Thursday, December 1, 2016

Thursday Twister: Solve An Oddball Car Issue

For today's Thursday Twister, I am going to ask our readers to help solve a problem that is currently causing grief for DT's own Kaibeezy.  Now this is an oddball problem on an oddball car -- a mysterious blinker issue on a 2001 Citroën Xantia 1.8i 16v.

 
Per Kaibeezy: my right turn signal is blinking fast and the light is not turning on - that's supposed to mean a burned out bulb - i hit the hazard button to make everything flash, and all the bulbs are good

if i jiggle the stalk, or pull it back towards the center without shutting off the turn signal, it blinks and flashes normally

i suppose that's a bad switch? - inside the steering column? - or is it a relay on the fuse panel?

this has actually never happened to me before - quel surprise, i can't seem to get a straight answer by searching for info about my obsolete obscure car (2001 Xantia 1.8i 16v).
 
 What do car guys around the planet recommend?

15 comments:

  1. Well, let's start with the basics: have you changed the blinker fluid recently?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6GsXhBb10k

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  2. yep, but let me check the cask... it's imperial blinker ointment - should it be metric?

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    Replies
    1. OK so seriously, I just did some searching on the French-language forums. Any failures of the blinker units ("Centrale clignotant") seem to be "all or nothing". Therefore, I think replacing the stalk seems like a good bet. Interestingly, those cars do seem to have a propensity for blinker weirdness. One frequent problem is an interaction between the stalk and the four-way warning switch, but again the symptoms are different than what you are experiencing. Hope this helps. Any "U-Pull" yards in your neck of the planet?

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    2. thx for that - my French is not up the challenge - i do really think it must be the switch, as it works normally if i pull the stalk back from fully flicked (there's not really another way to say that, is there?) - i suppose i can look into a disassembly and cleaning - might try to find a shop manual

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  3. Are you sure the bulb doesn't have 2 filliments?

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  4. From my weird French tuner friends: probably the stalk switch they have issues with acting normally all the time. Something about the switch in the column that jumps off of something something and now they are drinking like fish and we are onto Turbo Renault issues....

    I'm not sure that was helpful but those boys talk way too fast to keep up.

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  5. Exact same issue with my e28 currently, and yep, it's the stalk.

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  6. My best advice is to swap available parts and see if the problem follows those parts. Swap the bulbs left-to-right and see if the problem follows the bulbs or stays the same.

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  7. I would swap the stalk switch out for a 2003 Maserati Spyder Cambiocorsa in need of a clutch.

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  8. Is the bulb in question a single filament or a two filament bulb ? Oh wait someone already mentioned that.
    Taking a piece of wire and hot wiring the relay is a good way of isolating the problem.

    I have no idea what they use in a 2001 Citroën but the thing with the bimetalic spring that heats up and goes "sproingk" in the older turn signals to make them blink will wear out and act like that.
    In my Porsche the contacts on the turn signal socket will get dirty ( I have no idea how, but they do) and the current draw falls below the amperage required to make the spring go sproingk and the light stays on and doesn't flash.

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    Replies
    1. ha! - i thought it was a joke like the blinker fluid - i ordered some bulbs, didn't notice the filaments, but did notice there are two offset pins on the sides of the base, which means the bulb can only be inserted one way, which means the contacts matter, which must mean it had two filaments, right? - i'll go try it out when the sun ekes up this afternoon (Arctic circle and all that)

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  9. So your being stalked by a french ghost.....!

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  10. I don't know about le France but on my Audi you could get the multifunction switch apart, clean the green German corrosion off of the contacts, then once you found all of the springs and contacts that had flown across the room re-assemble and be on your way. Getting the steering wheel off in the dark with a flashlight in your teeth to get the switch off the column is another story.

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