How-To: Flakey Turn Signal Clicking Fix.

Varkias

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2006
Location
Turners Falls, MA
TDI
'02 Golf TDI
I know that a lot of people have been asking about this, so here goes!

Flakey Turn Signal Fix How-To.


By Varkias


!! Warning !!

THIS FIX REQUIRES THE REMOVAL OF THE DRIVERS AIRBAG. THIS IS AN EXPLOSIVE DEVICE AND IMPROPER HANDLING CAN RESULT IN SERIOUS INJURY OR DEATH. DO NOT ATEMPT THIS UNLESS YOU ARE TRAINED IN HOW TO HANDLE AIRBAG REMOVAL AND REPLACEMENT. OBSERVE ALL WARNINGS. IF YOU ATEMPT THIS AND DIE OR CAUSE SERIOUS INJURY TO YOURSELF OR YOUR CAR IT’S NOT MY FALUT!

That being said there is a link to how to remove your airbag in post number 8 below. But I didn't tell you that.

The problem:

Random turn signal clicking after making turns or driving down the road. No lights flashing, just clicking.

It’s caused by a build-up of gunk on the contacts in the signal stalk; a simple cleaning and greasing will take care of the issue for quite some time. It took me about an hour and a half to get everything apart, cleaned and back together again.

Tools needed:

10MM Wrench or Socket for battery
T8 and T25 Torx drivers/sockets
Small and long Phillips screwdriver
Short flat screwdriver for airbag
Thin flat head screwdriver
M12 12 point bit for steering wheel
Q-TIPS
Contact cleaner
Di-Electric grease.

Step One:

Read the above warning.
Read through the entire how-to before starting.

Step Two:

Disconnect the negative battery terminal and remove the steering wheel and airbag. (I’m not going to go into how this is done, if you aren’t comfortable with this you should not be attempting this fix on your own. There are also lots of how-to’s on airbag removal out there already)

When done you should see this:



Step Three:

There are four Phillips head screws that need to come out, marked by the green arrows in the above photo. The two on the face are short and silver, the two that are accessed from the bottom are long and black.
Once the two lower ones are out you will be able to lift the top cover up and out of the way.

Step Four:

There are three T25 screws on the lower side of the steering column. Two are holding the adjustment handle on and the other is the last screw holding the lower cover in place. Here’s a photo:



Once the screws are removed take off the handle and lower cover.

Step Five:

Now that the covers are off, there is a retaining ring holding the signal stalk onto the steering column, loosen the T25 Torx screw and the stalk should slide forward.



There are FIVE different wire harnesses that need to come off, and they all come off a little differently so you’ll just have to mess around until you have them all off.

Step six:

Once the stalk is off you should have this in your hand:



There are three clips holding the ring on the stalk, it’s very easy to just pop off. Just remember the way that it was aligned for when you put it back on. If you don’t mess with it, it should just stay the way it needs to go back on as there is a spring that keeps it from rotating all the way around without the steering wheel attached.

Now you should have this:



The six green arrows show the four T8 torx screws and the two clips that hold the cover on the stalk. Remove the screws. The clips are a little hard to get to release, use a very thin flat head screwdriver inserted into the back of the box and GENTLY pry them loose. The cover should now come right off.
There are two small white plastic parts inside, make careful note of their locations as you take off the cover! The one on top is the canceling switch and the other is part of the HI/LOW beam switch (if you put this one back wrong you won’t be able to “flash” your HI’s).

Step Seven:

Now that you have the cover off pop out the signal lever and clean the contacts on the lever and in the stalk case shown in these photos (FYI I took them after I had already cleaned the contacts):



Be careful of the wire marked by the RED arrow above, you tear it and by-by cruse control.



Here’s a shot of mine greased up and ready to be put back together:



I used DeoxIT and CRC Di-Electric grease for the cleaning and greasing.



All done! Just reassemble every thing in reverse of how you took it apart. No more random clicking!

If you found this how-to helpful, please donate to TDIClub.com.
 
Last edited:

Wingnut

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Oct 10, 2002
Location
Toronto & Whitby
TDI
Silver 2003 Jetta Wagon
Excellent.

I will add it to the How-to list. I have been meaning to do this for years, but never had the occasion to do it.

Thanks very much for doing this.
 

