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I have a 1994 Mazda 323 that's in great shape except for in the last few months the car has started to turn on both turn signal lights at random times, draining my battery. If I catch it in time, jiggling the turn signal arm turns them off. Given the age of the car I don't want to take it in for an expensive diagnosis, but I don't want to junk it over this either. Can a novice diagnose and repair something like this, or is it likely to have an obvious cause?

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    Based entirely off of the fact that the issue can be mitigated by fiddling with the dash control, I'm going to guess that your problem is entirely with that (as opposed to the rest of the electrical system). Maybe the control arm has had one of it's "stops" break off, and there's no longer a physical piece of plastic to prevent it from engaging? Read: there may be a low-tech solution to this. – Lynn Crumbling Aug 7 '14 at 15:29
  • That's what I was thinking, except that the lights can turn on hours after the car has been left parked. I will see if I can find a replacement part at a pick 'n' pull, but if the lights engage without the car being touched I suspect there might be some other bad wiring in there. – Fo. Aug 7 '14 at 16:25
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    Absolutely -- the problem may not be physical; it could still be electrical. There could be a short in the control arm itself. One other thing to observe: does the control arm have "play"? Do you have access to a similar vehicle to compare the amount of play to a control case? – Lynn Crumbling Aug 7 '14 at 16:29
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    I will bet if you look up to see what a new part will cost (from an online source, not the dealership), you'll find that the turn signal lever probably isn't all that expensive. Just my observation from work in the past. I think @LynnCrumbling is spot on with the analysis, at least with the information given. Haha, yes that switch looks like fun. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Aug 7 '14 at 22:59
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The fact that the indicators come on some time after parking up, I am inclined to think that the fault lies with a 'hot' circuit. The hazard lights are hot, connected live electrically all of the time, with the ignition on or off. You proberbly have a faulty indicator/hazard flasher unit.

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