Turn Signal failure

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Turn Signal failure

Postby White Lincoln » Sun Aug 18, 2013 2:45 pm

Seems my turn signal has finally crapped out. I blinks about once every 16 seconds, stops, then flashs normal, then stops. Right side is worse, "blink........blink, blink.............................................................blink."

I will check bulbs and flasher but could it be the turn signal mechanism itself? I didn't know if that part can cause this type of problem.
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Re: Turn Signal failure

Postby tomnh » Sun Aug 18, 2013 2:53 pm

Check your blinker fluid Brad. Sound like it is very low. :lol:
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Re: Turn Signal failure

Postby K MANIAC » Sun Aug 18, 2013 4:33 pm

Brad, I wouldn't say the turn signals have "crapped out" or "failed", rather, I would say they are malfunctioning.

The turn signals use four bulbs on each side, the high wattage (bright) filiment in the front bulb, the dashboard indicator light, and the high wattage (bright) filiment in the two rear bulbs. The bimetallic strip in the turn signal flasher is designed to blink the circuit under the load of the four bulbs. If the flasher is good and one or more of the bulbs on one side burned out, the flasher will slow or not blink at all (keep all the lights on constantly).

Remember, too, that the brake light circuit uses the same taillight bulbs as the turn signals and the hazard flashers. Therefore, power to the brake lights in the two rear clusters runs through the multifunction switch. The center brake light, however, is on a separate circuit that does not run through the multifunction switch. Check the operation of the brake lights with the turn signal stalk cancelled (both rears and center lights should be lit solid), with the turn signal at left turn (center and right cluster lit only), and with the turn signal at right turn (center and left cluster lit only). Any deviation from this pattern could indicate a problem with bulbs or the multifunction switch.

The hazard flasher circuit uses the same bulbs as BOTH sides of the turn signal circuit AND uses a different flasher. Operating the hazard flashers can help you with trouble shooting the turn signals. Operating the flashers will give you a system check of the integrity of all the bulbs all at once. Also, if the hazard flashers work normally but the turn signals do not, the problem could be the turn signal flasher and/or the multifunction switch.

You should also check the integrity of the low wattage (dim) filiment of the six "dual filiment" bulbs by operating the parking lights. If any bulb doesn't light, replace it. Also, if operating the parking lights causes any bright filiment to light up, or causes the center brake light to light up, you have "crosstalk" between the circuits in one or more bulbs (see below).

Another thing to think about, too, is the age and integrity of the "dual filiment" bulbs used in these circuits, two bulbs in front (left and right park/turn lamps), and four bulbs in the rear (left and right stop/park/turn lamps, two on each side). Sometimes these bulbs have been known to degrade to the point where the two circuits "crosstalk", meaning that electrical signal from the high intensity filiment shorts over and grounds through the low intensity filiment circuit, and vice versa. This can make for some interesting light bulb activity and behavior. Replacing all six bulbs at once before any further trouble shooting would be a good and inexpensive first move, that might miraculously cure the problem. Not a guarentee, but a good first start.

Let us know what you find and see during the testing, both expected and unusual, so we can help you get to the root of this problem.
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Re: Turn Signal failure

Postby White Lincoln » Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:08 pm

Thank you Tom for the suggestion. I checked my blinker fluid (located just to the right of the master brake cylinder against the firewall) and it was at the MAX level. So that is okay.

K-Man, thank you for the detailed description of the turn signal and related systems to help diagnose this issue. Much apprecaited. Here is what I have:
1) Blinker fluid level is okay.
2) Emergency Flash shows all bulbs blinking at a steady rate, all lights are on and same brightness. Both front bulb and side bulb are blinking at the same time.
3) The turn signals are blinking spiradick with the rear flashing at the same brightness, but the front bulbs (next to the grill) are blinking spiradic, but are blinking. The side front turn signal lamps are not coming on when the front lamps are coming on, but will come on occasionally at a different rate than the front lamps.

If I am correct, the lamps in the front should alternate between the front bulb to the side bulb when the turn signal is on, correct? Or do they turn on at the same time?

