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Turn signal problems

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Paul R. Haller, Apr 1, 2008.

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  1. Paul R. Haller

    Paul R. Haller Member

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    I have noticed infrequently that the right turn signal dash indicator will blink very rapidly when the turn signal is not even activated. It's also intermittent. It happened again last night and I got out to see if the outside lights were blinking rapidly also. They were. It's almost as if there is a buzzing noise and the flasher will blink so fast its hard to even tell they are blinking except for the noise.

    I'm guessing this is a short of some kind but thought I would run it past the Prius gurus here before taking it to the dealer. It happens so infrequently that I doubt it will do it at the dealer when I want it to though. I'm also guessing without the car actually exhibiting the issue, the dealer wont be able to locate the problem. It's not related to temperature, weather conditions, time of day, or how long the car has operated. If I were doing the trouble shooting I would start at the multi function switch or flasher and their wiring:der: but who knows.
    Any Ideas?
    -Paul R. Haller-
  2. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    Without being able to recreate the problem, it's not going to get fixed unless you are very lucky, unless it is a simple problem. It may be that the dealer will replace the unit and all will be good. If not, focus on finding a set of circumstances that increase the likelihood of failure.

    Tom
  3. Paul R. Haller

    Paul R. Haller Member

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    Thanks Tom, Yes, I agree that fixing it will be difficult unless it's actually failed or the symptoms are present while at the dealer. So far, I have not been able to identify any precipitating actions to cause the turn signals to do this.:confused:
    -P-
  4. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Hi Paul,

    Your suggestion about where to start the troubleshooting is good. Next time this happens, try moving the turn signal switch lever slightly down (i.e., slightly toward the "left" position), and see if the rapid blinking problem stops. If you can control the problem by moving the lever, that will prove the problem is within the turn signal switch.

    Then you will have confidence authorizing your dealer's service dept to replace that part (I'm assuming you have to pay the bill.)

    BTW, the turn signal flasher relay is located within the instrument panel junction block assembly.
  5. SparrowHawk60

    SparrowHawk60 Happy to be green!

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    >>> the turn signal flasher relay is located within the instrument panel junction block assembly.

    First thing I would check, cheap enough to replace this yourself and see if the problem is solved.
    Nissan's are known for stalk switch problems, haven't heard any complaints about the Toyota's.
    Have you checked all your lights to see if they all work? Many cars will have a "fast" flasher if one of the other turn signal bulbs is out. (VW's are good for this.)
    Second step after replacement of the flasher relay (if it doesn't solve the problem) would be to check all your light connections, while they are disconnected apply a small amount of Di electric grease to them.
    If there is still no luck in fixing this problem yourself, a trip to the dealer maybe in order.
    If you're so inclined you could remove the stalk switch and either have it tested or buy a new one and install that. It's no going to be cheap and taking the steering wheel off can be a real pain in the ass. Don't forget about the air bag!
  6. morpheusx

    morpheusx Professor Chaos

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    I would concur that it is most likely the Flasher Relay, I have had these go on me before in previous cars. But my symptoms were that the signal wouldn't even flash just light up and stay on.
  7. valen

    valen New Member

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    My prius has a similar problem where the left hand turn signal stays on. I have checked the flasher relay and there was no problem. I was told that when the windows are open and the airconditioner is going it creates a lot of humidity. And that this is what is causing the problem. Usually it dries by itself but I need it to dry quicker.

    Apparently the humidity collects in the steering column and I was wondering if anyone knows anything about it.
  8. jayarek

    jayarek New Member

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    Today I experienced same problem. Right turn signal would rapidly blink for about a second while driving. It happened while driving about five times while running errands to three different places. Has never happened before. Was not raining while driving. Had rained off and on thru the day and while inside doing errands. Did not drive thru any puddles or anything out of ordinary. Prius 2006, almost 74k. Anybody else experience or resolve. Will ck turn signals to see if bulb is out but don't think that is it.
  9. Paul R. Haller

    Paul R. Haller Member

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    Well, after complaining about this 4 times at the dealer they called Toyota and Toyota authorized replacement of the multi function switch at No Charge. They told me afterwords that 4 people in the US have had similar issues. They are replacing it free due to recent problems with customer satisfaction and service. Whatever that means. So far, and its only been 4 days no more problems.:):)
    -Paul R. Haller-
    1 person likes this.
  10. exvtekman

    exvtekman New Member

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    Hello, my 2005 is doing the same damn thing now. Can anyone other than Paul comment on their fix for the issue? Thanks
  11. exvtekman

    exvtekman New Member

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    I ended up fixing this by replacing the turn signal switch. Relatively easy DIY but you do have to remove the steering wheel. Took me about 1.5 hr taking it very slowly and being careful.
  12. Rob.vanderWijngaart

    Rob.vanderWijngaart New Member

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    Hi Paul,

    I have the exact same problem, except the frequency has been increasing, and now my right turn signal is flickering like mad almost all the time. My question to you is whether you got the multi-functional switch fixed under warranty. My basic warranty has expired. Also, has the problem returned, or is it now permanently fixed? Thanks!

    Rob
  13. steevmaier

    steevmaier New Member

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    Yes, I too have the same issue; my problem signal is the left. The Walnut Creek, CA, dealer is essentially trying to blow me off; they want me to pay $160 for a diagnosis which they say could take a few days until one of their techs experiences the problem for themselves. Does anyone have a suggestion as to how to get them to fix it or run it up to "TOYOTA" just based on my own description? Thanks!
  14. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    If you are going to pay for the repair, just ask the service writer to have the turn signal switch replaced, and say that there is no need for the tech to experience the problem for himself (which means that you are taking responsibility for the correct diagnosis.)

    If you are relying on warranty coverage then you will have to wait for the problem to be replicated.
  15. jdenenberg

    jdenenberg EE Professor

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    I had the same problem on my Jetta (it is common in VWs - along with other problems). I sprayed a good cleaning solution (no residue electronics cleaner) into the switch a few times while working the switch. The problem went away and has not returned for two years. It is an inexpensive thing to try. Good luck.

    JeffD
  16. awindhorst

    awindhorst Junior Member

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    I have a 2006 Prius with 135,000 miles on it. I just started having this issue. It seems like the car has to be driven for around 1 hr to 1.5 hrs for the issue to appear. Basically the right turn signal will start to flash without the turn signal on. It just happens by itself. All the turn signal lights are functional. I did have to replace the HV battery a month or 2 ago. I took the car to the dealer to diagnose and the tech was not able to reproduce the problem. I still have the original 12v battery and the voltages are what they should be when I do the maintenance mode system check. Any word on if the mutli function switch resolves the issue?
  17. TeamPace

    TeamPace New Member

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    My 2006 Prius started having this problem infrequently about 6 months ago but it has gotten progressively worse and now happens frequently. Wondering if anyone who has had the turn signal switch replaced can confirm it was a long term solution?
  18. Paul R. Haller

    Paul R. Haller Member

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    Well, it's been a little over two years since the multifunction switch was replaced. So far, it has not done this rapid flashing thing again. I would say the multifunction switch was the problem in my car.
    -Paul R. Haller-
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