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Turn Signal Trouble...Need Help!


Old 03-04-2002, 09:44 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Houston
Posts: 21
Question Turn Signal Trouble...Need Help!

I need help trying to figure out a problem I have with my trun signal on my 97 F150. The right turn signal works only part of the time. What I mean is if I move the lever just before the set positon it might work, but if I move it all the way it just clicks twice as fast with no signal. Someone said it might be the buld, but if that were true it wouldn't work at all. I need to fighue this out fast. I'm past inspection and I live close the the county court house. Cops everywhere and I can't afford another ticket.

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Old 03-04-2002, 10:57 PM
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: North Little Rock, AR - USA
Posts: 65
I have 2 friends with '97 F150's. Both have the same problem. I can't remember if they said it was a short, or a bad connection, in the steering column. I've heard of the same problem in other '97s on these boards.
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Old 03-04-2002, 11:11 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 1998
Location: Blue Ridge Mountains, GA
Posts: 1,719
If it's not a bulb, more than likely it is the turn signal switch lever(AKA: multi-function switch). A common problem on '97 and '98 f-150's. Must be replaced with a new one from the dealer.
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Old 03-04-2002, 11:20 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Houston
Posts: 21
I'm starting to think it's the switch too. But I don't know how to test it without just replacing it.

Now my next question...how much of a bitch is it to replace? Do I have to pull the steering wheel and or can it be gotten to from the side? Also, can bulbs start to go bad?

Thanks for all the advice.
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Old 03-05-2002, 01:33 PM
WLF is offline
Registered User
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 1,961
I, like many others, had the same problem on my 97. The grease they used is not correct so it clogs the contacts. Mine would either not work or would come on by itself. I also had problems with the windshield washer.
Take it apart carefully (there is a little spring and ball bearing that will try to fall out on you). Start by prying the cap off the end with a small flat screw driver. There is a nut holding the whole thing togeather that you remove. Clean all contacts with electric parts cleaner and re-assemble with a very small amount of non-conducting grease. Mine works well to this day.
This may or may not work for you but you have nothing to loose if you try.
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Old 03-06-2002, 01:13 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Houston
Posts: 21
Do I take the cap off at the end of the selector switch? I really don't want to pull the steering wheel.

Thanks for all the info!
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Old 03-08-2002, 02:11 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 213
I just replaced my multi-funtion switch tonight. (got it for about $50 on fordpartsonline.com) You have to take the bottom off of your steering column cover (3 screws & you will have to unscrew the tilt wheel lever) & it comes right off. 2 star screws hold the switch in place. To get enough slack to unplug the wires you will have to remove the trim piece on the dash that is above the steering column & beow the instument cluster. I'm still having a problem getting the steering column cover put back on though.

PS - I don't think the top part of the steering column comes off, or atleast I couldn't figure it out.
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Old 03-10-2002, 08:23 PM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Brea, California
Posts: 67
Talking SUCCESS!!

I just got done cleaning my MF Switch (use your own interpretation). It was a little akward getting the connectors unplugged because I didn't take the time to take the top half of the steering column cover off. It probably would have been quite a bit easier. Bottom comes off with three screws and the switch itself is held in by two others that are not the hex kind but the other kind that looks like a star. (Sorry for my ignorance right there)

In any case, I took the switch out, pulled it apart (5 screws) cleaned all the metal parts and put it back together. There was grease and something that looked like oxydization on the inside. I scraped the oxydization off with some sandpaper. There are quite a few parts including many springs so you have to be careful. Watch how you take it apart so you remember how it goes back together.

My right blinker was doing all sorts of wierd things. This seems to have fixed it. One thing to note is that the high beam part of the switch is a tongue and groove type switch. If you are not careful when you put it back together, making sure to slide the parts together properly, you'll end up with your high beams on permanently and you'll have to take it all apart again like I did.

Mines a 97 with a little over 70k on it. The blinker started acting up about 3 weeks ago.

I hope this helps someone!
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Old 03-15-2002, 01:54 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Dayton Ohio
Posts: 2
I also have a 1997 and am having the same problem with the Right turn signal working intermittently, has this been problem been a part of a recall? I guess I will be the next Guinea pig to try and repair this known problem.
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Old 03-15-2002, 07:02 PM
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 16
Wife just informed me that the blinkers on her truck quit. (it's really mine, I think?? well, I get to do all the work on it and sometimes she lets me drive it.) Hope the fix is easy.

Anywho, if you clean the contacts on those switches make sure you replace the non-conductive grease otherwise the part may wear out faster. most auto parts carry this grease.

3/16/02 took the switch apart cleaned the contacts with 100% isopropyl alchohol and an old tooth brush. shined them up with emery cloth and re-assemled the switch. I didn't have any grease but the contact look pretty rugged.
I also took apart the wiper part of the switch. it was easy. just pop the cap off the end with a small screwdriver and remove the phillips screw, then it comes right apart. I was having problems with the washer. Hope this fixes it.

Last edited by cager13; 03-16-2002 at 10:40 PM.
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