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Hazard lights work; right turn signal doesn't (98 Ford Explorer)

The right turn signal on my 1998 Ford Explorer recently stopped working. The flasher was making a horrible buzzing sound when I tried to signal right, but worked fine signaling left.

I just replaced the flasher, which has cleared up the buzzing noise when trying to signal right. The flasher clicks like it’s supposed to, but the lights still do not flash.

Here’s a summary of the current symptoms:

  • Hazard lights work fine
    • Flasher clicks; interior indicators flash; exterior lights flash
  • Left right signal indicator works fine
    • Flasher clicks; interior indicators flash; exterior lights flash
  • Right turn signal does not work
    • Flasher clicks
    • Interior indicator stash off; exterior lights stay off

Any help and suggestions on what to check next would be greatly appreciated.

After looking at the factory wiring diagram for the exterior lights, the only thing I can see that can cause what you’re describing is a faulty multi-function switch.


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Check is the plug connected to the malfunction switch is seated correctly. Bad ground wire can be also the problem.

When checking the plug, as suggested by monkart, we are talking about the two plugs on the back of that switch.
You’ll need to remove the plastic covers on that part of the column.
then you’ll see many wires coming into two gang connectors.

    • check each individual wire < - -
      The funky shaped connector is notorious for breaking just one or two of the little internal tabs that hold IN each wire.
      Most common when the user tilts the wheel often.
      Push each one to see if it goes in farther. . . or
      If you pull gently with your finger tips and a wire comes OUT of the still clipped on connector ?
      You can push that wire all the way in to make contact again and probably get more time with working signals.
      But a new plug is available ( Motorcraft WPT611, Dorman PT5616 )

Sounds like the turn signal switch to me too. When they get a little dirty or corroded they don’t pass enough current to allow the clicker to click correctly. And a horrible buzzing noise often results instead. This doesn’t usually hurt anything, other than the driver’s sensibilities.

I’ve been able to fix this problem before by spraying some contact cleaner on the switch contacts. Whether that’s possible on your car, not sure. Sometime the switch is totally sealed, in which case it needs to be replaced instead. If nobody’s been monkey around with the wiring, and you are using the correct bulb part numbers in the lights, haven’t switched to LEDS or something, dirty switch contacts is almost certainly the problem. Save your old relay flasher, b/c it is probably still good. The new one might not be though.