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Ford Scorpio Forum Left indicator problem when braking
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   Left indicator problem when braking
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DavidBE
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Left indicator problem when braking
« on: Feb 26th, 2018, 4:42pm »
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Hi,
 
Tried a search but not finding anything.
 
When I apply the footbrake while indicating left I'm getting the problem warning from the indicator- you know, the double speed clicking from the indicator module. Unfortunately I can't see what is and isn't actually working on the outside of the car when it's happening as I'm in the moving car doing the braking - maybe if someone parks close in front of and behind the car (I don't have a garage, just park where there's a space in the street) I'll be able to see from the reflection in those cars which lights are actually flashing when I have my foot on the brake. But I'm guessing the nearside rear indicator won't be working while braking.
 
Right indicator is fine; left indicator fine when the brake peddle is not pressed (including the warning stopping when I take my foot off the brake while still indicating); hazards fine. I've been getting intermittent left hand indicator failure warnings for the last couple of months (I mostly only drive the car once a week, and not that far), but until now it would just happen on one turn, sometimes two, then clear up for awhile. But last weekend it appeared to become permanent ... and it was only then I realised it was (only) happening when braking.
 
Just wondering if someone else has had this and knows definitely what/where the problem will be. Medication side effects have replaced my ability to logically diagnose problems and systematically eliminate possible causes with staring blankly at things with no thoughts coming, and unfortunately I have no-one to call on to e.g. sit in the car and press and release the brake pedal while I fiddle in the boot.
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Simmo
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Re: Left indicator problem when braking
« Reply #1 on: Feb 26th, 2018, 4:52pm »
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David. The most common cause of this fault is a wiring one or, more probably, water or corrosion in the light unit. What is happening is there is a leak of current between the brake light and the indicator.  A similar thing can happen on brake/side lights if the double filament bulb is defective allowing the two filaments to touch.  Same principle. Current leakage.
 
Let us know how you get on please.  
 
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a900one
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Re: Left indicator problem when braking
« Reply #2 on: Feb 26th, 2018, 5:36pm »
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Or an earth fault on that lamp, causes all sorts or odd things to happen.
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PJDavis
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Re: Left indicator problem when braking
« Reply #3 on: Feb 26th, 2018, 6:33pm »
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David.
 
Find a nice wall to reverse the car up to, light-coloured preferably.   If it's 'twilight' all the better.   Just activate the lights as you do and look at the reflection on the wall.   If your indicator is flickering on the opposite cycle to your brake, then the brake is trying to earth through the indicator, (short to indicator)    Could be caused by damp, or perhaps rust on the circuit inside because of long-term damp.   Some of the inside of the connectors (that connect to the light-unit) get damp inside and rust, this would be a classic reason for your problem.   Suggest you look at the plastic connectors, dis-connect them, and clean up.   It could be a bad earth to the circuit, to test this, get a length of wire, and connect to a good known earth, then put the other end to the faulty bulb earth area.    If it works, it's a short.
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DavidBE
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Re: Left indicator problem when braking
« Reply #4 on: Mar 13th, 2018, 4:38pm »
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Sorry for long time replying. Disability only allows short, intermittent periods of being able to do stuff, including even things like shopping, or typing an email or post, and I suddenly got a bunch of things to deal with that were hard to cope with and didn't leave any functional time for dealing with the car.
 
Then had more urgent car problem. Usually only use it once a week on Saturday to go shopping, but had to go to dentist appointment in town 5 miles away, last Thursday and on the way back hit a massive pothole with the nearside rear wheel. Looked OK when I got back but when I next went out on Saturday the tyre was flat, I never got round to replacing my last footpump when it broke ... and it was just minutes after the garage and the tyre place in this village closed at Saturday 1 pm for the weekend. Wouldn't have mattered normally, could have waited until the Monday, but I needed the car to take my 90 year old mother out for Mothering Sunday lunch (only 3/4 mile, but neither of us can walk that far). Have changed lots of tyres on all sorts of vehicles over the years before disability,  but none since (which means never before on the Scorpio). Finally managed to - took me over an hour, whereas before it never used to take me more than 5 minutes - and found the spare, which I don't think has ever been used and certainly not in the years I've had the car, was flat too. Ended up getting a same-day delivery of a cheap  powered-from-the-cigarette-lighter tyre inflater from Argos ... and discovered the spare would inflate, but then leak down to flat again over a couple of hours. Still, on the Sunday it held air long enough for me to inflate just before driving us to the lunch, then top up the air to get back again. Tyre place yesterday managed to straighten out the distorted alloy wheel rim from the pothole and re-seal and refit the proper wheel, and re-seal the spare for good measure.
 
Anyway, finally managed a short look at the indicator problem. Have still not been able to see what actually happens to  the rear lights when the brake is applied - tried to see while I had the engine running and was inflating the flat spare after the compressor was delivered by Argos in the evening after dark, but the high Scorpio boot and low bonnet of the car parked behind me i couldn't see the reflected lights, and there's no wall to reverse perpendicularly up to to hand here in the high street. BUT I found (not having been out in the car in the dark for many years so hadn't noticed) there's also a problem with the indicator when the sidelights are on, not just with the brake light. With no lights on, no brake pressed, indicating left the nearside rear indicator blinked at normal speed, but the sidelight (not the one in the tailgate, the one in the cluster with indicator and brake light) and the brake light also blinked on and off with the indicator. But with the sidelights on (but no brake), the double-speed blinking occurred, but with the indicator alternating on-off with the side and brake lights, though all of them at reduced light level. This afternoon I managed a short further look, and found that, on unplugging the multiplug from the cluster, the bottom pin (which I'm guessing is Earth as it's separated by a space from the other three) and the socket it goes into are rusty. I only managed a too short attempt to clean it up a bit before my back gave out completely, but while it didn't fix the problem it changed the symptoms slightly so that without the sidelight on, the indicator and sidelight flashed on and off together at normal speed, but not the brake light; with the sidelight on the flashing goes to about one-and-a-half times normal speed (rather than double), but the brake and sidelight flash on and off together while the indicator light doesn't flash at all!
 
So, the problem is not fixed yet ... and after the last few days I am going to be completely out of doing anything for the next few days. But I figure the diagnosis offered above by Simmo and PJDavis is correct and it's the corrosion in the connector round the earth pin and socket. Hopefully I should be able to clean it up when i'm next up to bending and remembering what I'm doing for a few minutes.
 
Thanks.
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Simmo
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Re: Left indicator problem when braking
« Reply #5 on: Mar 13th, 2018, 6:42pm »
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Sorry to hear of your woes David but hopefully, as you say, you have identified the area of the problem and with a bit of luck will be able to sort it.  Smiley
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