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Notchy Turn Signal Lever FIX

Pete165

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Here's a fix for that annoying notchy turn signal thats hard to push. No more flashing your brights when trying to turn!

Tools needed:
Small flat head screw driver (For prying and scraping)
Torx Screw driver (Either a T-10, or T-15, I don't remember what I used)
Metric Socket & an extension (Again, I dont remember what size, maybe an 8mm?)


Step 1: Unbolt the three bolts in the bottom of the plastic trim piece below the steering wheel column.
99XzV1V.jpg


Step 2: Rotate the steering wheel 90 degrees and use a flat head screw driver to separate the tabs holding the upper and lower trim pieces around the steering column. Rotate the steering wheel back the other way and do the same on the other side. Remove both trim pieces

Step 3: On the left side of the steering column you will see two modules. One connected to the turn signal lever, and the one below it for the power adjustable pedals (if equipped). Unscrew the two torx screws (red arrows in the pic). If equipped, remove the power pedal module buy prying the clips back (blue circles). Then remove the turn signal lever module by sliding it to the left.
pdhhDlY.jpg



Empty space with module removed
9NQbGII.jpg



9NQbGII
Step 4: Unscrew the two torx screws holding the circuit board onto the module, then remove the board. Remove the two white plastic sliding pieces from the module underneath the circuit board. (They will just fall out - don't lose them!)
tGARPFx.jpg
WHy3pnA.jpg



Step 5: Pry up the retaining clips from either side of the turn signal module, and separate the module into two pieces.
e3alBHX.jpg



Step 6: Remove the turn signal lever from it's half of the module. You will see a white plastic "needle" at the end of the lever. Remove the "needle" and it's spring from the end of the lever. There is a nub at the end of the white "needle", this nub slides against a white "V" shaped piece of plastic with a groove and a coulple notches in it.
p4tFBNH.jpg


It is this "nub" and the notches in the V shaped guide plastic that are causing so much resistance.
Step 7: I first ground off the nub from the end of the needle and rounded off the end. This allowed the needle to glide a bit easier, but there was still a considerable amount of resistance. (Be careful not to take too much off. Trial and error is the way to go)

Step 8: Running your finger along the grove in the V shaped plastic, you will feel a couple notches. I used a small flat screw driver to chisel down these notches. (Again, trial and error. Chisel a bit, then put the lever back in and see how it feels. Do a little more if necessary. Be careful not to take too much off or the lever may feel sloppy or loose)
uTPHXkU.jpg



Step 9: Grease everything liberally.
eo3iQCK.jpg

Step 10: Installation is the reverse of removal :D


-Be careful not to over-tighten the two torx screws holding the circuit board to the module. These also hold the two halves of the module together and will cause the turn signal lever to stick if over-tightened.

My lever moves like butter now!!! I can't believe i put up with for as long as I did. Again - trial and error. Only grind/chisel a little bit at a time, then put it together and test. If you take out too much you may be buying a new module! Good luck! :usa:
 


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SJExplorer

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what exactly is "notchy" about the turn signal lever? They work the same way they do on my wife's 3 Series BMW. bump it and you get a 3 blink lane change indicator, push it all the way down and you get a constant indicator until you cancel it. That is the way they were designed, and the way that they work in premium vehicles.
 




Pete165

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2017 Sport
what exactly is "notchy" about the turn signal lever? They work the same way they do on my wife's 3 Series BMW. bump it and you get a 3 blink lane change indicator, push it all the way down and you get a constant indicator until you cancel it. That is the way they were designed, and the way that they work in premium vehicles.

Yeah... I'm well aware of how turn signals work. Looks like it may just be a 2013 issue. Mine felt like you were going to break the lever with how hard you had to push.

http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=354290&highlight=turn+signal+problem
 




peterk9

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what exactly is "notchy" about the turn signal lever? They work the same way they do on my wife's 3 Series BMW. bump it and you get a 3 blink lane change indicator, push it all the way down and you get a constant indicator until you cancel it. That is the way they were designed, and the way that they work in premium vehicles.
No problems with mine either in turning them on. But...I still don't like the way they work and it is one of a very few 'pet peeves' I have. What I don't like about it is that when you have the signal on, say for a left turn, and you hit it again, it will cancel instead of staying on. Pushing it down a second time shouldn't cancel the signal. It never did on any of my previous vehicles. The only way to manually cancel the signal was to push it into the neutral (rest) position.
Anyway that's my take on it. A small detail on a vehicle that has been an excellent performer so far.:thumbsup:

Peter
 




Dr Plastic

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I may try this. It is hard to push down the lever to the "stay on" position. It is VERY notchy and hard to do . I have arthritis in my hands and just using the side of your finger to push it down can be painful at times! Thanks for posting this!
 




txaggie

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Fantastic!!! Thanks for the detailed write up with pictures I agree with the notchiness, I feel like sometimes that I am going to break it!

Next mod on my 2013!!

Edited to add question - would you get the same result just shaving down the notches and leaving the nub? The good news is that the lever doesn't have to remain in position like older cars.
 




