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Turn Signal Switch Replacement Cost

Know what price you should pay to get your vehicle fixed.

The average cost for a turn signal switch replacement is between $204 and $229. Labor costs are estimated between $82 and $104 while parts are priced between $122 and $125. Estimate does not include taxes and fees.
Note about price: The cost of this service or repair can vary by location, your vehicle's make and model, and even your engine type. Related repairs may also be needed. Talk with a RepairPal Certified shop to learn which repairs might be right for you.

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What is a Turn Signal Switch?

The turn signal switch allows a driver to engage the right and left signal lamps to alert other drivers of the intention to turn or change lanes. The turn signal switch on all modern cars, trucks, and SUVs is part of a multi-function switch assembly, a lever mounted on the steering column to the left of the steering wheel. In addition to the turn signals, the switch assembly also controls the high/low headlamp setting. It may also control other functions, such as windshield wiper and washer controls or headlamp switches.

How do Turn Signal Switches work?

The default position for the turn signal switch is in the off position. When the lever is pressed down, the left signal engages. When pushed up, the right engages. As the steering wheel comes back to its center position after a turn, the turn signal switch automatically reverts to its default position and the signal switches off. Pulling the lever back toward the driver changes the headlamps between high and low settings. Other switches may also be present on the lever. When a turn signal is engaged, the switch sends a message to the Light Control Module (LCM. A computer module that controls all of the lights on a vehicle). The LCM activates a relay that causes the signal lamps at the front and rear of the vehicle to flash repeatedly until the steering wheel is back to center and the turn signal switch is in the off position.

What are the symptoms of a bad Turn Signal Switch?

Common symptoms related to the turn signal switch include signal lamps that will not blink, or that blink too rapidly. If the lever will not disengage after a turn, or if it will not stay engaged through a turn, the switch is probably at fault. Because the turn signal switch is part of an assembly that performs several functions, a problem with any of the other functions could necessitate replacement of the assembly.

Can I drive with a bad Turn Signal Switch?

A vehicle should not be driven without properly working turn signals. If the switch is bad, the problem should be corrected as soon as possible. Depending on the specific symptoms, it may be possible to manually operate the signal lamps by moving the turn signal lever up and down repeatedly. This will only work if the problem with the switch is mechanical (won't remain in the "on" position) and should only be used as a short term solution. Otherwise, hand signals can be used as a temporary option.

How often do Turn Signal Switches need replacement?

The turn signal switch is not meant to need replacement. There is no scheduled maintenance interval from the manufacturer. But, because the switch is used frequently, the internal electrical contacts can go bad over time and require that the switch be replaced. Aggressive use of the turn signal lever can also lead to premature failure.

How are Turn Signal Switch issues diagnosed?

A technician will first look to rule out simple causes of malfunctioning turn signals - a burned out bulb, a blown fuse, or a faulty relay. There are two turn signal lamps on each side of the vehicle. One in front, and one in back. If one bulb is burned out, the other will still work, but it will blink rapidly. The relay is the true switch for the lamps. It may be removed and tested with a multimeter. Using a diagnostic scan tool, the technician might check the operation of the lighting system by reading data from the Light Control Module. The turn signal switch may be removed and probed with a multimeter to diagnose a problem. The technician will need access to a wiring diagram for the vehicle to determine which wire terminals on the combination switch assembly are used for the turn signal switch.

How are Turn Signal Switches replaced?

To replace a turn signal switch, a technician will disable power to the lighting system by disconnecting the battery or by pulling a fuse. The steering column cover trim and lower dash panels need to be removed for access to the switch assembly. In some cases, this can be an extensive operation that includes removal of trim above the steering wheel and around the instrument cluster. The retaining fasteners are unscrewed and the combination turn signal and headlamp switch module is unplugged from the wiring harness and removed as an assembly. The new module is plugged in and put in place and fastened before the trim is re-installed. The technician will restore power to the system and test the new switch.

RepairPal Recommendations for Turn Signal Switch issues

If symptoms of a faulty turn signal switch appear, the entire lighting system should be inspected by a qualified technician at a trusted repair shop.

What to look out for when dealing with Turn Signal Switch issues

The dashboard trim can be tricky to remove without damaging the panels. On some higher-end vehicles, the trim components can be extremely expensive to replace, and, in some cases, can only be replaced as a complete set costing thousands of dollars. Care should be exercised when disassembling components on the dashboard.

Can I replace the Turn Signal Switch myself?

Disassembly of the dashboard and steering column should probably be left to a professional. A comprehensive inspection of the lighting system that may include a diagnostic scan with a special scan tool should be performed any time there is a problem with the lighting.

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