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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Cold weather, turn signal switch freezes up?

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6 replies to this topic

#1 TheWanderer


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Posted 04 March 2014 - 01:12 AM

This has happened a couple times to me, both within the past week.  Its been mighty cold here at night/in the mornings, and I've given coworkers rides home.  So heres the problem.


When I start the car, and while the car is cold I can use my turn signals once.  From there it seems to freeze up or get really loose in the column and not want to stay center.  The quick fix is to center it by hand and wedge a small piece of paper in the hole to keep it there.  Each time its happened, shortly after i started driving again I'd get this horrible loud buzzing noise coming from what sounds like the top of the dash on the drivers side that gets louder and faster as the speed of the car goes up.  If anyone remembers the game Operation as a kid, the buzzing noise sounds very similar to when you touched the edge, but much louder and obnoxious.  Each time its happened, I've driven about a mile this way and stopped for a few moments, then the sound has gone away while the car is at idle (but the turn signal stalk is still "frozen" and won't hold center without a crutch)


Could this be the combination switch going bad?   Or perhaps the flasher module?  If it were the passenger side, I'd suspect blower motor going bad, but not sure with the driver side.  I do know my speedometer doesn't work properly (won't start registering speed until est. ~35 mph), could this perhaps be related to that?

Edited by TheWanderer, 04 March 2014 - 01:16 AM.

#2 TheWanderer


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Posted 05 March 2014 - 01:35 AM

Bump, anyone have any ideas?  Really don't feel like pulling the column apart any time soon just to put some white lithium grease on the pivot lol

Edited by TheWanderer, 05 March 2014 - 01:37 AM.

#3 somick


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Posted 05 March 2014 - 12:32 PM

I will also try to bump this thread so maybe somebody will find a solution ...


Yes I also have the same problem.  The only difference is there is no buzzing sound yet.  I simply hold the switch untill the steering column warms up.  I have tried to inject some lubricant in the slot but it did not work.


In the past I lubricated the switch in my Isuzu and it did work.  Is it possible with the Subaru?


Has anybody taken the switch apart?




#4 somick


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Posted 07 March 2014 - 12:32 PM

Oh, Oh!


So nobody has taken the switch apart?

#5 Gloyale


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Posted 07 March 2014 - 12:43 PM

Sounds like the screws that hold the switch assembly stationary on the column......are missing.


Is all the column plastic there?  check for screws in all the holes they should be.  If they are missing the whole unit can rotate around the steering column.


Buzzing is probably the turnsignal flasher unit tripping out from a poor contact or crossed circuit.

#6 Quinny92loyale



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Posted 08 March 2014 - 01:40 PM

ive been having the same problem with this brutal cold in PA. not sure exactly how the turn signal switch operates but its more than likely just the grease gelling up and not letting something release? mine starts to work fine again after its warmed up soo i havent really worried about it. as i said its probably just some of that 20+ year old grease gelling up

#7 TheWanderer


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Posted 08 March 2014 - 04:46 PM

Thats exactly the same thing that is happening to me Quinny.  Once I let the car sit til morning, it works fine again.  But we've had negative temps (-7 and lower) recently out here and thats when I noticed it started happening.

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