Make Me Blink!
October 20, 2011 10:22 AM   Subscribe

Hi! I'm a 1997 Oldsmobile Bravada, and my turn-signals have stopped working! What do you think is wrong with me, and how much will David likely have to spend to get me working again?
posted by davidmsc to Grab Bag (12 answers total)
You've got a burned out bulb. Have someone hold down the signal while you examine the front and rear signals.

Head your local auto parts shop for a replacement. It'll take you minutes and less than ten dollars or so.
posted by unixrat at 10:26 AM on October 20, 2011

Does any part of your turn signal system work? The blinky lights in the dash, anything? If not, your signal relay might have crapped out. It's a $5 part, typically. Not sure how much a shop will charge to fix it, but if David is moderately handy, replacing the relay shouldn't be that hard, depending on where it's located.
posted by mollymayhem at 10:27 AM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

Can you give more details?

Do they not "blink"?
Do you hear the "blink sound" but the bulb doesn't light up?
Is it one or both turn signals?
posted by chrisfromthelc at 10:28 AM on October 20, 2011

Both signals? Nothing else is broken? Either a relay or the switch. You can get a replacement relay at the auto parts store and the owner's manual should tell you where it lives in the fuse box. 5 minutes of work, tops.

If it's the turn signal switch, that's not doable unless you're pretty car savvy. Still not horribly expensive, though. $25-$50 for the part and an hour of labor? Hundred bucks?
posted by pjaust at 10:28 AM on October 20, 2011

Response by poster: No blinky sound, no turn-signal arrows light up on the dashboard.
posted by davidmsc at 10:30 AM on October 20, 2011

If none of the signals are blinking, it's more likely a fuse.

On cars, if a turn signal bulb is burned-out, this will cause the corresponding bulb on the same side of the car to blink faster, in order to alert the driver. Your dash indicator will also blink faster. Having all bulbs burned out at once is unlikely.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:30 AM on October 20, 2011

Fuse or flasher relay. Try the fuse first (blinkers may even be on their own fuse). Heck, you might even have a spare fuse on the fuse box cover!

If it's not that, look into the relay. It may even be behind the same panel as the fuses. (If not, look under the dash above the pedals. It's a silvery cylinder between .75 and 1.5 inches in diameter.) If you have to replace the relay, get a damn Chilton or Haynes manual while you're at the auto parts store. The manuals will be shelved under "chevrolet" because the bravada is just a rebadged Blazer.
posted by notsnot at 10:37 AM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thank you all for the info and advice -- since "David" is NOT even moderately handy, this will help him tackle the problem and not freak out about a potential $1,000 repair bill.
posted by davidmsc at 10:41 AM on October 20, 2011

This here is a 1997 Oldsmobile Bravada owners manual, complete with fuse box diagram. Tell David to give this a read, and maybe even check all the fuses while he's looking under your skirt. You may have something else burned out and not know it. ;-)
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:11 AM on October 20, 2011

The diagram is on page 275, by the way.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:13 AM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

Definitely not just a bulb. If no lights are flashing, in or out of the car, you're probably looking at a fuse. If the lights come on but don't blink, probably a relay. IIRC, it's pretty easy to get to the relay (behind the glove box) and not a super expensive part.
posted by willpie at 1:38 PM on October 20, 2011

thirding fuse as the 1st place to check. And tell David that a variety pack of fuses:

1. will cost about $5.00
2. are a good idea to keep in the glovebox.
posted by beelzbubba at 5:53 PM on October 20, 2011

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