Turn signal failure

JD Z

Veteran Member
There are multiple similar posts, please accept my apologies as I need a little more advice/direction.

My tail lights and turn signals all work as needed when the headlights are off. The dash turn indicator lights work as well. The flashers works as well. When I turn on the headlights, the front turn signal lights come on solid light (without the turns signal lever turned on). The front turn signals are on solid and the rears don’t light at all. The dash turn indicator lights don’t work either with the headlights on.

I’ve picked up from this forum that this is likely a ground issue. I’m at a loss as to where to find the ground connection to check/clean.

Note, I replaced all tail and turn light bulbs.

Thanks all for your insight. Best!
 

Twisted_Metal

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Gold Member
Feb 26, 2004
30,839
Bloomington, MN
The circuits for the signal lights are odd for the rubber bumper years.
They actually reverse the current flow through the bulbs depending upon whether the headlights are on or off.

(Which is why you need to use non-polar LEDS for the turn signals in these cars if you make the switch from incandescent to LED lamps.)

Headlights (or marker lights) on... The side markers blink out of synch with the front turn signals.
Headlights off... The side markers and front lights blink in unison.

The same pattern applies for the 4-way hazard lights. But they use two different flashers.
Do your 4-way hazards behave the same way?

There are two grounds in the front. One for each side.
They are located inboard of the headlights on the engine side of the radiator support. (black wires)

In the rear... The ground is also a black wire and connected to the inside rear of the trunk, on the driver's side.

Definitely worth checking those ground connections before you dig any further.
 

Twisted_Metal

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Staff member
Lifetime Gold Member
Feb 26, 2004
30,839
Bloomington, MN
Did you change the side marker lights to LED too?

I've only switched interior lights to LED so I'm not positive if all of the exterior ones need to be non-polar.
It wouldn't hurt to be consistent with all of them considering the odd turn signal circuits in these cars.

For LED turn signals... You also need an electronic flasher (they work on an internal timer instead of heat/resistance) to trigger the flasher mechanism. There isn't enough resistance in LED bulbs to create heat in the trigger mechanism of the flasher.
 

JD Z

Veteran Member
I did change the side marker lights, but changed back because the LED’s were too bright and didn’t look good on the side markers.

If I do interior lights, do they also need to be non-polar? And where do I connect an electronic timer? The turn signals are working great with the headlights off so maybe the timer won’t be needed. Appreciate your depth of knowledge!
 

Twisted_Metal

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Gold Member
Feb 26, 2004
30,839
Bloomington, MN
Interior lights can be regular one-way LEDs.
You just need to flip them around in the socket they don’t light up.
(They aren’t marked and they only work in one direction in the sockets.)

The electronic flasher looks like this:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/12V-20A-El...nker-Relay-LED-2-Prong-Circular-/333354072331

You will need a second one for the hazard lights too.
If your Camaro is an 80... Both flashers are plugged into the fuse block.

You might be able to use this type of flasher without swapping the bulbs but I haven’t had any first-hand experience with the external LEDs.
http://vi.raptor.ebaydesc.com/ws/eB...y=33713&pm=1&ds=0&t=1602718842210&cspheader=1

I know some members have used the 2nd flasher (with the ground wire) but I don’t remember exactly what combination of bulbs and flasher was successful.
 

JD Z

Veteran Member
So I found two ground points in the left rear of the trunk right behind the left turn signal. I found three ground points Under the hood with two being right behind the headlights and the other behind the motor on the battery side. I cleaned them all up and reconnected them.

I replaced the flashers with electronic 2 pin 12v flashers as Twisted noted. I replaced the LED turn bulbs with nom-polarity bulbs.

I put the old non-LED turn bulbs in and they worked perfect even with headlights on. With the grounds clean (that I found), the new flashers and new non-polarity turnbulbs, still the same problem. They all work great with headlights off. With headlights on, the front turns are on solid/no blink and the rears don’t come on.

Thoughts on what I’ve missed or other recommendations? Thanks guys!
 




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