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.

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