'87 S3 turn signals not working

(Roger Coole) #1

Finally had the car out for a little drive today. When I went to make a turn the turn signals would not flash and no clicking sound. The hazard warning works and all lites flash.

I removed fuse 10, cleaned it, checked it for continuity(ok), put it back in and rotated it a few times. Also checked to make sure there was power on both sides of the fuse(ok). Still no joy.

What should I try next? I did a search for this problem and was surprised at how many results really didn’t cover what I have going on.

(Doug Dwyer) #2

Power for the turn signal circuit goes through the hazard light switch.

Sometimes just a briskly operating the hazard switch several times clean oxidized contacts inside…which is a common problem. Or try some aerosol electrical contact cleaner…but you have to remove the column shrouding to gain access to the switch.

If you have a test light or meter there are a couple EZ tests to narrow things down. Post back if so.


(Roger Coole) #3


I will try operating the hazard switch and see if that makes a difference. I do have a meter.


(Frank Andersen) #4

A bad contact in the hazard switch may explain it, Roger - as Doug says…

The only thing the hazard switch does in ‘normal’ position is to connect the fuse #10 power to the flasher relay. The light green/pink wire on the flasher relay should then show power.

With no results from operating the hazard switch repeatedly - you may try jumpwiring 12V to that relay connection. However, if this works, it either confirms a fault in the hazard switch - or a break in the wire from the hazard switch to the relay.

you likely have to access the hazard switch as Doug suggests…

xj6 85 Sov Europe (UK/NZ)

(sawyer10702) #5

Well if you live in california you would fit in just fine no one would even notice. Has most drivers here are lazy drivers and dont use blinkers. If the people here had to take a UK driving test half of californians would fail the test IMO lol

(Carl Hutchins, Jr. ) #6

And the flip side.

those few that do so, leave them on for blocks r even miles!!!

thanks, I’m out the door n errands.

I’ll keep my eyes open.


(Paul) #7

People in the UK are no better.
No way, no how…

Having lived abroad nearly half my life, driven literally everywhere, returning now i find driving really weird.
In part, use of turn signals always, for everything.

At least where i am, Dallas, it is like some marriage proposal just to change lanes?!

I mean, I’m in the right turn lane, is it really necessary?
But the smell of fear is just everywhere here.

And people do not follow rules, out of some bizarre seeming politeness, ignoring right of way, etc…which is dangerous.
…waiving the other by…oh you go, no you go, etc. despite having right of way.

What upsets me to my core here is just the anger and road rage…almost makes me want to leave old Jaguars for good.

I’ve had ppl brake check me, ride my rear end while in right lane, and even pull a gun on me!
Terrified, “F this country, F this place, I tried, I’m leaving again!! etc”…to my family as i returned that day.

I did get the plate number, braked, turned immediately, went to gas station, called police.

People ask me what happened while waiting as i asked to use their phone.
How many people said, “that’s why you need to get a gun too, etc…”

Eventually discover car was stolen, all arrested, so that was good, at least…

In Italy, everyone drives as if they are racing a Ferrari at Daytona, even the bus drivers.
No aggression, no anger, at worst people shrug their shoulders. And they love/respect cars. Nobody would ever key someone’s car, they if anything would go after driver.

It all just mysteriously works, but you must go with the flow.
I suppose the main motive is, Italians love life. Everyone here is F’ing miserable.

I miss that, so much…especially the complete absence of fear that i never, ever had…
UK cities? That’s another matter.

Anyway, back to turn signals.

(Frank Andersen) #8

The point of signalling is to tell others what you intend to do, Paul - giving them a fair chance of avoiding you…:slight_smile:

Here in NZ it’s the law to signal changes of direction minimum 3 seconds in advance - but law or no law; I signal. Few people are hell bent on crashing into you even if they know you are about to do something stupid…:slight_smile:

xj6 85 Sov Europe (UK/NZ)

(Paul) #9

Sure, of course.
It’s funny how environments can be so different when the tasks are the same.

Gosh, i could throw out a theory that driving can tell as much about a people as the cuisine…

I just hate the violence and hostility, not to mention selfishness here.

(Carl Hutchins, Jr. ) #10

I think that our CVC denotes the distance in feet. 100. Ok on the street. a bit tight at higher speeds.

But, some flick the lever and wheel at the same time!!!

Right of way. Sure, right, “dead right”.

I have survived most lousy manners by folks in cars. The ones that terrify me are the “blokes” on bikes, powered by leg or IC. I don’t want to hurt them or worse…


(Frank Andersen) #11

“He was right, so right, as he sped along - but he was just as dead as if he had been wrong”…

Old Air Force adage, Carl…:slight_smile:

xj6 85 Sov Europe (UK/NZ)

(Carl Hutchins, Jr. ) #12

Same principle. Each includes the key words. right, wrong and dead!!!


