Malfunctioning Turn Signals 2006 Dodge Roadtrek SS-Agile (Short Sprinter) RV

This is a complex puzzler, so I’ll try.

I have a 2006 Dodge Roadtrek SS-Agile (Short Sprinter) RV. Its spare tire is attached to a mount below the rear bumper and sits flush against the rear door on the driver’s side. Several years ago there was a safety recall because the spare tire partially blocks the left brake and turn-signal lights. So the RV dealer tapped into the electronics and installed an auxiliary brake and turn-signal light on the spare tire cover. The vehicle has less than 50K miles on it.

Here is the problem and I don’t remember when it first started. But the problem has been around for several years. It seems that the turn signals work when they want to and do not work when they feel like it. About three years ago the entire turn signal unit on the steering column was replaced, and that fixed the problem for a few months. Then I’ve had the vehicle back to the dealer several times. Each time, after paying another $100 or $200, it works for some time and then it doesn’t work when it feels like it.

The last time was early November, 2013 when the mechanic said if it still doesn’t work he may have to replace an expensive fuse box, because there may be a faulty connection or something like that.

Here is a summary of what has happened during and after my last visit to the dealer. As I was driving the vehicle to the dealer the signals didn’t work, but of course they worked when I got there. Eventually the mechanic was able to get them to not work and supposedly spent four hours fixing the problem. This was Friday, and he asked if he could keep the vehicle over the weekend to see if the signals would act up again on Monday morning. Of course they didn’t act up, so I paid the bill and started home. And on the way home the signals only worked half the time, but I was scheduled to start out on a 6000 mile trip to California the next day, so I crossed my fingers.

Heading out of the driveway and for the next fifty miles or so on the beginning of the trip, the turn signals worked when they wanted to, and then they worked perfectly for the next nearly 3000 miles (about six days) until I reached my destination in California. Then for the next two weeks while at my destination in California, the turn signals again worked when they wanted to. And again, for the first fifty or so miles on the way back home, the turn signals worked intermittently, and after that they worked flawlessly until I reached home and stored the vehicle for the winter.

Come this spring when the weather warms up, I will have to do something more about those faulty turn signals. The question is, what should be my next step?

Symptoms are, 1) Sometimes nothing happens when I push the turn signal lever either way. 2) Sometimes I hear a significant buzzing sound and the turn signal lights may flash intermittently as I push the lever either way. 3) Sometimes one signal works but the other one not. 4) Sometimes if I push down or up very firmly on the turn signal lever, the turn signal may or may not work.

Have you tried installing a new thermal flasher? That’s what I would do and change out the one for the emergency flashers as well. It’s the brains of the turn signal system and when it malfunctions so does the turn signals.