Riley

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what exactly is "notchy" about the turn signal lever? They work the same way they do on my wife's 3 Series BMW. bump it and you get a 3 blink lane change indicator, push it all the way down and you get a constant indicator until you cancel it. That is the way they were designed, and the way that they work in premium vehicles.

Some vehicles require a bit more effort that others to engage the continuous signal. There seems to be more resistance than there should be and will feel like it's going to snap the lever off when you push it down. This is not just Explorer related, other models also have this issue.
 




txaggie

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Holy crap!! Thank you thank you thank you!!!! :notworthy:notworthy

This has been one of those unbelievably annoying daily things, I actually had stopped using it in certain situations. Moves like butter now, the way I think it should have operated from day one. I was amazed at how much material I had to take off. Also, I am glad you pointed out about tightening the circuit board, when I reassembled it for the final time, the stalk was actually sticking so I backed the screws off a little.

Thanks again!! :thumbsup:
 




Pete165

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Holy crap!! Thank you thank you thank you!!!! :notworthy:notworthy

This has been one of those unbelievably annoying daily things, I actually had stopped using it in certain situations. Moves like butter now, the way I think it should have operated from day one. I was amazed at how much material I had to take off. Also, I am glad you pointed out about tightening the circuit board, when I reassembled it for the final time, the stalk was actually sticking so I backed the screws off a little.

Thanks again!! :thumbsup:

Glad sombody tried this so quickly!! And I agree, I had to take out a decent amount of material. Did you also grind the nub off? I'm wondering if that was necessary.

Make this thread a Sticky???? :D
 




Pete165

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Fantastic!!! Thanks for the detailed write up with pictures I agree with the notchiness, I feel like sometimes that I am going to break it!

Next mod on my 2013!!

Edited to add question - would you get the same result just shaving down the notches and leaving the nub? The good news is that the lever doesn't have to remain in position like older cars.

I believe you may get the same result. I had already ground the nub before I realized the notches were there. Maybe somebody else can try this?
 




peterk9

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This thread has peaked my curiosity. They must have changed something in the 2013 if owners are having this problem. Mine works great. No need to 'muscle' it into any position. Only takes a flip of the finger. Next time I'm at the dealership I'll have to check this out if they have a 2013 in stock.

Peter
 




Ryan327

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I will agree that my 2013 Sport feels very much the same as you described. Might take a bit for me to get around to this but this is one thing I will be doing before too long.
 




lraia

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I think this is a 2013 issue, my 2011 Limited Edge's turn signal arm effort was minimal. My 2013 Sport requires more effort for sure.
 




jeff59rt1

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My 2011 feels fine, does the 2013 have a different part number for the turn signal?..thanks for the pictures and detailed instructions.
 




txaggie

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My 2013 has had the issue since day one. My wife actually didn't even want to use them thinking she would break the arm off. I am convinced that you needed to grind the nub as well as the ridges.

One other thought though, I wonder if you reduced the spring weight by either replacing with a softer spring, or cutting coils off of it.
 




Pete165

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My 2013 has had the issue since day one. My wife actually didn't even want to use them thinking she would break the arm off. I am convinced that you needed to grind the nub as well as the ridges.

One other thought though, I wonder if you reduced the spring weight by either replacing with a softer spring, or cutting coils off of it.

I actually tried that first. (you can see the springs in one of the pictures :D) I cut some coils a little at a time. It worked, but made the lever sloppy and it actually wasn't enough to hold the lever in the off position. it kept falling to the 3 blink position
 




LukerDooker

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The lever has like 5 or 6 up/down clicks total ? starting from off and all the way down then back up.

Adjusting by grinding the plastic slowly removes the difference between the positions, and it will end up sloppy as described.

Always use the part near the end of your lever for least resistance.
 




Pete165

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The lever has like 5 or 6 up/down clicks total ? starting from off and all the way down then back up.

Adjusting by grinding the plastic slowly removes the difference between the positions, and it will end up sloppy as described.

Always use the part near the end of your lever for least resistance.

Mine, like many others, has exactly one click. And again.. i understand how turn signals (and leverage for that matter) work. This is a design flaw. Maybe it was corrected in earlier or later production runs, but I know for a fact that it was not right. As did txaggie.

In fact, my buddy's 2013 taurus has the same issue and we are going to fix it on his soon.
 


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peterk9

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The lever has like 5 or 6 up/down clicks total ? starting from off and all the way down then back up.

Adjusting by grinding the plastic slowly removes the difference between the positions, and it will end up sloppy as described.

Always use the part near the end of your lever for least resistance.
From the OFF position, mine has 2 up and 2 down. The 1st in the up and down positions is for the 3 blink (too short) signal, the 2nd up and down is for the regular signal. That is where I wish it would stay, instead of automatically returning to the 'rest' position, until canceled by the steering wheel or the driver. On a few occasions, with the signal on, I've hit the lever and unintentionally canceled the signal and then have had to quickly turn it back on again.

Peter
 




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