Varkias

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2006
Location
Turners Falls, MA
TDI
'02 Golf TDI
Wingnut, thanks for adding this one to the list! I'm happy to help, it feels good after reading so much here to be able to give something back (however small).

And MOGolf, made the change. I just got home from work about half an hour ago, crazy snow!
 

Wolverine

New member
Joined
Oct 20, 2003
Thanks for all the info on this! Will save me the $450 the dealer just quoted me to fix the problem.
 

TornadoRed

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 3, 2003
Location
Saint Paul (ex-San Diego)
TDI
2003 Golf GL 5-spd, red; 2003 Golf GLS 5-spd, indigo blue; 2003 Jetta TDI wagon, Candy White
A bump for this useful thread. I bought a replacement hazard flasher, but the clicking stopped on its own before I could install it. I expect the problem will return, someday, and will try the WD40 solution before tearing apart the steering wheel assembly.
 

TornadoRed

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 3, 2003
Location
Saint Paul (ex-San Diego)
TDI
2003 Golf GL 5-spd, red; 2003 Golf GLS 5-spd, indigo blue; 2003 Jetta TDI wagon, Candy White
TornadoRed said:
A bump for this useful thread. I bought a replacement hazard flasher, but the clicking stopped on its own before I could install it. I expect the problem will return, someday, and will try the WD40 solution before tearing apart the steering wheel assembly.
The random clicking returned, I installed the new hazard flasher, and it didn't stop the clicking.

So even though the noise is coming from the general area of the hazard flasher, it's not coming from inside the hazard flasher.
 

mrGutWrench

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 29, 2002
Location
Wallace, NC
TDI
'03 Jetta Wagon
TornadoRed said:
The random clicking returned, I installed the new hazard flasher, and it didn't stop the clicking.

So even though the noise is coming from the general area of the hazard flasher, it's not coming from inside the hazard flasher.
__. Red, this wacky system is the problem. The way that this system seems to work is that there's a flasher unit (for turns and hazard) and a feed (either power or ground -- I'm not sure which) is put on it to make it flash. Then the intermittent power is sent to whatever you have selected. The problem is that the turn signal lever pivot and it's connected wiring apply that feed and the flasher unit sits there and pulses as in usual operation. But there's no "output" connected to it - that's why if flashes (or rather clicks) so quickly. So what's making the noise is the flasher unit but the real cause is turn signal selector mechanism. So, it doesn't do any good to change the flasher unit -- you have to fix the selector mechanism.

__. That's what Varkias's "how to" does. His method is the best, most thorough way to do it but some of us have found that a couple of squirts of WD-40 seem to wash the contacts of the selector system and solves the problem (at least for a while).
 

TornadoRed

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 3, 2003
Location
Saint Paul (ex-San Diego)
TDI
2003 Golf GL 5-spd, red; 2003 Golf GLS 5-spd, indigo blue; 2003 Jetta TDI wagon, Candy White
mrGutWrench said:
So what's making the noise is the flasher unit but the real cause is turn signal selector mechanism. So, it doesn't do any good to change the flasher unit -- you have to fix the selector mechanism.
Sometimes I just have to try the easy fix, before trying the harder ones. Though a little WD40, if it works, will also count as an easy fix.
 

SMiddle

New member
Joined
Nov 27, 2007
Location
Pickering
TDI
Passat 2004
Require on air bag removal. Any sugg?

Varkias said:
Wingnut, thanks for adding this one to the list! I'm happy to help, it feels good after reading so much here to be able to give something back (however small).

And MOGolf, made the change. I just got home from work about half an hour ago, crazy snow!
Wow, thxs for details but as prev post, require info on air bag removal. Recognized cause (not armoral) but cleaning the car. This is the second time we have had this prob with 2004 Passat. V. annoying !
 

TornadoRed

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 3, 2003
Location
Saint Paul (ex-San Diego)
TDI
2003 Golf GL 5-spd, red; 2003 Golf GLS 5-spd, indigo blue; 2003 Jetta TDI wagon, Candy White
I never responded in this thread, though I'm sure I did elsewhere.

Squirting some WD40 in the general direction of the turn signal mechanism apparently removed whatever was causing the constant clicking noises.