What would you suggest at this point to try?
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Re: Turn Signal failure

Postby K MANIAC » Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:45 pm

White Lincoln wrote:K-Man, thank you for the detailed description of the turn signal and related systems to help diagnose this issue. Much apprecaited. Here is what I have:
1) Blinker fluid level is okay.
2) Emergency Flash shows all bulbs blinking at a steady rate, all lights are on and same brightness. Both front bulb and side bulb are blinking at the same time.
3) The turn signals are blinking spiradick with the rear flashing at the same brightness, but the front bulbs (next to the grill) are blinking spiradic, but are blinking. The side front turn signal lamps are not coming on when the front lamps are coming on, but will come on occasionally at a different rate than the front lamps.

If I am correct, the lamps in the front should alternate between the front bulb to the side bulb when the turn signal is on, correct? Or do they turn on at the same time?

What would you suggest at this point to try?


One thing I forgot to mention previously, are the "cornering lamps", one on each front fender and adjacent to the outside edge of the headlights. Each cornering lamp is triggered by a separate (left or right) "thermal activated relay". When a turn signal direction is selected, the pulsing 12-volt power to the blinking front and dashboard lamps heats the triggering element in the relay causing the cornering lamp to illuminate and stay lit as long as the thermal element is hot (the signals are blinking). Once the turn is cancelled and the lights stop blinking, the relay element cools and the cornering lamp goes out. The thermal trigger is the reason cornering lamps appear to have a delayed light up and light out.

The first thing I would suggest to you, Brad, is to replace the turn signal flasher in the fuse box. Then see how things work.
"This car may be old, but it will still climb Kirker Pass at 110!"- quote of the original owner of my green 1964 Chrysler 300-K

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Re: Turn Signal failure

Postby White Lincoln » Mon Aug 19, 2013 2:06 pm

Hi K-Man,
Before I run out and get yet another flasher, let me say this:
When I bought the car, the blinkers seemed slow and spiradic so I bought a new flasher, one that was louder too. That was 4 years ago, but I have had this issue since I bought the car. The problem has started getting worse just recently. Assuming the flasher is not the issue, what would be next? The turn signal assembly?

BTW: I always thought it was strange the my side lights would not come on for a few seconds after turning the signals on whereas my Town Car side lights come on immediatly when turning on the turn signal.

Also, to make clear, when I was testing the turn signals, I was refering the orange side blinker light, not the white side light. THe white side light I beleive only comes on when the headlights are active.

Let me know what you think.
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Re: Turn Signal failure

Postby K MANIAC » Mon Aug 19, 2013 4:06 pm

White Lincoln wrote:Also, to make clear, when I was testing the turn signals, I was refering the orange side blinker light, not the white side light. THe white side light I beleive only comes on when the headlights are active. Let me know what you think.


I think we are getting somewhere, thanks to your observations.

Now, to be clear, let me describe the light clusters on each front corner of our Mark VII's and how they are suppose to function. From the inside out we have the "Park/Turn" lamp, the "Headlight/High Beam" lamp, the "Cornering Lamp", and the "Front Side Marker" lamp.

The "Park/Turn" lamp has a dual filiment bulb with the "bright filiment" blinking with the turn signals and the dim filiment illuminating steady with either parking lights or headlights.

The "Headlight/High Beam" is self-explanitory.

The "Cornering Lamp" is a single filiment bulb and the only time the cornering lamp is suppose to illuminate is when the respective turn signal is blinking. The purpose of the cornering lamp is to illuminate the area along the front and side of the corner of the car to aid the driver's visibility, AT NIGHT, while making a turn. This light is NOT suppose to illuminate with the headlights or for any other reason.

The "Front Side Marker" lamp (with amber lense) is a single filiment bulb that is wired into the same circuit as the dim filiment of the front "Park/Turn" bulb. The "Front Side Marker" lamp is suppose to illuminate steady with the parking lights or the headlights. The marker is NOT suppose to blink with either the turn signals or the hazard flashers. The same is true for the rear side marker lights, too.

