How-To: Flakey Turn Signal Clicking Fix.

gerpeters

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 29, 2007
Location
Brampton, Ontario, Canada
TDI
2002 Jetta TDI and 2003 Jetta TDI
I took my signal switch apart and fix it as per the instructions given on this thread about a year and half ago and have had no more problems since. I used white lithium grease. It can be bought it at any Automotive store
 
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TornadoRed

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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
ymz said:
While I agree that WD-40 is very handy, it's been established that there's no fish oil in it...

The material safety data sheet lists only Stoddard Solvent (mineral spirits), Liquefied Petroleum gas (possibly now replaced by carbon dioxide as a propellant), mineral oil and some inert ingredients...
Apparently it has never been patented, so there is no published list of all ingredients.

I am not recommending WD-40, though earlier in this thread I reported that I used it and it seemed to work for about a year. I just posted the email about WD-40 because of general interest.
 

mltmlt

Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2009
Location
Saint Paul, MN
TDI
2002 New Beetle 2.0L (AZG,01M)
I just cleaned my turn signal switch on 2002 New Beetle GLS.
Varkias said:
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.

Perhaps it is a typo. I have 4mm hex screw at this point, not T25.
Varkias said:
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.
I didn't notice later in this thread the picture how to remove clips, so I used 1.5mm flathead screwdriver. I was able to squeeze it in from the top by starting from the side of the clip.

Thanks a lot! Now turn signals work perfectly.
P.S. It was a real pain to remove airbag. I had to use bent 1/8"x3" screwdriver and angle it to the side to get closer to the pin through small window for spring tail.
 

JohnnyCanal

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 28, 2005
Location
Frederick, Maryland
TDI
2011 Jetta TDI Wagon
replaced the switch

We cleaned our switch twice, but the contacts were extremely worn, so in time the flakey switch issue returned. We ended up replacing the switch...

I think if our contacts were not so damaged then this fix would work. Ours were just too far gone.
 

rice rocketeer

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 6, 2003
Location
Richmond B.C. Canada
TDI
2002 Golf 2dr 1 owner/driver car (only options is Cruz and A/C) 2014 Passat Highline
Update... Almost a year to the day after curing with releasall problem came back. Won't go away with another shot either. :( However it did make it a little better.
 

Stinkyfingers

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2003
Location
Chelsea, MI
TDI
Jetta Variant, '03, Made in Germany, silber, 486,000+ miles and still singing!
I've been listening to that damn ticking on and off for about a year now.
I'm going to do some spraying and start saving for a replacement switch down the road.
Thanks for a great thread!:)
 

toadz1

banned
Joined
Mar 4, 2009
Location
CA
TDI
A4
Time to tear mine down and get rid of that nagging little tick tick. Anyone know of a good source / price on a new one?
 
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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
toadz1 said:
Time to tear mine down and get rid of that nagging little tick tick. Anyone know of a good source / price on a new one?
Back in post #27 I reported that it cost me $200 for parts and labor at a VW dealership. I know there are cheaper solutions, but I didn't want to tackle the job myself.
 

ymz

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 12, 2003
Location
Between Toronto & Montreal
TDI
2003 Jetta TDI Wagon, 2003 Jetta TDI Wagon
For some reason I had thought that the cars with ESP required a different model... not according to worldimpex's listing... time to look for a new version of ETKA...

Yuri
 

toadz1

banned
Joined
Mar 4, 2009
Location
CA
TDI
A4
ymz said:
For some reason I had thought that the cars with ESP required a different model... not according to worldimpex's listing... time to look for a new version of ETKA...

Yuri
The ESP models have another piece to remove along side the clock spring, either before you can get to the clock spring, or afterwards, on the steering column.

My model, from 2002 with steering wheel controls had only 2 brass screws on the top, with 4 tab clips that had to be released from the back side with a very small jewelers screwdriver slipped inside to release the tabs. Pain in the Azz to get them all free to pull the top off.

Another issue with mine was when I put it all back together and reattached the battery, my bright headlights were on, like the pull in flash feature on turn indicator stalk is stuck in , pulled towards the driver to "flash" oncoming folks at all times. Back to the drawing board...
 

TDI2Fan

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2004
Location
Fredericksburg, VA
TDI
2000/2001/2002/2004/2009 Jetta GLS Auto/Auto/5M/5M/DSG 2010 A3/DSG
Having a Low beam issue. Suspect the switch. I am going the cleaning route and Silicone. I will post my results.
 

Ohia

Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2010
Location
Saint Paul, MN
TDI
1999.5 Jetta
Hi-beams stuck on

I've taken it all apart to get at the contacts (they're looking pretty worn, so I may end up needing to replace the switch...), and in putting it back together my hi-beam lights are stuck ON.

Anyone have suggestions or ideas? I'm pretty sure I got the white curvy plastic piece back in properly.
 

mike944

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2004
Location
Vernon, Ct
TDI
2004 Jetta
About a month ago, I fixed mine without taking it apart.

