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

asked by on

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.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1,000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. How Do My Turn Signal Lights Cancel on Their Own?

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

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: How do I turn on the headlights?

To turn on the headlights, first locate the turn signal lever, which protrudes from the left side of the steering column. Then, turn the Light switch to the headlights position. Tips When the headlights are turned on, the front park,...

Q: How can I tell if my car switches are dying?

Different switches can start to fail in different ways. Something like a window switch, for example, won’t be as crisp as it used to be and start to feel rough and have glitches whenever you use it, but continue to...

Q: Blinker light malfunction - 1998 Chevrolet Suburban 2500

Hello. Most of the time this is caused by a short in the combination switch. It shorts internally and allows this circuit to get power when it is not supposed to. I also have seen issues with the trailer wiring...

Related articles

P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.