(David Jauch) #13

Thank you, that fixed it for me: my indicators became intermittent sometimes. The hazard switch had cracked due to fatigue (not by my dismantling, I knew well about its fragility!). When I put some pressure on the hazard switch the indicators came to life reliably and are now in order again. Not the best design, is it…

(Roger Coole) #14

Sounds like a good trick. Unfortunately it didn’t work for
me. Still no joy.

Is it possible to troubleshoot the system by just disconnecting the cable
to it and measuring continuity on the appropriate pins? I have an
Electrical Guide on the way. I’m hoping it will show which pins on
the connector go where.

(Frank Andersen) #15

It’s better to use the wire colours as identifiers, Roger - assuming that a PO hasn’t done a funny…

In ‘hazard’; the flasher relay is fed power from fuse #2 through the hazard switch by light green/pink - and works, right? In this position the hazard switch bypasses the direction stalk switch so the relay powers both external sigs directly.

In the ‘other’ position the relay is powered through the hazard switch from fuse #10 - again through the light green/pink. The stalk switch, when used, connects the relay to the ‘right’ and ‘left’ sides as appropriate.

As the relay is used the same way in both configurations; there are roughly three sources of problems. (1)The stalk switch fails to connect to the lamps. (2)The hazard switch fails to connect the relay to fuse #10. (3)There is no power from fuse #10 to the hazard switch.

If (2) or (3); there is no power at relay light green/pink. (1) can be tested by jumpwiring 12V to relay light green/pink - if the stalk switch works; direction indicators will now work correctly.

Further testing; remove fuse #10 and disconnect light green pink from relay. You can now ohm between fuse holder and the disconnected wire. However; discontinuity may either be a failed switch in the hazard switch - or the wire at the fuse holder is broken/disconnected.

Any further testing requires access to the hazard switch - just checking for continuity between brown and light green/pink. Which will just confirm failed internal switching inside the hazard switch…

Note; both continuity and power checks require disconnection of connections/wires to be tested…

As an aside; while testing/exercising the hazard switch; the stalk switch should be set in either ‘left’ or ‘right’ - providing a positive indication if/when the hazard switch respond to manipulations…

xj6 85 Sov Europe (UK/NZ)

(David Jauch) #16

I would start with hot wiring the flasher relay as suggested originally, given how tight it is at the switches. The wiring guide will help some, in the meantime the S52 can be obtained as pdf?

This post would be redundant if I wouldn’t write it to stress this - the hazard switch is extremely fragile! When you remove the casing (the three screws from below), carefully angle it downwards, ensure that the hazards are in the up position, then slowly pull it out. The pivot of the hazard element is offset to the front of the car and the lever has very thin pivoting points that are also brittle by now and when broken, not cheap.
The under scuttle casing has the two screws on the right which shouldn’t be overtightened and another one to secure its position. In addition to the wiring guide I found the british wiring colour guide helpful. BS-AU7a, Google this; not always correct but mostly.

(Roger Coole) #17

Traced fault to Hazard switch as some suggested. Will pull steering wheel and turn signal assy while awaiting new switch to arrive.

Thanks to all who helped.
05 Zircon XJ8L
87 Gray XJ6

p.s. To davidsxj6, my under scuttle casing has 2 screws on the ‘left’, which I discovered after removing 2 other plastic pieces from the left end of the dash. :wink:

(Roger Coole) #18

New hazard switch installed. Of course I had to enlarge the opening in the mounting bracket a bit first. Always something… Anyway, after reinstalling everything I found that the Hazard switch will still flash all 4 corners. But alas, the turn signals are still not working.

One odd thing I found is that the flasher shown in S57 has 4 terminals while the one installed has 5. Also, of the 5 wires to the flasher plug the only one with the correct color code is the one to ground(BLK).

Might be interesting to know the inner workings of the flasher.

And the beat goes on…


(Doug Dwyer) #19

You’re not the first person to have problems with replacing the hazard switch. This write-up suggests discrepancies in the wiring diagrams and my (very foggy) recollections of postings of 15-20 years ago are that some replacement switches have different terminal configurations and/or markings.


But before getting too bogged down with all of that I have to wonder about the 5-pin flasher you mentioned.

Are you sure that you’ve got your hands on the correct widget? Your mention of only one wire matching the prescribed color code makes me wonder.

Was there a time in your ownership when the signals were working properly with this flasher…if indeed that’s what it is?


(Roger Coole) #20


My bad. It wasn’t the flasher I had out. Been spending too
much time under the dash. All gets a little fuzzy after awhile. lol

But more to the point, no, the flashers have never worked.

Thanks for that URL. I’ll have to compare that to the actual
connections and see if there are any differences.

BTW, the main reason for my replacing the hazard switch was that it was
broken. Had assumed it wasn’t making good connections.