I pushed the lever down, and sprayed some Deoxit spray into the little gap at the top of the lever arm, and then turned the lever up, and sprayed into the bottom, and then worked the lever up and down a bit.

We'll see how long it lasts, but it took less than 5 minutes, and didn't involve removing anything.

Everybody might want to get some contact cleaner and give that a try before ripping your entire steering column apart.
 

RT1

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2006
Location
Central New Jersey
TDI
2005 Golf 1.9 TDI w/tiptronic 09A
I vote for the easy way. When phantom clicking started in my signal circuit, a couple of shots of NoFlash electric contact cleaner into the base of the stalk restored it to normal function. No residue, no oil to drip out of the steering column onto your knee and no more of that clicking!

Nice write up though. I'll use it when the spray cure doesn't do the job.
 

TornadoRed

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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 wonder if cleaning the contacts is enough. What would it take to help a turn signal mechanism last for the life of the car? Would a lubricant of some kind be called for?
 

mrGutWrench

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 29, 2002
Location
Wallace, NC
TDI
'03 Jetta Wagon
mike944 said:
About a month ago, I fixed mine without taking it apart.

I pushed the lever down, and sprayed some Deoxit spray into the little gap at the top of the lever (snip)
__. Yeah, Mike, you'll notice that some of us have tried this with varying levels of success, mostly using "WD-40" spray. Like the Deoxit, the WD-40 is mostly a cleaner (when it was originally formulated, it had a little lubricant in it but recent "green" reformulations have reduced its lubricant substantially). The problem is that the switch was made to be lubricated, and my guess is that "di-electric" grease would be the best. The best theory is that the "clicking" comes from worn pieces of metal in the factory grease -- these particles come from the contacts in the switch.

__. Just spraying a cleaner in the switch will wash the old lube with the contaminating particles out but it will leave the contacts without lubrication, allowing the wear on those contacts to be much faster.

__. In my particular case, I had the WD-40 short out the contacts in the switch (or it washed some of the particles into a place where they shorted out the switch); it began flashing the right turn signal as I was going down the road, even if the switch was in the central position, if I put the switch in the left position, it would flash all four. Other people have had the same thing happen; others have found that the "spray on" procedure worked for a while but the clicking came back fairly soon. Many people used the spray on procedure years ago and the problem hasn't recurred.

__. So, the jury seems to be out on the tradeoffs between spray-on and disassembly as being the best way in the long run. Hope that the deoxit keeps working for you.
 

john_tsouris@hotmail.com

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2006
Location
Tampa
TDI
None now, thank god
This DIY needs some modification:

1. To unclip those two well hidden nasty tabs, take a long thin screwdriver or very small/thin Allen wrench and, from the bottom, shove it very firmly all the way until it stops right between the very outer case and what you can see of the tab in there. On the top of the case, you will see two small square openings..... one for each tab. The tab you are trying to push against is hidden to the side of the hole toward the outside case. You are forcing the little lock tab away from the outside case toward the middle of the opening. as you pry the tab, it will appear from the outside of the case toward the middle of the little square opening. If you don't see it, you're doing something wrong.

2. The high beam/low beam switch contacts are the three metal relay type contacts on the TOP of this assembly. All three are connected together with a plastic sleeve. Slide the contact assembly out sideways (toward you) taking care not to get the metal tabs caught on the white plastic assembly underneath. Very lightly emery the corrosion off the contact surfaces. Note, the brass contacts are very soft! Do NOT sand it too much! Apply a VERY LIGHT coating of CONDUCTIVE GREASE if you can find any to the contacts. If you use any more than a tiny amount, it will short the contacts out defeating the purpose of the switch.

3. When re-assembling the metal tabs, take special note that the black plastic holding them together slides into a channel on the switch housing. It is possible to slide them in just above this channel which would be incorrect. Look at the contacts right after sliding them in. If they are NOT making contact, you slid them in above the little channel! Take 'em out and slide them in correctly.

4. This assembly MUST have grease on the turn signal sliders or the metal-on-metal action will wear away the switch contacts. Use NON MIGRATORY (heavy) grease used on them! In other words, do not use a lubricant such as WD40 as it is so thin it will migrate away. Use a heavy grease. (which means it doesn't run) Di-electric grease can only be used sparingly as it DOES NOT CONDUCT ELECTRICITY. Use too much, and you'll insulate the contacts. Try and find conductive grease or conductive lubricant if you can, but put a THIN COAT on the slides so they don't short to each other.

I for one absolutely hate the column mounted high beam switches. I grew up driving cars that had the floor switch. Half the time I reach up to turn off my cruise as I'm coming up on someone, and I hit the high beam instead my mistake. Boy does that piss people off. You can buy the old type floor switches here: http://www.google.com/products?hl=en&q=floor high beam switch&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wf
 

rice rocketeer

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 6, 2003
Location
Richmond B.C. Canada
TDI
2002 Golf 2dr 1 owner/driver car (only options is Cruz and A/C) 2014 Passat Highline
Follow up.... I dodged this problem for 1 1/2 years. Finally had to take it to VW to get fixed. They put a new signal stalk in, that also fixed the cruise control that just stopped working a month before. The bill wasn't too bad. About $200 or so. I wasn't about to do it myself. With my luck, I'd catch a airbag to the head!
 

