'78 Honda Civic -- bad direction signals

Discussion in 'Civic' started by alex, Jan 26, 2006.

  1. alex

    alex Guest

    '78 Honda Civic -- temperamental direction signals

    My '78 Honda Civic (1200) has developed temperamental direction
    signals, and I
    am at a loss how to cure it. Sometimes they work normally, but then
    stop. Then resume.
    Then stop again. Completely unpredictably. It seems that sometimes
    quickly flicking the signal lever back and forth would restore the
    operation, but this may be an illusion. I think I've located the
    switching mechanism in the console a bit to the left of the manual
    choke knob. (This car has a manual choke!) With two fingers from
    below, I can feel it vibrating when it works. Do I have to remove the
    console to access the unit or can the repair be done from below? The
    Honda repair manual has no suggestions.
    Sometimes I have to open the window (at 20 degrees F) to give a manual
    direction signal.
    Thanks for any help with hints and/or referrals.

    I remember changing the direction signal switch in a Pinto by
    unplugging the old clicker and replacing it with a new one. It was
    easily accessible.

    alex, Jan 26, 2006
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  2. -----------------------------

    Please give a few more details: Does it light the bulbs, but not flash
    them, or just play dead? Do the four-way flashers work? Have you checked
    the relays in the under-hood fuse box (if there is one)? Can't the Honda
    dealer tell you where your relay is?

    :) In Canada, when somebody rolls down the window in and gives you the
    'signal', it's called the Pierre Trudeau DIGITAL salute :)

    'Curly Q. Links', Jan 27, 2006
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  3. alex

    TeGGeR® Guest

    OP says he can feel it vibrating. To me sounds like the turn signal unit is
    bad. It won't stick in one place long enough to do anything useful. Heating
    element is probably too corroded to heat up properly.

    I can't see something like this being particularly hard. It's easy to
    remove under-dash trim, although clips might be brittle when the car is
    almost 30 years old. And it's got to be roomier under the dash than in my
    car, so peeking under there with a light should be possible.
    TeGGeR®, Jan 27, 2006
  4. alex

    Eric Guest

    In addition to the other posts regarding a potentially bad flasher relay,
    you may also want to consider that the turn signal switch in the steering
    column needs to be cleaned up especially since you state that flicking the
    lever back and forth can sometimes get it to work. It's pretty easy to
    remove the steering wheel to gain access to the switch. You may need to
    lightly sand the electrical contacts in the switch with some 400 or 600 grit
    sandpaper. I had a similar problem on my '88 Civic with the headlight
    switch and cleaning it up fixed it and it's been working great for a couple
    of years now.

    Eric, Jan 27, 2006
  5. alex

    alex Guest

    At times, nothing happens. At other times, signals work OK for a while
    but suddenly stop. At times, the light stops blinking but stays
    lighted. The four-way flashers work OK.
    alex, Jan 30, 2006
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