How to Replace a Turn Signal Switch

Easy to follow step by step guide on how to replace an automotive turn signal switch, though appearances may vary the process is similar for most vehicles.

Difficulty Level - 5 of 10

Tools and Supplies Needed

  • Mechanics tool set
  • Protective eye wear
  • Protective gloves

Begin with the vehicle on level ground in park with the emergency brake set, engine "OFF".

Step 1 - Start by removing the negative battery cable to help prevent electrical short circuits while the job is being done. Please visit our battery cable removal guide for further instructions.

Disconnect Battery

Step 2 - Next, the steering wheel airbag must be removed, please visit our airbag removal guide for further instructions.

Airbag Removed

Step 3 - After the airbag has been removed the steering wheel is next, please visit our steering wheel removal guide for further instructions.

Steering Wheel Removed

Step 4 -  Once the steering wheel has been removed, the clock spring must removed next, please visit our steering wheel clock spring removal guide for further instructions.

Steering Wheel Clock Spring

Step 5 - After the clock spring removal, locate the column fascia pieces, this will vary and may not be needed for some applications.

Steering Column Fascia Pieces

Step 6 - Simply grasp the pieces and remove them, they should pull right off.

Remove Steering Column Fascia Pieces

Step 7 - Using a small screwdriver, gently pry the top plate from the column. (Note: Some models are designed without this piece, skip this step.)

Remove Steering Column Top Plate

Step 8 - Once the top plate has been removed, inspect it for damage.

Steering Column Top Plate Removed

Step 9 - The turn signal switch along with the cruise control switch will be exposed. (Note: Some cruise control switches are located on the steering wheel.)

Turn Signal Switch

Step 10 - Gently grasp the cruise control switch and slide it from the housing.

Pull From Housing

Step 11 - Once the cruise control switch has been removed, check it for damage and corrosion on the electrical terminals.

Cruise Control Switch Removed

Step 12 - Loosen and remove the turn signal switch mounting bolt or bolts.

Remove Turn Signal Switch Mounting Bolt

Step 13 - After the mounting bolt has been removed, grasp the switch/bowl assembly and gently pull it outward to remove.

Remove Turn Signal Switch

Step 14 - Once the switch has been removed, inspect wiring connections and terminals for corrosion. (Note: Some turn signal switches are designed with a wiring harness attached which will need to be disconnected near the bottom of the column before removal.)

Turn Signal Switch Removed

Step 15 - Using a Torx or screwdriver remove the bezel mounting bolts from the turn signal switch.

Remove Turn Signal Switch Bezel Bolts

Step 16 - After removal of all mounting bolts, remove the bezel from the switch.

Separate Bezel

Step 17 - The failed turn signal switch is now ready for replacement.

Failed Turn Signal Switch

Step 18 - Compare the new switch to the old unit, they should match identically.

New Turn Signal Switch

Step 19 - After inserting the new switch into the bezel, install and tighten screws by hand to avoid cross threading, tighten evenly.

Install Turn Signal Switch Bezel Screws

Step 20 - Before re-installing the new switch, inspect the steering column for damage or stripped threads.

Steering Column

Step 21 - Gently place the bezel and new switch over the steering column.

Insert Turn Signal

Step 23 - After pushing the switch into place, insert and tighten the mounting bolt.

Insert and Tighten Switch Mounting Bolt

Step 24 - Next, re-install the cruise control switch (if equipped).

Install Cruise Control Switch

Step 25 - Re-install fascia pieces.

Re-install Fascia Pieces

Step 26 - Once all fascia pieces have been installed, move the top plate back into position and gently lower it into the column.

Reinstall Steering Column Top Plate

Step 27 - Once the top plate has been set into place, push the unit until fully installed, the clock spring, steering wheel and airbag can now be re-installed.

Push Top Plate

Helpful Information

When a turn signal switch fails it will cause blinker operation, brake light or fuse operation failure.

Article first published