Q: How Do My Turn Signal Lights Cancel on Their Own?

asked by on November 17, 2015

How do my turn signal lights cancel on their own?

Q: How do my turn signal lights cancel on their own?

Most vehicles are designed with turn signals that operate in a manner that allows them to return to their default position automatically, via a mechanism built into the steering column.

When the steering wheel is turned, and the turn signal lever is pulled, the switch will remain in whatever position it is set to, and the corresponding turn signals will flash until the lever is returned to it’s default position. This can happen either manually - by the hand of the driver - or automatically via the built-in mechanism. When the turn is completed and the steering wheel is returned to the center, a cam built into the steering column will catch onto part of the turn signal lever and deactivate the switch, physically returning the lever to its default position and turning off the turn signal.

As the return mechanism relies on physical contact between the cam lobe in the steering column and the turn signal switch, there can be instances where the mechanism fails to return the switch to its default position automatically. For instance, if the steering wheel has been turned only slightly, and not enough for it to contact the cam, the lever will need to be returned to its original position manually. Over time, the lobe responsible for canceling the switch may wear down, or even break off, and the switch will not be returned automatically. In these instances, it is recommended to replace the turn signal switch, cam lobe, or associated component in the steering column. An inspection of a non-working turn signal light by a certified technician will help to determine the best path to repair. As turn signals play an important part in practicing safe driving habits, it is recommended to take care of any problems with your turn signals as soon as they arise.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

What others are asking

How do I turn on the fog lights?

The fog lights can improve visibility in adverse driving conditions, namely rain and fog. To turn on the fog lights, rotate the fog light switch to the on position (the fog light switch is located next to the light switch,...

Brake lights work intermittently

If you had the dealer fix something and paid for the repairs, then I would take it back to them to have them fix it right. The lights coming on may be problems with a loose electrical connection, or a...

How do I change songs on a CD with the steering wheel controls?

The steering wheel has switches on the back of it so that you can control the sound system without taking your hands off the wheel. To control a CD that you are listening to, you want to use the switches...

Are High and Low Beams Separate Bulbs?

This is a great question since depending on the vehicle and manufacturer the lights can be configured in different ways. This can be a concern if you find your headlights are not working, since you need to know what type...

Cannot shift into overdrive

On the SC300, when the shifter is in the 3-D position if the shifter is to the right, then the over shift function is enabled. Once the engine reaches a combination of speed and load the transmission will automatically shift...

Brake lights stay on 2000 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Hi there - I believe your brake light switch is either sticking or mis-adjusted, resulting in the brake lights remaining on after the brakes are used. Turning the ignition switch to the "Off" position removes power to that circuit, and...

Key locked in ignition

Hi, over time the tumblers in the lock cylinder can wear out or get debris lodged preventing rotation. The notches on the key also wear out over time which doesn't fully unlock all of the tumblers preventing the key from...

Lights going on and off in truck

This problem arises with older trucks. The harness, unless it is damaged, is not usually the problem. The problem usually is in the pins coming loose or making bad contact in the fuse box. When this happens, you start loosing...

How do the door-mounted courtesy lights work?

The doors of your Accord are equipped with courtesy lights. They are designed to provide illumination to aid in getting into and out of the car in low-light situations. These lights are not adjustable. The light will turn on when...

Related articles

How to Replace a Courtesy Light Switch in Most Cars
The courtesy light switch is broken if the open door does not turn on the light. This means the switch in the door jamb does not work.
How Long Does a Courtesy Light Bulb Switch Last?
The The courtesy light bulb switch controls the courtesy light. When you open and close the doors of the vehicle, the courtesy light comes on to allow you to see better. This is both convenient and much safer for you...
How to Replace Your Brake Light Switch
The brake lights of your car are controlled by switches connected to the brake pedal underneath the steering wheel. These switches are...