Blinker stopped working on my 2000 Dodge Neon
December 31, 2008 9:22 AM   Subscribe

My blinker on my 2000 Dodge Neon has been working only intermittently. Could this be a fuse issue, or would it not be working at all?

The most common response is that the blinker will blink two or three times (in either direction) before giving out and needing to be reactivated. There have been times that it doesn't activate at all, and times where it keeps going fine for a short while without any breaks in service. I don't know enough about car repair to do anything requiring new parts or wiring. Could this possibly be a faulty fuse? This is probably the extent of my ability to fix it. If so, I'd like to try and see if this works before taking it in for more expensive repairs.
posted by SpacemanStix to Grab Bag (10 answers total)
Best answer: The blinker relay itself is kaput. They often die, and can easily be replaced.
posted by Gungho at 9:39 AM on December 31, 2008

Response by poster: The blinker relay itself is kaput.

Could you tell me a little bit about where that is, and if I could do it on my own?
posted by SpacemanStix at 9:55 AM on December 31, 2008

The blinker relay itself is kaput.

Another possibility is that the switch (the stalk that sticks out of the steering wheel column that you move up or down to activate the blinkers) is going bad -- I had one fail in a similarly intermittent fashion. The relay is more likely, though.
posted by Forktine at 10:21 AM on December 31, 2008

No one else has responded (yet), but if you do not want to incur Dodge dealer or other auto repair shop charges and you do not have the knowledge to fix it yourself, you could go to an auto accessory store such as Napa or Advance Auto and ask them to help you.

Or, you could go to your local library and get the manual.
posted by lungtaworld at 10:23 AM on December 31, 2008

Best answer: This might be the location of the relay/flasher.

Also, to test whether it's the switch that clicks the stalk in place, or the flasher: Does the blinker work ok if you hold the stalk in place? If so, then the switch is worn out and does not hold the stalk in place. If not, then it's probably the relay/flasher.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 10:58 AM on December 31, 2008

Make sure it's the blinker mechanism and not the light - if you still hear the blinker noise (possibly at double speed), replacing a bulb may do the trick, and you may be able to do it yourself.) The "best answer" on this page has instructions.

My '03 Neon had a similar problem - a rear blinker would go out, usually while driving, and I'd hear the double-speed blinker noise. It'd go back to normal after a few days, and the process would repeat every few months or so. Finally, I took it to a relative in the car biz - bulb was replaced, good as new.
posted by Ponsonby Britt at 11:03 AM on December 31, 2008

Best answer: The original description was not: double speed = dead lamp/bad contact, but: "the blinker will blink two or three times (in either direction) before giving out." This is unlikely a switch problem either. As in the first answer: blinker relay kaput most likely.
This is standard stuff - can't be very expensive to let someone fix it. It wasn't even in my Volvo.
posted by Namlit at 11:14 AM on December 31, 2008

My old Lexus had this. The blinker ran way too fast. Replacing the fuse fixed it.
posted by Doctor Suarez at 12:28 PM on December 31, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks everyone for the helpful feedback. I was able to get at the relay in the steering column, and I was able to order the part (our local store did not have it in stock). It should be here tomorrow or the next day, and I'll give an update on what happens. I'll follow up on the fuse next if it doesn't work, but based on your feedback, I feel hopeful it'll work (it doesn't seem to be the stalk, as it doesn't work when held in in place).
posted by SpacemanStix at 1:00 PM on December 31, 2008

Response by poster: A followup: It ends up that it was the blinker relay. It was a bit of an adventure to replace it, but it was definitely the right fix!

I originally tried to order the part through a couple of part distributors here, but neither of them could find a match for a 2000 Dodge Neon. One was able to recommend a part that was supposed to be compatible, but once I installed it, it started to create a loud high pitched squealing sound that indicated that something was definitely not right. Fortunately I was able to return it, and I instead ordered the part directly from the Dodge dealership here. A little more expensive, but being it was the same part, and on the good advice of all you here, I felt okay doing it. It installed with no problems, and we now have consistently working blinkers.

Thanks all for your help. You helped me with some clear answers that a lot of internet searching was not providing.
posted by SpacemanStix at 5:24 PM on January 2, 2009

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