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INT: Repair worn/faulty combination switch

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    INT: Repair worn/faulty combination switch

    Hey folks! I recently had an issue where my right turn signal would randomly turn on and the hazard/direction indicator relay would spasm. It turned out to be a worn combination switch. Most folks would simply replace the switch at this point, but here's what I did instead to save some money.

    I apologize for some of the photos. I was in a hurry and getting proper lighting while using the camera on my phone is not always an easy task.

    Tools and materials required:

    #2 Philips screwdriver
    small flat-head screwdriver
    isopropyl alcohol (or acetone, or ...)
    dielectric grease (silicone grease)
    paper towel (or a napkin, or a rag, or ...)
    cotton swaps (or cotton balls, or ...)

    First we need to open the switch housing, the part that mounts near the steering column. To do this, first remove the two screws on the back of the housing, the side with the electrical connector. Next, insert a small flat-head screwdriver between the housing and the electrical connector module, relieving one plastic tab at a time. Finally, slide the module out.



    Next, clean up all of the grease, shredded plastic, and worn contacts using the alcohol, paper towels, and cotton swaps.



    Finally, and this is where the magic happens, clean the gunk out from the recesses between the turn signal contacts. The turn signal contacts are the ones that run vertically on the module. I used the small flat-head screwdriver to help clear the gunk from the valley. The reason the relay comes on randomly/spastically is because the metal from the contacts mixes with the grease and builds up in the valleys between the contacts. This effectively creates a short circuit causing the switch to close, just like if you had turned the switch on normally.



    Lastly, reassemble any of the sliding contacts and apply a small amount of grease to the contact surfaces. It also won't hurt to apply some grease to the mechanical plastic surfaces, so lube them up too. Install the module into the housing and insert the screws.

    Last edited by reklipz; 12-28-2012, 10:23 PM.

    #2
    Good job, you got to it before you had enough of a short to actually burn/melt the housing (like mine did).
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    Comment


      #3
      clean job.

      I moved this to the proper location.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by fleetw00d View Post
        Good job, you got to it before you had enough of a short to actually burn/melt the housing (like mine did).
        Originally posted by excalibur02 View Post
        clean job.

        I moved this to the proper location.
        Thanks! Yeah, I'm glad I was able to repair it. At first I just cleaned the contact surfaces and it didn't fix it. Then I examined it again and noticed the valleys between the contacts. I wonder why they're there to begin with... Oh well! Hopefully this can save someone else a few bucks and some time in the future.

        Comment


          #5
          Great write up.

          What does the di-electric grease do?

          Wouldn't it be better to leave it off so it doesn't collect dirt and then eventually build up a charge?

          Or does that help counter that?

          Sorry for the nub question lol

          Comment


            #6
            Honestly, I'm not sure that the grease is necessary. It's evident that there was grease there to begin with, which is the reason I added it back in after cleaning. The grease probably helps eliminate wear on the contact surfaces as well as making for a smoother operation.

            You could probably get away without the grease, yeah. I'm not entirely sure that doing so would eliminate the problem though. Sorry I can't really answer your question!

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by reklipz View Post
              Honestly, I'm not sure that the grease is necessary. It's evident that there was grease there to begin with, which is the reason I added it back in after cleaning. The grease probably helps eliminate wear on the contact surfaces as well as making for a smoother operation.

              You could probably get away without the grease, yeah. I'm not entirely sure that doing so would eliminate the problem though. Sorry I can't really answer your question!
              I think that it is necessary, but the end result is after x amount of years it either needs to be cleaned or replaced.

              Just wanted to throw it out there!

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