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  • Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme
  • Turn Signals and Hazard Lights
  • Chevy Camaro RS

How do you replace a turn signal switch?

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βˆ™ 2010-03-27 02:27:15

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Disconnect the car battery's negative cable to prevent damage, shorts, etc. To be safe, block the rear wheels so that the car will not roll back or forward while you're working. Don't block the front wheels because you'll be turning the steering wheel later on.

Note: to help yourself throughout this job, you may need to raise or lower ("tilt") the steering column to make it easier to undo and attach pieces. I don't know if any L-series Saturns have non-tilting steering columns.

Using proper size socket and Torx drivers, remove the 3 screws (the center screw takes the socket and the two outer screws take the Torx drivers) that are on the underneath side of the cover that encloses the turn-signal/headlight switch (and the ignition switch on the other side, as well as other fun stuff associated w/ the steering column!). Unsnap the top half of this two-piece cover from the bottom by wiggling it, etc till the pieces separate. If your hands are big enough, you can grab the bottom with one hand and the top with the other (like the steering column is a neck and you're trying to strangle it! - see, humor, too!) and pull in opposite directions while you squeeze the top part from the sides. The "beauty ring" that goes around the ignition switch will pop out, too, when the two pieces separate and expose all of the stuff.

Unplug the wiring plug assembly from the body of the switch - there's a locking tab to press out of the way. There are two little tabs of plastic on the left side of the headlight/turn signal switch itself - they're on the end nearer to the steering wheel itself - one is on top and one on the bottom. Squeeze the two tabs toward each other (your left hand works perfectly for this job)and rock/jiggle the switch. The whole switch assembly and turn signal "arm" come out as a unit towards the left, or away from the steering column. If it seems jammed, wiggle the tabs a little from side to side (or up and down) while pulling on the turn signal "arm." (If you grab this arm with the three other fingers and your palm on the hand you're squeezing the tabs with, you'll have some leverage to help you wiggle if need be.) Mine took a little persuasion of this type to get mine out, by the way.

Install the new assembly by sliding it into place (there are guides on the switch that slide into grooves in the black plastic backing "plate" that the switch snaps into) and pressing till you hear the little tabs lock it into place. Connect the wiring plug. After you're sure that everything is attached at this point, reconnect the battery cable and make sure that everything works. Don't forget to test the turn signals as far as making sure that the turn signal "cancels" - you might want to start the car, signal a left turn, turn the wheel a revolution to the left, then turn it back towards the "neutral" position to make sure that the turn signal arm moves back to the middle position and the turn signal indicator on the dash stops flashing. Do the same for the right side, but obviously, you'll fake a turn to the right and then go back left to "neutral" to check for canceling, etc. While you're at it, make sure that the headlights, parking lamps, highlights and day running lights are working, as well as making sure that the indicators on the dash are working correctly, too.

Turn the car off, and reassemble the two cover halves together (it's best to attach the bottom one first, tightening the 3 screws only partially till you've got the top attached). Also, make sure that the foam rubber "boot" on the arm stays inside of the cover halves as you assemble them. Note that there are little "posts" on one half of this cover that fit matching holes on the other part - you need to plug these together correctly - and the cover will snap back together and the gap between the two halves will be completely gone. Now snap the ring around the ignition switch into its proper place - note that it's "keyed" so that it'll have the positions correctly oriented with respect to OFF ACC ON START, or whatever.

After these are all in place, tighten up the 3 screws on the bottom.

Just to be sure, make sure everything still works AFTER you've done the above. This includes making sure that the column still adjusts up and down as before, and that the steering wheel will turn freely from lock to lock (you'll need to start the car to do this last thing). When you're done, turn the car off, remove the keys and pull the blocks out from the rear wheels.

The whole job takes maybe 20 minutes and it saved ME $160 in labor! This was done in August, 06 and the switch cost less than $50.

************SHORT VERSION== Go to an authorized dealer. Tell them what you want to do. Ask them if they have a computer or MicroFiche exploded diagram of the assembly you will be taking apart. Ask if they can print out any relevant pictures or information, even if there's a small fee. If someone is there who can point to the diagram and walk you thru what's involved, it will be much easier. Don't get sidetracked with extraneous knowledge; all you're doing is this one task-stick to specifics. Take notes if need be. Find out what special fasteners and related removal tools are involved, and if anything, like rivets, need to be destroyed for removal: you'll need to have replacements for re-assembly. Just remember: it was broke when you tried to fix it; it can be broke if you still end up having to take it to the dealer to have THEM fix it!

2010-03-27 02:27:15
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