How to fix 1997 Ford Crown Victoria turn signals and flasher, hazard lights
I own a 1997 Ford Crown Vic (Victoria) and it is definitely a great running car that I’ve had for many years and put a lot of miles on (274,000 to be exact). It does have a few glitches every now and then though. One of the most annoying ones is when my turn signals and hazard or emergency flashers just stop working altogether.
It usually happens when I am out somewhere and I am not ready to work on the car. The first time I took it to the car dealer (Koerner Ford in Nearby Syracuse NY). They wanted almost a thousand dollars to fix it and charged me something like $100 to find that the multi-function switch located in the steering column was having issues.
According to the service advisor the switch needed replacing and the high cost of labor attributed to this repair was due to the fact that they had to dismantle the entire steering column to replace the multi-function switch. Then to top it off it was like $200 to $300 for the switch itself. That was just ridiculous.
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I know a little about fixing cars from my days in the navy repairing vehicles as a heavy equipment mechanic. So I went and looked into this problem myself. I am on a fixed income as a armed forces vet and I am not going to just go and through nearly a thousand dollars away for something that I am sure is just an easy fix.
So I first looked at the hazard button. I found the one I pressed the header button it didn’t come return right away – it was sticking. I know that this meant there was years of build up of dirt or grease in there. This idea then told me that there was most likely this same dirt and grease build up on the electrical contacts for this switch underneath and this was probably causing the turn signals and hazard lights to not work properly.
To test my idea without dismantling the steering column I got an old can of electrical circuits cleaner I had in the garage. I took the little straw thing on a can of WD-40 and stuck it in the spray nozzle of the electrical contact cleaner. Then I sprayed a good amount of this stuff all around the hazard lights button. I also turned the hazard lights on and off several times while I was doing this.
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I noticed that almost right away the warning lights button was returning much faster to its original position – it was no longer sticking. I also found that once the electrical contact cleaner dried the hazard lights started working again. I put my key in the ignition and tried the turn signals and they worked also. So the problem was just what I thought – dirt and crud had gotten into the multi-function switch in the steering column.
S I decided that I will drive my car like this for now and if it happens again I will then remove the multi-function switch and either take it apart and clean it or if it’s too far gone replaced it with one from a nearby salvage yard. I found from a friend of mine that you can get a multi-function switch for $25 or so – that’s definitely a far better price then the $300 or so they wanted at Koerner Ford for the same part.
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I fixed the problem of the turn signals and hazard lights in my 1997 Ford Crown Victoria for free (the can of electrical contact cleaner probably cost me $2 and I have used it several times over the years). If you are experiencing this same problem get yourself a can of electrial contact cleaner and spray it around the sides of the hazard lights button. Be sure and get it inside the sides. Spray it in there really good and work the button.
Then let it dry and see if that doesn’t solve your problem. It worked great for me and I haven’t had this same problem since.
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