when you swerve into the lane. Depending on both drivers' abilities, you may end up badly.That's just one example of what can happen if you do not replace your faulty turn signal switch. Don't risk it. You can get a quality replacement switch here at CarParts.com.
• The switch helps you warn other drivers that you intend to make a turn.
• As a direct-fit replacement, the switch is easy to install.
• Every turn signal switch from us is more durable than its stock counterpart.
Avoid Safety Hazards: Replace Your Turn Signal Switch
The turn signal switch activates the signal lights at the rear and front of your vehicle. If the turn signal switch is not working, you might cause accidents and get traffic violation tickets. Fortunately, replacing a faulty turn signal switch is easy. This guide will teach you how you can do it at home.
Difficulty level: Moderate
- New turn signal switch
- Phillips screwdriver
- Ratchet and socket
Step 1. Open your car's hood after making sure that your car is parked in a secure place. Then, disconnect the negative or black battery cable.
Step 2. Remove the lower cover of the dashboard underneath the steering column. Do this with your Phillips screwdriver or ratchet and socket.
Step 3. Using your ratchet and socket, remove the knee bolster under the steering column.
Step 4. So you can remove the upper steering column cover, loosen the bolts attaching the steering column to the support bracket with your ratchet and socket. In some vehicles, the upper cover can be removed once the lower steering column is removed.
Step 5. Loosen the turn signal switch mounting screws with your Phillips screwdriver. Afterwards, unplug the electrical connector switch, and remove the switch from the vehicle. If there are no mounting screws, just pull the switch lever to remove it.
Step 6. Once the switch has been disconnected and removed, replace it with the new switch. Connect the wires and electrical connector in the same way the old switch was connected. If you pulled the switch lever to remove the switch, put it back.
Step 7. Attach the upper cover of the steering column once again, and secure the mounting bolts of the column bracket. Then, install the lower cover and knee bolster back underneath the steering column.
Step 8. Connect the black or negative battery cable, and test your new turn signal switch.