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Turn Signals (Is my father nuts?)

My father yells at me every time I drive for allowing the turn signal arm to click. He insists that I hold it just shy of the “click point” to avoid breaking the mechanism.

Is he nuts, or am I?

One note: I agree that this is theoretically true. But is it worth it?

Tell him life is too short to yell over something that was designed to go ‘click’.
I’ve never worn one out and use my turn signals religiously.

Well, hmmm … I guess I don’t think he’s nuts, but he maybe is overstating his case a bit.

When I turn – I’m talking about what I actually do, not necessarily what I should do – if there’s plenty of time to put the turn signal on, maybe even a lot of time because I’m stuck in the left hand turn lane and the light is red, I just “click” it in place and let it blink for as long as it takes. But if I’m making a quick turn, like changing lanes or something, or quickly moving into an open left hand turn lane with no stoplight involved, then I just move the lever so it starts blinking, but I don’t lock it in place with a “click”.

This story of yours reminds me of my dad! He had the same theories, that every switch clicked, was one left click left in it’s life. My dad seemed to focus more on my stereo than on the car. ( I don’t think he liked my Eric Clapton albums so much! ) There is some truth to this theory I admit, and even today I’m conservative with my clicks.

But I can’t say I ever recall my dad worried about the turn signal clickers on the car. So maybe your dad has one up on mine! Now I should say at the time, if the turn clicker broke, it was simple and inexpensive to fix. Now-a-days not so much. So it may be your dad has discovered replacing a turn signal in a modern car is an expensive and time consuming task, so it is worth it to be careful how often you use it.

Maybe next time the turn signal stops working, you volunteer to fix it yourself? Then you’ll have shared values with your dad.

Agree vigorously with Remco.

Bravo to you for using your directional signals “religiously”.

I recently retired a 1986 Nissan pickup with almost 400,000 miles on the clock. The signal was still working. Another vehicle I own has 296,000 miles. Lots of things failing on that vehicle, but the directional signals are working just fine.

I think I can relate to fathers like yours…and I empathize with the futility of your mission on this. Good luck nevertheless.

BTW, as you probably recognized long ago, that point “just shy of the click point” is so that you can signal a lane change on a multi lane highway when you are not going to turn your wheel far enough to “cancel” the signal after your lane change.

The turn signal stalk is designed to be clicked and left to return to center on its own. Use it the way it was designed to be used.

Your father needs his " right to operate a motor vehicle " revisited if he hasn’t given it up already. How do you hold the turn signal stalk down while turning ? Has dear old dad ever read the owner’s manual ? I hope some day my kids aren’t writing into this forum and complaining about my " uninformed" ideas.

No…your father is probably not nuts but he certainly is not as qualified as the engineers who designed the turn signal system. Use your turn signals as they were designed.

Nuttier than a can 'o filberts…

This came up in another thread dealing with over use of the turn signal. If its a GM at least, there is a left and right spring in the turn signal switch that gets pushed to cancel the turn signal. In the old days, after years of use, these springs would break. When they would break, you either had to replace the whole switch or do surgery and replace the springs. Sometimes you could buy new springs at the dealer for 50 cents each but I would alway get a few rumaging through the junk yard to have on hand. I’ve had to replace them on two or three different cars from the 50’s and 60’s. I haven’t had one break though in anything newer than my 86. So technically, he is concerned about wearing out the springs, but realistically, it is no big thing to worry about.

I think you really had to be old enough to drive cars from the 50’s and 60’s though to have this problem so some of the kids here would have no history with this issue.

LoL^^ Never heard that before.

I think @Taxases is saying is that he hopes you have all your mother’s genes when it comes to raving about turn levers.

Ya know I have to refer to my mother’s father on this. Every thing has a life expectancy, so to improve longevity the less times you use it the longer it will last. I am in agreement that the life cycle of a turn signal will outlast the probable use, but have been replacing capacitors in otherwise non functional computers and lcd monitors and tv’s to the tune of 6 bucks in parts as their life expectancy is 3500 hours. AVAILABLE FOR SERVICE IF NEEDED.

'Spose that Volvo dash just needs a $6 capacitor? Wish a new capacitor would fix me-even with non-use, I’m still wearing out.

No. He’s not nuts. He’s right on. Generally, the less you use something mechanical, the longer it will last. I also suggest you leave the garage door open because the constant use will wear out the springs and hinges. Keeping the car window all the way down instead of raising and lowering it several times per day will save wear and tear on the window motor. Flushing the toilet only once a day will surely prolong the life of the flush valve mechanism.

I hope my sarcasm isn’t offensive. Use your turn signal however you please. If it breaks, have it fixed. Spend your time on more important things.

I have never had one wear out, and I use my signals pretty religiously. Even cars I’ve had that were 20 years old and rusting to bits had no problems with the turn signal stalk. I’d say your dad is needlessly trying to preserve something that will likely outlast the car anyway.

The switch really does last a very long time. If your dad thinks it will wear out thats his baggage. Just remind your dad that he can stop yelling at you because you will not be around the house for much longer. He just needs to worry about something else.

What breaks them sometimes , is pulling the lever to off ( too often ), instead of letting the cam cancel it when it’s notched in to be on until the wheel spins back.

If you had only intended for a temporay signal but clicked it all the way on, it’s best to wait for it to cancel. ( yes that means going aaall the way around the cloverleaf on-ramp with your obvious/redundant right signal on untill you need the left signal to merge )

When was the last time you saw a blinker assembly wear out?? I’ve never seen one.

“When was the last time you saw a blinker assembly wear out?? I’ve never seen one”

My 86 Riviera wore out the left turn signal cancel spring, but that was the last one. No air bag in that one so pulling the steering wheel to replace the spring was not hard. Probably had about 250K on it by then though.