There are two electrical issues still on the Jeepster. One is the windshield washer pump. The other is the interior courtesy lights. The wiring for these is a mess so I just disconnected them. Tonight I had some time and was looking for a little project so I decided to get these fixed.
Sometime in the last few weeks the turn signal switch failed. A very nice diagram I found online shows the circuit. I first noticed that the left rear brake light was not working when I pressed the brakes. So I did some troubleshooting.
Wednesday it was forecast to be 83 and sunny so I decided to drive the Jeepster to work. About 1 mile into the trip I realized the turn signals were not working. Sad! So I used hand signals and survived the trip.
The new flasher came today so I put it in. Works fine. But what is up with the old flasher?
It took a little careful prying but I snapped cover off the old flasher.
There is some ugly soldering on this but I don’t see anything super suspicious. I will take this to work tomorrow and poke at it under magnification. The good news is the Jeep is flashing again.
I examined the flasher under a microscope and re-soldered the messier solder joints. It still does not work so I threw the flasher away. Better yet is I drove the car several times over the last week and nothing new broke.
So the very next time I drove the car after replacing the speedometer cable the turn signals failed. Emergency flashers worked, but the turn signals did not. Stoplights and emergency flashers were working fine. Thanks to page 2 of this excellent diagram I found on the Jeepster Commando Club of America forums I was pretty sure the problem was in the part of the circuit that supplies power to the turn signals. Power goes from the accessory terminal on the ignition switch to the turn signal flasher then to the turn signal switch via the hazard light switch. If I was lucky the problem was at or near the flasher. If I was unlucky the hazard switch or turn signal switch failed or a wire broke in the steering column.
Assuming I would get lucky I pulled the turn signal flasher out of the rats nest of wiring stuffed up behind the dash. The red arrow points to the flasher. I installed this electronic flasher because the LED taillights I installed do not draw enough current to correctly operate a mechanical flasher. By the way on the page I linked here I said all this wiring would get cleaned up later. I must have been lying.
First check is for power on the flasher. I am getting 12V when the key is on. So the flasher is getting power. I checked the ground wire too and it was fine. Next I removed the wires from the flasher and tied them together. Turn signals came on. Of course they don’t flash but that means my brand-new flasher broke. I installed this back in September. How much do you want to bet this has a 90 day warranty?
I rooted around in my garage and found an ancient Bosch flasher from my VW days. It is a three-terminal design with a ground terminal so I used a jumper to tie that pin to ground. The turn signals worked but blinked way too fast. I will have to buy another (different) electronic flasher. This is the second brand-new part I have had fail almost immediately. I am starting to think that maybe the quality control in China is not up to par…