PDJetta

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Joined
Nov 6, 2003
Location
Northern Virginia
TDI
'04 Jetta GLS TDI Pumpe Duce Platinum Grey w/ Leather
"With my luck, I'd catch a airbag to the head!"

That is why you disconnect the battery before removing the air bag module. Its not too bad to get out. Just a bunch of fiddling to find the release tabs. All it takes is a small screwdriver.

--Nate
 

rice rocketeer

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 6, 2003
Location
Richmond B.C. Canada
TDI
2002 Golf 2dr 1 owner/driver car (only options is Cruz and A/C) 2014 Passat Highline
"With my luck, I'd catch a airbag to the head!"

That is why you disconnect the battery before removing the air bag module. Its not too bad to get out. Just a bunch of fiddling to find the release tabs. All it takes is a small screwdriver.

--Nate
That's the first thing I do whenever I'm working on my car where my fingers or life is in danger. Just kidding around:D
 

downcycle

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2005
Location
Sleepy Hollow, NY
TDI
'01 Golf
Just found this thread, and it helped me solve me problem. I wanted to make note for the people who can see a little orange spark when they look in to the assembly. The orange spark that lights in time with the signal... My problem was actually the plastic separator between the copper plates had broken down and the current was arcing across the gap. To fix it I trimmed a piece of electrical ziptie to fill the gap, and it solved the problem. Thanks for the walk through.
 

BigBadThor

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Joined
Jan 28, 2010
Location
Toronto, ON
TDI
2003 Tornado Red Jetta Wagon GLS (sold); 2014 GSW Wolfsburg Edition CPO TDI
TV-Tuner/Control Cleaner & Lubricant

So today I bought TV-Tuner/Control Cleaner & Lubricant from Radio Shack to spray into the base of my turn signal stalk. The customer reviews were quite favourable but some long-term users bemoaned the changing of the formula to include mineral oil. Would this be a problem? I like the idea of cleaning the gunk out but leaving some lubrication, but if anyone can make a case against a baby oil-like substance being sprayed into the steering column, I'll just use it to fix some scratchy contacts on my home receiver.

Here's the stuff I'm talking about: http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2103700


 

noplug

Veteran Member
Joined
May 22, 2005
Location
Southern Maryland
TDI
2003 Jetta GLS
Some ideas on this thread....

I have this problem with my 2003 with 275K on her.
I have developed a plan for me based on all the great comments and input.

First off, I replaced the 4-way flasher before I read this thread DoHHHHH!

So now I figure I have some copper particles arc-ing across the spaces in
the turn signal assembly that shouldn't be....

Contact cleaner with a straw will be my first move, then check if problem has gone away.

If problem still persists, I'll dissasemble and investigate if there is physical damage.

If the contact cleaner does fix the problem, I'm pretty sure I'll need to get some dielectric grease on the contacts for the turn signals and the easy way may be to use some white lithium grease in an aerosol can with straw.
I'll try to squirt some of the white lith grease in there and report back.

Just my ideas and plans....:D
Thanks to all for their great input.:D
 

PDJetta

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Nov 6, 2003
Location
Northern Virginia
TDI
'04 Jetta GLS TDI Pumpe Duce Platinum Grey w/ Leather
Is there any way you can get a thin strip of cloth in between the steering wheel and steering column and kind of floss the contact ring to remove the particles? Possibley coat the cloth with contact cleaner first?

--Nate
 

noplug

Veteran Member
Joined
May 22, 2005
Location
Southern Maryland
TDI
2003 Jetta GLS
I fixed mine!!!

Radio shack has a contact cleaner/lubricant in an aerosol can and it works great!
I shot some of this in the gap between the turn signal stalk and the steering column with the straw supplied. Based on diagrams and pictures posted here of the contacts I had a feel for the right angle to spray in.
The first time I did this it worked for about 10 signal cycles then started acting up again. I did a re-spray with more the second time and cycled the stalk back and forth quite a few times.
This cleaner/lube appears to have some sort of white lithium grease mixed in so the contacts get lubed and cleaned at the same time I guess.
Anyway, after the second application the problem went away completely so I'll report back if it has the problem again!!:D;)

BigBadThor posted a link to the cleaner/lube, here's a quote from his post.
"
Here's the stuff I'm talking about: http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...ductId=2103700"

(Here was my plan below and it worked great!!)
-Noplug

So now I figure I have some copper particles arcing across the spaces in
the turn signal assembly that shouldn't be....

Contact cleaner with a straw will be my first move, then check if problem has gone away.

If problem still persists, I'll disassemble and investigate if there is physical damage.

If the contact cleaner does fix the problem, I'm pretty sure I'll need to get some dielectric grease on the contacts for the turn signals and the easy way may be to use some white lithium grease in an aerosol can with straw.
I'll try to squirt some of the white lith grease in there and report back.

Just my ideas and plans....:D
Thanks to all for their great input.:D
 
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