My Car Cuts Off When I use my Turning Signals

Hello…I have a 2002 Buick Regal. It started after I hit this huge pot hole here in MI. When I use my signals to turn left or right, the dash board lights up, steering locks and my car cuts completely off. I’ve taken into a shop and they claim to not find any problems. Plz Help Thank you

Do they claim not to see your symptons?

Yes, how would you know? I’ve visited the dealership and a car shop that does diagnotics(spelling). Can’t find the problem and maybe its because it happens every other day? Not often enough I guess. Thank you for your reply.

So, it’s not every time you use your turn signals, but just some times? Could it be something else you are doing at the same time?

This mysterious problem only happens when I use my turning signals…no other time than that…man oh man car problems can drive you to drinking.

One more than I must add…when the car is parked and running, I can turn on my signals and the car doesn’t cuts off. But let me began driving and try to use to turning signals, it does exactly what my original post says…quite a mysterious problem that no on understand or ever heard of?

I believe that it is likely that someone is going to have to dig into your steering column to inspect the wiring. If someone has done it and found nothing, perhaps a 2nd opinion is in order. It seems likely that you turn signal circuit is somehow interfering with the car’s ignition switch.

In that case, shouldn’t it do it when the car is parked? I think the OP is also turning/braking/whatever and it is the combination that causes this.

I figure sitting in park and driving around are two different kinds of things - one has vibration & movement, including moving steering parts, and the other doesn’t. It is also an intermittent problem. So I wouldn’t necessarily assume that it doesn’t do it when the car is parked - only that it hasn’t yet.

Of course, since it is intermittent there is some possibility that it doesn’t even have to do specifically with the turn signals - perhaps just loose steering column elements jiggling loose ignition switch components.

I can’t see or play with the car - so that is all WAG. But I can’t think of a single diagnosis and fix for this that doesn’t involve pulling apart the steering column to inspect. Maybe someone else can…

Have you offered to let them open it up and look,on your dime? To bad this is not a warranty claim,but they would have to duplicate the problem to procede.

One test would be to turn on the emergency flashers while driving. On most cars, they share a lot of circuitry with the turn signals. If the emergency flashers don’t cause trouble, but the turn signals do, the problem is probably in the steering column wiring or somewhere under the dash associated with the turn signal switch, the emergency flasher switch, or the flasher relay.

One thing that doesn’t seem to fit is “locking the steering”. What does that mean? Does the wheel actually lock? Seems weird. Maybe the power steering assist dies. But how can the turn signals lock the steering or kill the power steering?

I was wondering about that also, but I think that perhaps the OP just got the sequence wrong. If the engine “cuts off”, then the power assist for the steering is also cut off, and perhaps the OP has interpreted the lack of power assist to mean that the steering “locks”.

As to a solution, if the OP moves to NYC, then he/she could just forget about ever using the turn signals. After all, none of the other drivers in NYC use them! (I’m sorry, the devil made me say that!)

Hello everyone…one more question I would like to ask re my mysterious car problem…now that I think back, I remember having my rear lights changed, could a wrong light bulb cause this problem? I do remember having this issue before I hit the pot hole. Could a light bulb be too strong and cause a wire malfuction because it was the turning signal light bulb I had changed? Possibly?

I’m going to give this a try later today. Yes my wheeel does lock and I’m assuming it it because I’ve lost total power from the car after turning on my turning signals to turn left or right. The power in my car is shut off, steering column locks and the dashboad lights up (all dashboard wording).

No, that is not plausible.

Also, the next time that this “cut off” situation occurs, please try to see if the car can actually be steered, albeit with a much higher amount of effort than normal. I really think it is unlikely that the steering column “locks”, and it is much more likely that you are merely experiencing steering without the usual power boost, simply because the engine died. That is not to say that the problem is trivial, but if incorrect symptoms are posted, that leads everyone off on wild tangents that are not related to the actual problem.

Please test the steering when your engine cuts off next time.

Have you tried turning the steering wheel while in Park with the signals on?Might have a loose wire in the steering column.

Have you checked to see if this trouble happens also when you turn on the blower? If it does there may be a wire connection problem between the fuse panels under the hood and the dash. Another possibility is a bad ignition switch.

Hello…I gave this a shot yesterday and the same thing happen, my car cut completely off. So, this means I might have to take it directly to the dealership and let them figure it out. Buick built this car and they should be able to find out the problem. Thank you all for your help, assistance and advice. -val

This is not so strange to me! I just got a 2003 Regal in my shop that has similar problems. I was looking for a solution on the 'Net when I found your post.

The vehicle turns off with either blinker & hazard lights, the dash resets, etc. At this point I have disconnected the turn signal switch from the wiring harness (under the dash) and the car runs fine.

However!!! This vehicle uses a BCM (body control module) to do the actual signal working so it was unlikely the switch or any wiring in the column. I can also replicate the symptom by telling the BCM to turn the signals on (without the switch connected) and it still exhibits the same problem.

I believe there is a short somewhere between the lights and somthing else. I am attempting to do more diagnosis today. WHEN I figure it out, I’ll post it for you. This is a very wierd one (but thats mostly what I get at my shop!)

Master ASE tech, etc…

I appreciate your post because I am having difficulty having an mechanic to help me out. I’ve been told so many different reason why this could be happening but no one true answer, so in the meantime, I using my arm as a left/right turning indication to other drives that I need to make a turn. Ironically, I don’t think too many drivers pay attention to what I am doing as I almost was hit by a car when in fact I was using my arm to let that person know I needed to turn left. hahaha…If I do find a solution to my car problem I will post it and hopefully you will be able to help your customer out.