I now have a question - Does one or both of the amber front side marker lights blink with either the turn signals or the hazard flashers? If so, you have "crosstalk" occuring between any one or all of the six "dual filiment" bulbs, the two "Park/Turn" bulbs in front, and the four "Stop/Turn/Tail" bulbs in the rear. If you haven't changed any or all of these six bulbs since you have owned the car, then I suggest you replace all six of these bulbs NOW!

Let me know if you have additional questions or comments.
"This car may be old, but it will still climb Kirker Pass at 110!"- quote of the original owner of my green 1964 Chrysler 300-K

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1989 Mark VII LSC (Sandstone Metallic)
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Re: Turn Signal failure

Postby White Lincoln » Mon Aug 19, 2013 4:25 pm

Thank you K-Man. I will post soon what the answers are.

Strange that it is possibly as simple as a bulb. I have a jar full of Ford bulbs that I have been dying to do something with. If nothing else than to test my bulbs and then get the new ones.

i have also been wanting to get LED's for my lamps, but the cost has really kept me from doing it.
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Re: Turn Signal failure

Postby White Lincoln » Mon Aug 19, 2013 7:06 pm

Okay, here is what I obsurved:
With the key at start and the blinker on, the front yellow bulb next to the grill blinks but the white bulb on the side comes on spiradically.

If I turn the engine ON, the white side light stays on while the yellow bulb up front is blinking. Sorry about the misunderstanding, I don't know if the side light should be on if the car is not running and the blinker is on. Is there enough power to activate the side light?

When I have the lights on the turn signal system seems to work better, but I know it still has issues with not blinking in a consecutive order.
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Re: Turn Signal failure

Postby K MANIAC » Mon Aug 19, 2013 9:47 pm

OK, Brad, time to get down to the nitty-gritty and as they say, a picture is worth 1000 words, so here goes.

Image

The image above shows the left side light cluster on my Mark VII. With the ignition key on (engine on or off) and the turn signal stalk switched to the left blinker, the left brite filiment in the "Park/Turn" bulb (amber bulb behind the clear lense next to the grill) should be blinking, the "Cornering Lamp" (between the headlight and the amber lensed side marker light) should be on steady, and the bulb in the "Side Marker Light" (amber lense on the right side of the picture) SHOULD NOT BE LIT AND SHOULD NOT BLINK.

Image

The image above shows the parking lights only ON. The dim filiment in the "Park/Turn" bulb (amber bulb behind the clear lense next to the grill) should be on steady, the "Cornering Lamp" (between the headlight and the amber lensed side marker light) should NOT be lit, and the bulb in the "Side Marker Light" (amber lense on the right side of the picture) should be on steady. The "Side Marker Light" should only be lit with either the parking lights only or the headlights on and SHOULD NOT BLINK WITH THE TURN SIGNALS ON EITHER SIDE.

The "Side Marker Light" blinking with the turn signals on either side, or both sides, indicates electrical "crosstalk" between the parking light circuit and the turn signal circuit. This can be caused by defective front turn signal bulbs or faulty wiring. if you don't know the history of your front "Park/Turn" bulbs, I suggest installing a pair of new 2458NA (amber colored) bulbs. If that does not end the blinking side marker lights, then replace the four taillights with four new 2458 bulbs, two in each taillight housing.

Let me know if you have any more questions or comments.
"This car may be old, but it will still climb Kirker Pass at 110!"- quote of the original owner of my green 1964 Chrysler 300-K

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1989 Mark VII Bill Blass (Oxford White)
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1989 Mark VII LSC (Sandstone Metallic)
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Re: Turn Signal failure

Postby White Lincoln » Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:28 pm

That is what I needed to know.

All this time it might turn out to be a damn bulb? Argh.

Thanks K-Man. I'll stop by the store and get a set of bulbs. Might as well replace all of them.

I'll let you know what happens.
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Re: Turn Signal failure

Postby White Lincoln » Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:41 pm

What part number are you posting? I show an 1157NA for the yellow and 1157 for the clear.
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Re: Turn Signal failure

Postby K MANIAC » Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:45 am

White Lincoln wrote:What part number are you posting? I show an 1157NA for the yellow and 1157 for the clear.


