How to fix an indicator stalk

How to fix an indicator stalk

Here you can get what is an indicator stalk and How to fix an indicator stalk.

The indicator stalk is the part of the car’s control systems that is used to control your vehicles indication lights. It is usually mounted on the steering column, giving you easy access without having to remove your hands from the steering wheel. Most indicators have a mechanism in them that turns them off when the steering wheel is rotated in a contrary direction to the indicator light.

The majority of indicator stalks are mounted on the side of the steering column so you’ll easily operate them without having to release your grip on the wheel . most modern stalks also have a self-cancelling device that is operated by the moving part of the steering column. This automatically switches the indications off after you’ve got turned into a bend. Indicator stalks are usually trouble-free but, like everything else, they will develop problems. in addition, the stalk often controls other items like headlight dip/main beam and flash, and the horn.

The most common problem is that the self-cancelling mechanism failing to work when the wheel is turned back to the straight ahead position after a turn. Other problems you’ll come across are a burnt-out or broken switch or wiring, a broken switch mechanism or a broken stalk.

What is Indicator Stalk

The indicator stalk is the part of the car’s control systems that is used to control your vehicles indication lights. It is usually mounted on the steering column, giving you easy access without having to remove your hands from the steering wheel. Most indicators have a mechanism in them that turns them off when the steering wheel is rotated in a contrary direction to the indicator light.

Trafficators are semaphore signals which, when operated, protrude from the bodywork of a motor vehicle to indicate its intention to turn in the direction indicated by the pointing signal. Trafficators are often located at the door pillar.

Gaining access

Before carrying out any work on the stalk disconnect the battery leads as a safety precaution against short circuits. On the bulk of cars you have only to remove the steering column shroud to realize access to the indicator stalk switch mechanism. But in some cases you’ll even have to get rid of the wheel (for details see Projects 2). The shroud is usually in two halves held together, and to the column, by small screws. shop around the shroud to seek out these screws – some could also be deeply recessed within the shroud moulding. in any case the screws are removed the column shroud should split apart.

You may need to wriggle the shrouds off over the varied stalks and therefore the switch , so lookout to not break them. In some cases the whole column will need to be lowered to remove the shrouds. you ought to now be ready to see the indicator stalk switch.

Switch check

The stalk may perform other functions apart from operating the indicators, in which case you will find several wires leading to it. refer to the wiring diagram in your service manual to identify the indicator wires. There are usually three wires attached to the indicator switch: one feed wire to the switch and two wires leading from it to feed the right- and left-hand circuits .

Look carefully to form sure none of the wires has fallen off or broken. If one among the wires has fallen off, solder it back on to its terminal . you’ll be ready to do this with the switch in place but, if not, remove the switch first. If one of the wires has broken, fit in a new section – again it may be easier to remove the stalk first.

Circuit testing

Before removing the switch/stalk assembly for closer inspection it’s worthwhile making a circuit check on the switch using a circuit tester (one with its own power supply). Refer to a workshop manual to seek out out where the wiring to the stalk is located. Most stalks are connected via a multi-connector plug under the dashboard. Disconnect the multi-plug and, again pertaining to your workshop manual, identify the wires running to the stalk.

Connect the test meter to the most switch feed terminal and therefore the output wire for the left-hand indicator circuit. Turn the indicator stalk to the left-hand turn position. If the circuit tester illuminates, the wiring to and inside the switch are okay. If the circuit tester fails to light, it indicates a fault either within the switch itself or within the wiring between the switch and therefore the multi-plug.

Repeat the test, this time moving the probe of the test meter to the right-hand terminal within the multi-plug and the stalk to the right-hand turn position. Any faults found will mean the switch/stalk will need to be removed for closer inspection. If you found the wiring or switch was burnt out, the problem may are in the switch itself but it’s worth checking the circuits to seek out if the cause lies elsewhere.

Removing a stalk

Before removing the stalk, disconnect the battery again. Examine the stalk and switch assembly. There are many different types and a few indicator stalks may perform other functions too. In some cases there could also be more than one stalk mounted on the steering column. Some designs have all the stalks pushed together as a column unit. to vary one stalk you’ve got to renew the lot. Other types have individual stalks and you only need to replace the faulty one.

Check to see how the wiring from the stalk is connected to the most loom. In most cases it’ll run down the steering column and connect to the main loom via a multi-connector plug. Disconnect the plug and release any cable ties holding the wiring to the steering column. Examine how the indicator stalk is connected to the steering column. the only design has the bottom of the stalk held with screws to a bracket on the steering column.

Another type features a metal U-bracket that fits around the column and is attached to the stalk base. Undo the screws and remove the U-bracket, then pull off the stalk. Where the stalks all come off as a cluster, the job is quite more difficult. Because the assembly fits over the steering column, you’ve got to get rid of the wheel first. Once the wheel is off, release the screws that hold the stalk and lift it off the column. it’s going to be quite tight fit as in some designs the stalk assembly also forms the steering column inner shaft bearing. Some other types, however, require the removal of the steering lock assembly before they will be removed.

Stalk inspection

Once the stalk has been removed from the car it’s much easier to inspect it. carry out any soldering or replace any broken wires that you find to be necessary.

Inspect the electrical contacts of the switch. On older stalk assemblies it’s usually possible to wash up the contacts of the assembly with fine grade wet-or-dry paper or a small nail file. Operate the switch and take a closer look at the contacts to see how they work. you’ll find that they don’t touch properly – if this is the case, bend the switch contacts in order that they make a better connection. New switches usually have the contacts sealed in so you can’t do any repair work.

Cancelling peg

A common problem with indicators is that of failing to cancel automatically. this is usually caused by wear in the cancelling peg attached to the inner moving column shaft. Not all cars use this system, so check.

If the peg may be a threaded metal one, you’ll adjust it by loosening its locknut then screwing it out a fraction at a time until the indicator switch cancels automatically when the wheel is turned.

Replacement parts

If the stalk appears beyond repair check with your local main dealer to find out whether any component parts are available. The vast majority of switch/stalk assemblies however are only available as an entire unit and they are often quite expensive to buy new.

It is worth trying at an area breaker’s yard to find a replacement switch. take care when looking for a replacement as many different types are used even for an equivalent model. Some stalks for instance could also be fitted with extra functions not applicable to your model and you’ll find they’re not compatible. On others the type of multi-plug may are changed. Take the old switch along to assist identify the correct replacement. Before refitting remember to lubricate the contacts of the switch with electrical cleaning fluid. Don’t use oil because it may insulate the contacts within the switch and prevent a current being passed.


Refitting the switch is basically the reverse of removal. confirm the switch is correctly aligned. Often you’ll find a small lug on the inner face of the switch that fits into a corresponding hole within the steering column. Tighten the securing screws.

Once the switch has been fitted reconnect the multi-connector plug. Temporarily reconnect the battery and test the system is working correctly. Refit any ties that are wont to secure the wires to the steering column. Reposition and secure the steering column shrouds and wheel (if applicable).


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