Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show


I’m mad at myself. Allow me to vent.
Problem: intermittent left turn signal, '02 Corolla.
Changed the bulbs, cleaned the socket with contact cleaner, and replaced the flasher… a friend did the physical part, since I’m no longer capable.
My next step was going to be the combination switch… and he tried tapping it and it began working. Wish I’d thought of that. Now we know what needs changing, and that the lever can simply be tapped when it fails to function until we can get a replacement part… But man, am I mad at myself for not trying tapping the lever before my friend went through all the work of replacing that flasher. I feel like such an idiot.

Let that be a lesson to me.

I for one don’t think you should be disappointed at all. I think most rational people would do the very same things you did first.

And thanks to all for letting me vent.

You may want to remove the switch and clean it… many times its Gak stuck in the mechanism and or something with the contacts…either dirt or corrosion. Many times it can be cleaned up and will work for years to come. Then again…if you remove it…and you had a new one…you would be nearly finished as soon as you started.


The good news is that you really care about any job, even a small one like this. You are welcome to help me anytime.

Your responses are humbling. I’ll try to live up to them.

Unfortunately, the combination switches aren’t made such that they can be nondestructively disassembled.
Fortunately, an OEM replacement only costs $163.74 through Lakeland Toyota Parts Overstock, and Parts Geek has aftermarket replacements for $59.33.

Have a great evening everyone. You’re a great bunch.

Don’t suffer one bit of angst over this mountainbike. It’s certainly not the sign of an idiot and we all know that you are not that in any way, shape, or form.

That being said, there’s not a well qualified mechanic alive who hasn’t committed a real 100% unadulterated act of sheer stupidity (or several of them) at one time or the other.

Oh, I can assure you that I have my own history of stupid acts, and some of them were doozies.
When it only affects me, I don’t really care, but when it causes a friend to go through the body articulations required to change the flasher relay needlessly I feel like I’ve failed let someone down. Intellectually I know the sequence I used was correct, logical, and normal, and I know it makes more sense to change the flasher than take it out and test it, especially since he new one only costs $12, but emotionally I’m still mad at myself.
I’ll get over it. :frowning:

Fortunately, the combination switch is easy to change, and we now know for certain that it’s the culprit.


Can this switch be replaced WITHOUT removing the steering wheel . . . ?

If we were sitting around the table with a few beers, you’d get a lot of laughs over the stories of my stupid mistakes over the years.

Experience definitely reduces how often they happen, but every once in a while I still find myself saying “whoops!”

Stupid mistakes?..Oh Brother dont get me started ! I like to say…thats why Im so GOOD at what I do now…because I already made every mistake possible. Haha

I wouldn’t say you made a “stupid” mistake @“the same mountainbike” I’d call it a “Logical foray down a Pathway of Possibility”. Nothin wrong with that… not at all.


@“the same mountainbike” I don’t think you should feel bad about this. After all, you were just trying to keep your friend limbered up by having him contort his body so much. That may be the first time he has stretched that much in weeks.

So now you can add Psychotic…I mean Physical Therapist to you list of knowledge.

And we have all made those mistakes, but I think we block them from memory as best we can.


I think mountainbike had a very rational plan to attack the problem. The switch is a rare problem compared to the bulb and flasher. No need for the frustration IMO.

Db, the answer is yup, replacing the combination switch is done without removing the steering wheel. The plastic covers come off like a clamshell with the removal of a few screws, and then the module with the directional stalk on it plugs in and is held in place by two screws. It would have been so easy to fix if I’d only thought of tapping the stalk to test the combination switch.

Oh well, lesson learned. Thanks to everyone who posted, and thanks for letting me vent a bit. I’ll now move forward and turn the forum over to people who have real problems to solve rather than my shallow emotional problem… :smiley:

Yeah no need to feel stupid. I can’t remember anymore what the specific issue was I was dealing with but I replaced virtually every rubber bushing in my front end, included the sway bar bushings which was anything but easy. Turned out it was those engine cradle body mounts that were shot. I bought two new ones for the guy and he ended up having to put two more on so there wasn’t much holding the thing together. The engine was good though due to the oil changes.