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I'm working on a 1998 Ford Contour with a right rear turn signal that is acting up. The indicator on the dash and the right front turn signal are quick flashing while the right rear signal/bulb is on solid. It worked for a while after changing the bulb, then it was on solid again. While removing the socket and bulb from the housing for further examination, it started blinking. Manipulating the wires with the socket back in the housing failed to trigger the solid on behavior, but closing the trunk lid did. Cleaning the contacts in the socket and adding bulb grease seemed to help for a while, but it was soon back to being on solid when it should be blinking. The socket is discolored, apparently from overheating at some point in the past. Probing the wires with a multimeter is going to be tricky, since it starts working as soon as I touch it.

Any suggestions?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

A multimeter is going to be your best bet as, depending on exactly what the cause is, you may have one of the following:

  • a partial short circuit
  • a partial open circuit
  • a faulty relay

You will need to follow the wires to find the physical problem. The good news is that it is likely to be near the back, as closing the trunk must have jarred something together (or apart)

Also look at the socket - discolouration can be a side effect of an intermittent connection causing heat.

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Replaced the socket, it seems to be working now. I ordered a new part from a dealer. The replacement procedure is easy: Pull the wire retaining clip with a screwdriver, remove the old bulb socket from the wiring harness plug, insert the new socket, replace the clip.

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