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How to fix turn signal and blinker system .. Sticky please

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OK guys.. I've seen many of us have this problem and including me. So here is my little write up. Hope it helps everything and if this exist somewhere then the admin can delete it.


How to fix 280Z flasher and turn signals intermittent problems.


In an attempt to wiring the turn signal and blinker system from the Z into my C5’s cluster I need to splice in the correct wires from the Z. I can’t really do this because my turn signal and the blinkers are not even working. I look thru the wiring diagram for the flasher and turn signals in a Z and I figured out how everything works. Refer to this wiring diagram for a better understanding: http://autozone.com/images/cds/gif/large/0900823d801d1d93.gif


1. The Blinker switch/ciruit: The Blinker switch/circuit serves 2 purposes. 1. Direct ignition voltage from the GRN wire to the GRN/YEL wire. The GRN/YEL wire is fed to a flasher (Turn Signal Flasher, right above the steering column) unit and out to the WHT wire. The WHT wire feeds the common wire on the Turn Signal Switch. 2. When the Blinker switch is pressed it disconnects #1 ignition from the GRN/YEL wire and connects 12V from the GRN/BLU wire to both the GRN/BLK (left signal light) and GRN/RED (right signal light) wires. Note the GRN/BLU wire is the output of another flasher (Blinker flasher, on the upper left behind the dash). The input to this flasher is RED/WHT wire and it is a 12V constant feed from the fuse box.

2. The Turn Signal Switch: The turn signal switch just direct 12v voltage from the WHT wire to either the GRN/BLK (Left signal light) or GRN/RED (Right signal light).


As you can see both the turn signals and the blinkers are getting different power sources. So I treat them separately and I trouble shoot one at a time. I check the turn signal first by measuring the voltage at the turn signal switch (the WHT wire) and I have 12V. However when I push the switch up or down I get 0V. Sometimes I get 7V without turning on the signal. So I measure the voltage at the GRN/YEL wire at the big black connectors. On one side I get 7V and the other is 12V. So there is my problem. I cut the GRN/YEL wire on both sides of the black connector and put a direct wire between and my turn signals work. Problem #1 solved.


Now I move to the blinker switch and it was the same thing. In short what I did was I cut all the power wires that go to that black connector and put a wire in between for each of them and everything worked. I can see on all the wires, after stripping the insulations, the green corrosion stuffs are on them. Here are the wires that I had to cut and reconnect:

1. GRN/YEL – 12V going to the Turn Signal flasher

2. GRN – 12V ignition input thru the blinker switch and out to the GRN/YEL

3. GRN/BLU – Constant 12V input to blinker switch to feed both left and right blinkers

4. GRN/BLK – 12V output to left turn signal

5. GRN/RED – 12V output to right turn signal.



OK I think that should helps a lot of people solve this stupid problem. Good luck




Here is a picture of the wiring connector in question:



BTW the picture showed the wires I temporarily hooked up to test out the signals. It worked after I bypass the connector for the GRN and GRN/YEL wires.

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OK here is some more info on the blinker and signals but on ZXs. There seems to be 2 different systems in the ZXs. I believe the older ZXs used the same system as the Z which it used 2 flashers, one for the 4 ways blinker and the other is for the L/R signals. The later ZXs used a single flasher for both the 4 ways blinker and the L/R signals.


My blinkers and signals aren't working so here I am again trying to understand how this thing works. Again this is a ZX I am working with and it has only one flasher and it is located above brake pedal. Here is how this system works looking at the 4 ways blinker switch:


BLU wire - 12V Ignition input into the switch to feed the L/R signals.

RED/WHT wire - Constant 12V input to the switch to feed the 4 ways blinker.

GRN/YEL wire - 12V output to the flasher.

GRN wire - This is 12V coming back from the flasher and it also branches out to the L/R turn signals.

GRN/RED and GRN/BLU wires are output to the L/R signals.


This is how the L/R turn signal works:

When the emergency blinker switch is OFF and the ignition key is ON the 12V ignition is fed to the BLU wire and goes out to the GRN/YEL wire to the flasher. The 12V is fed to the L/R turn switch so it only power the L or R turn signal. Note: In this case the power is being drawn from the BLU wire.


This is how the 4 ways blinker work:

When the emergency blinker switch is ON the switch does 2 things:

1. Connects power from the RED/WHT wire to the GRN/YEL wire and disconnect the connections between the BLU and GRN/YEL wires at the same time.

2. Connects the GRN wire (coming back from the flasher) to both the GRN/RED and GRN/BLU wires


So basically when the 4 ways switch in ON the 12V constant power is fed to the GRN/YEL wire from the RED/WHT wire. Which goes to the flasher, then 12V coming out of the flasher thru the GRN wire back to the emergency switch. The switch distributes the 12V from the GRN wire to both L and R side blinkers.


OK so what was the problem that caused the blinker and signals not working?

With the info above I disconnect the switch and check for continuity between the wires and I got nothing. I got 3 extras emergency switches and I test them as well and they were not working either. So I opened one of them and checked inside. There is nothing inside this switch except for a ball and some contacts and some old dried up contact grease. So I cleanup the contacts with sand paper and put some new contact grease on and put it back. Recheck with the continuity tests and everything checked out OK. Plug the switch back into the car and everything worked great.


Hope that helps someone in the future with this problem.


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Just an update for anyone checking this (great write up BTW!)....


I dismantled my steering wheel assembly to see if I could follow this DIY and fix my non working hazard lights on the 1980 280ZX I own.


I took out the switch from the steering wheel assembly and took it apart. looked at the cooper connectors/pickups (whatever they are called) and noticed some corrosion there. Using very fine sandpaper, I filed the contacts to shine again, and blew everything dry. Put it back together and TADA....it all works :)

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