Eight months and about 35k miles later, the problem has not returned. Thank you, WD40.
 

jbleu101

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2004
Location
Ohio
TDI
2002 Jetta TDi, GLS
flasher clicking not solved by new flasher unit

I am going to try compressed air (for computers) before WD40. I will report back. im not going to take out the airbag on my own so I hope this works. I already replaced the switch once! I can hear the toilet flushing now with my 28 dollar bill crumpled up in the vortex!

LOL.
 

kcb

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2003
Location
Richmond Hill, Ontario
Have anyone have to remove the steering wheel sensor required for ESP?

In the Bently, it referenced that a zero compensation adjustment is required after removal. Anyone knows how to do it?

Thanks,

Ken
 

concours

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2001
Location
Kensington, NH
TDI
2006.6 Jetta GLS 5 speed 125,000 miles, 2001.5 Jetta GLS 5-speed, Tornado Red, Monsoon w/CD changer
I shot mine with AeroKroil penetrant (had it in the trunk) and it solved it. I love this place..... I absolutely DID NOT want to pull that airbag again.... that sucked big time. The release of the wire clips through the holes was all but impossible when I did Turn signal stalk before... there are two types of airbags (according to Bentley paper) and mine was a *****.
 

Clatterman

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 30, 1999
Location
So Cal
TDI
1999 Golf GLS
I just cured a similar problem. My left/right signals quit, but the 4-ways continued to operate. I removed the hazard flasher module, and cleaned the 7 contact pins. The only tell-tale was that the triangular symbol would not light up, on the switch. When I re-connected the 4-way flasher to the connecter, everything worked.

Cost: $0.00
 

mrGutWrench

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 29, 2002
Location
Wallace, NC
TDI
'03 Jetta Wagon
Clatterman said:
I just cured a similar problem. My left/right signals quit, but the 4-ways continued to operate. I removed the hazard flasher module, and cleaned the 7 contact pins. The only tell-tale was that the triangular symbol would not light up, on the switch. When I re-connected the 4-way flasher to the connecter, everything worked.
Cost: $0.00
__. Glad that you got the problem fixed. There was a recall on some of the flasher units - maybe you got one of those; if so, you might want to get it replaced under the recall ... it will likely give you problems again.

__. Your problem is different from the "turn signal switch" thing that we have dealt with.
 

JohnnyCanal

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 28, 2005
Location
Frederick, Maryland
TDI
2011 Jetta TDI Wagon
we did this repair this week and except for a little problem with the two white plastic parts that we eventually resolved (yes take a very, very close look at their position) it seems to have worked

we especially liked the two resting spots for the wiring harness from the airbag...

thanks for the wonderful "how to" guide
 

Berniem

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2007
Location
Mansfield Pa.
TDI
2004 BEW-Jetta-My son 03ALH
High/low beam switch fix

Can I clean/lube the contacts for my light changing switch? My low beams have not been coming back on @ times unless I fiddle with the switch. Thanks
 

mrGutWrench

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Joined
Aug 29, 2002
Location
Wallace, NC
TDI
'03 Jetta Wagon
Berniem said:
Can I clean/lube the contacts for my light changing switch? My low beams have not been coming back on @ times unless I fiddle with the switch. Thanks
__. The experience so far has been with turn signals. I'm guessing that the problem you describe is a genuine mechanical problem (linkage loose or a contact worn or broken) but if you have WD-40 sitting on the shelf and it's free, I'd give it a try. If it works, please let us know!
 

MOGolf

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Joined
Jun 27, 2001
Location
underneath something
TDI
2001 Golf GLS TDI Reflex silver, rough road suspension and steel skid plate, 2004 Passat Variant, Candy White, rough road suspension and geared balanced shaft module, and much, much more. 2016 LR RR HSE TD6, 2019 Jaguar I-PACE
kcb said:
Have anyone have to remove the steering wheel sensor required for ESP?

In the Bently, it referenced that a zero compensation adjustment is required after removal. Anyone knows how to do it?

Thanks,

Ken
Use VAG-COM to obtain the brake controller coding. Do an autoscan and save the results. It may come in handy.

Disconnect the battery. Don't do this on a car with ESP without disconnecting the battery.

Make absolutely sure your wheels are straight ahead before you remove the steering wheel.

Mark the position of the steering wheel on the hub before you pull it off.

The removal of the steering angle sensor is self-evident. You may want to tape the turnable part in position so it doesn't get turned from off of center.

Upon reassembly there shouldn't be a problem. Just put it all back together and aligned the way it was before you took it apart.

