Take the 2-minute tour ×
Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for mechanics and DIY enthusiast owners of cars, trucks, and motorcycles. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Make: Chevy
Model: Cavalier
Year: 1993 (old I know)

Symptoms

  • Turn signal no longer works. The lights do not come on, and there is no "ticking" sound.
  • New Fuse for signal blows as soon as the car is turned on, and signal is activated.

Question

I have the Hayne's manual for my car, and a good multimeter, but to be honest the wiring diagrams are mostly greek to me. I don't even know where to start in trying to figure out where the short might be, or how to fix the wiring. However, I would like to learn.

Any advice, tutorials, or resources would be greatly appreciated.

share|improve this question
add comment

1 Answer

up vote 4 down vote accepted

My immediate thought there was the flasher relay. Pull this out and either test it outside the car or swap it for a known-good one.

If that is not the fault, then as you rightly point out, you need to make sense of the wiring diagram... The key thing here is the wire colours. Most cars have two-colour wiring, with a main colour and a trace colour (i.e. the little stripe down one side). If you can identify that you ought to be able to identify where each wire enters and exits the loom. However, it is usually easier to identify the circuit components and work from them.

I don't have access to a Chevy wiring diagram, but I would imagine it to work as follows:

battery -> ignition switch -> fuse box -> flasher relay -> signal switch -> bulbs -> ground.

(this is slightly different if hazard warning lights are fitted, I don't know if you use them over there? or are they a European thing? )

Obviously you know the battery and ignition are working, so I'd start by removing the fuse and relay and checking as follows:

  1. 12v at fuse box 'live'
  2. ground at bulb earth.
  3. Relay power and ground
  4. continuity between fuse output and relay input
  5. no short between 4 and battery -ve
  6. switch operation (disconnect it if you can)
  7. repeat 4 and 5 for relay->switch and switch->lamps.

But I'd still suspect the relay first...

(p.s. 1993 isn't old, it's not even 20 yet!)

share|improve this answer
    
Nice! This is really good info Nick. I will dig in a little and see if the flasher relay is the problem. If not, then I may bite the bullet and send it to a mechanic. I'm only an amateur DIYer :) –  Josh Jun 8 '11 at 13:28
    
I'm only an amateur as well, I've picked this sort of stuff up through years of trying... –  Nick C Jun 9 '11 at 14:04
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.