This could be a bulb specifcation change between 1988 and 1989. I read the spec' for 2458 directly from my 1989 owner guide. On the other hand, my 1986 Continental guide spec's 1157 bulbs for the same applications. Go with your book.
"This car may be old, but it will still climb Kirker Pass at 110!"- quote of the original owner of my green 1964 Chrysler 300-K

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1986 Continental
1989 Mark VII Bill Blass (Oxford White)
1989 Mark VII LSC (Pewter Metallic)
1989 Mark VII LSC (Sandstone Metallic)
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Re: Turn Signal failure

Postby White Lincoln » Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:04 am

Thanks K-Man for all your help on this issue.
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Re: Turn Signal failure

Postby White Lincoln » Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:55 pm

One more question:
I was making a left turn today and of course the blinker did not blink. I pushed down harder on the switch and it started blinking. Before I spend $40 in lamps, should I get the switch too?
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Re: Turn Signal failure

Postby K MANIAC » Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:49 pm

Now that is a new symptom. That could indicate iminent switch failure and may contribute to issue at hand. Sounds like a reasonable plan of action. Your call.
"This car may be old, but it will still climb Kirker Pass at 110!"- quote of the original owner of my green 1964 Chrysler 300-K

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1986 Continental
1989 Mark VII Bill Blass (Oxford White)
1989 Mark VII LSC (Pewter Metallic)
1989 Mark VII LSC (Sandstone Metallic)
1/2 of a 1992 Town Car Signature (my guaranteed inheritance)
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Re: Turn Signal failure

Postby White Lincoln » Mon Sep 02, 2013 5:01 am

I put new bulbs in the front and was testing them with the key on, engine off. THey acted the same again, not blinking in any set order. THen I hit the passing hi beam switch and POOF that was it. No more turn signals. I even started the engine and nothing. Now I know for sure the multi switch is to blame.

I read in my service manual Vol B, Chassis / Electrical that the multi switch is VERY easy to replace. I thought I was going to have to remove the steering wheel, but it is just the plasitc housing, wire connections at the switch and two screws, "Pull and Replace".

Went to the junk yard today and they did not have anymore Mark VII"s. Crushed I suppose. :o :cry:
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Re: Turn Signal failure - UPDATE

Postby White Lincoln » Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:26 pm

I got the turn signal multi-switch replaced, but the turn signals would still not come on. I checked the fuses and the figured (according to K-Man's comment before) it was the turn signal flasher. As I was noticing that the battery cables needed attencion, I decided to remove the battery and clean it off as well. When I went to remove the positive cable, the lead connector broke in TWO! POS, cheap Chinese crap. It was only 3 years old. So I go to Autozone by my house and all they have are BLACK cables!!!! The salesman told me that they have a marker you put in the cable to verify which one is the red or black cable. I about blew a fuse! I told the sales guy, "anyone that puts a black cable where the red cable goes and has two black cables is an idiot!" I then proceeded to go to O'Reileys where I got the last one. I got the identical red cable and cleaned all the bolts and battery terminals to make sure they don't get "the crud" again.

My turn signals now work correctly, blink in sync like they should, the assembly is nice and tight like it should be, not loose and wobbly.

Thanks K-Man for your help.

I have since ordred 1157NH (Night Hawk) lamps for the rear lights like I have for the front, including the back up lights. These bulbs are 20% brighter than regular 1156 and 1157 bulbs and should last a good long while too. I also got Xenon headlights for the Cougar and Mark as well as the 197NH lamps for the side markers.
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Re: Turn Signal failure

Postby Ajl0429 » Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:50 pm

Hey guys I got a 92 bill Blass and my passenger side turning signal doesn't flash or come on at all. This is the one next to the grille. I changed the bulbs changed the fuse. I even change the socket thinking the socket was bad but still nothing.
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Re: Turn Signal failure

Postby oldschool1 » Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:05 pm

I would replace the Multifunction Switch.

See, https://www.thelincolnmarkviiclub.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=6441&p=82703

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Let us know how you proceed.
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