|While the turn signals and emergency flashers use separate flashers, everything goes through the Hazard switch. You can check out the various bits by unplugging the connector at the back of the Hazard switch and jumpering the sockets in the connector using short lengths of solid 12 gauge household wire, metal coathanger with the varnish removed, or whatever else is handy. In TURN mode, the 2 pins at one end of the Hazard switch are connected together and the 4 pins at the other end are all unconnected. In HAZARD mode, the 2 pins are unconnected while the 4 pins are all connected together.
If something does not work normally, further testing is needed. John Kimbrough has provided an assortment of very neat wiring diagrams in the Club Garage, and these will greatly simplify your troubleshooting. But if everything works fine, the Hazard switch is at fault.
The Hazard switch doesn't get exercised all that often, and over time debris and corrosion will build up inside the switch and prevent it from working. The first thing to try is to cycle the switch back and forth about 10 times and see if that helps. If so, great, you're back in business until the next time the problem occurs -- which could be minutes, or decades.
If cycling the Hazard switch doesn't help, remove the switch from the car, place it in a clear plastic bag, and carefully disassemble it. The bag is to catch any small parts that leap out during the disassembly. If the switch disintegrates during disassembly, consider it clear proof that the Brits do not understand plastics. Otherwise, you will most likely see a horrendous glob of greenish crud inside the switch. This is the debris and corrosion mentioned above. Remove this crud and rescue any switch parts concealed inside. Burnish the electrical contacts, clean the entire switch with electrical contact cleaner or brake cleaner (but NOT carburetor cleaner!), apply a thin coating of dielectric grease to the metal bits if you have some handy, then reassemble and test.
If the switch works as indicated in my first paragraph, reinstall it. But if it does not, and if you've put it together correctly, it is defunct. Originals using the pin contacts that fit the wiring harness connector are generally unavailable. The replacements have male blade connectors, and using these requires modifying the wiring harness by cutting off the switch connector and soldering or crimping half a dozen female blade connectors in place.
Once you've gotten the Hazard switch working properly, you may want to consider the state of your Lights and heater Fan switches.
Last edited on 04-30-2005 12:24 am by Mark Rosenbaum