Read: http://wiki.ross-tech.com/index.php/VW_Passat_%283B%29_Brake_Electronics_%28Bosch_5.7%29#Basic_Setting or http://wiki.ross-tech.com/index.php/VW_Golf_%281J%29_Brake_Electronics_%28MK60%29#Special_Procedures for the calibration if it is needed.

Worse case: The control module will have fault codes, the control module loses its coding, and you'll need to go to the wiki-ross-tech.com site to find information on logging in to the brake controller, resetting the control module coding, and do the calibration as noted above. Trust me. This has happened.
 
Last edited:

ymz

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 12, 2003
Location
Between Toronto & Montreal
TDI
2003 Jetta TDI Wagon, 2003 Jetta TDI Wagon
Just a little "bump" for this thread, and a small warning:

WD-40 actually made things worse on my car... not only did smoke start coming out of the turn signal area, but now the middle "off" position keeps on turning "Left" and the right turn signal position flashes both turn signals...

I may have no choice but to take it apart the way Varkias indicated...
(with a bad head-cold, that isn't a very tempting prospect...)

Yuri.
 

l_c

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2003
Location
San Jose, CA USA
TDI
Wrecked and gone: VW Jetta wagon 2002 silver TDI
WD-40 in the switch

Thanks a lot for the heads-up, Yuri. Sorry to hear about the trouble.
Yes, I would be a bit hesitant to apply that kind of lubricant into any of my switches. (Something like DeOxIt, yeah I would.)
I had replaced my entire turn-signal switch unit, about 3 years back, I wasn't happy about having to do that (but the problem never came back!) Larry.
 

Wolverine

New member
Joined
Oct 20, 2003
It may have been a fluke, but I got my run-on clicking to quit by turning off the Cruise Control switch (and a quick shot of WD-40). Since I didn't normally use it, I left it off untill I needed it and a few months later started leaving it on all the time again. It's been at least a year and never had it come back.
 

TornadoRed

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Location
Saint Paul (ex-San Diego)
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2003 Golf GL 5-spd, red; 2003 Golf GLS 5-spd, indigo blue; 2003 Jetta TDI wagon, Candy White
TornadoRed said:
I never responded in this thread, though I'm sure I did elsewhere.

Squirting some WD40 in the general direction of the turn signal mechanism apparently removed whatever was causing the constant clicking noises.

Eight months and about 35k miles later, the problem has not returned. Thank you, WD40.
That was in November 2007. A few months later the problem DID return and I paid a VW dealership around $200 (as I recall) to replace the turn signal mechanism. I did not have time, or the inclination, to open up the steering column myself. They wanted to "diagnose" my problem -- I declined their offer and saved myself ~$90.
 

Reidler

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2002
Location
Langley BC Canada
TDI
NB 2001, Black
New Beetle signal fix...

For those of you that own NB's heres the problem I had...

I didn't get the clicking in my flasher unit, but my signals were starting to flash erratically, until they would not work at all. Pushing the hazard button resulted in the same thing, I would get a very short flash of the lights then nothing. I tried the WD40 thing and nothing changed.

So I took the hazard switch out and dismantled it. I then generously sprayed contact cleaner on the whole guts of the flasher electronics, and made sure that the contacts were all clean with a small pick tool. After it was all dry I put it back together and reinstalled it. Worked like a charm!!

Hardest part was getting the damn dash panel off to plug the switch back in! Search for "dash panel removal" for an explanation if you need it.

Hope that helps someone else out.;)
 

imo000

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Dec 13, 2005
Location
Cambridge
TDI
2009 M-B ML320 Diesel & '05 Passat TDI Manual 5-Speed
I had this happen right after the dealer replaced the hazard switch under the recall. They told me it was the indicator stalk, but after a few days it stopped clicking and has been fine ever since. This was over 3 years and 150 000km ago.
 

ericy

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Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Location
Rehoboth Beach, DE
TDI
2015 Golf TDI (wife's car)
I just completed this procedure on my wife's car. Pretty straightforward - it was very helpful to have the list of needed tools up at the start as I could collect those during the week and be ready to go.

The one thing I wasn't sure about was what direction you pull on the connector for the airbag. To the side in the direction of the wires, or directly out away from the airbag. It was kind of stiff, but eventually I figured it out (you pull it away from the airbag).
 
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