Vw cabrio signal and brake lights

I have a 1997 vw cabrio. I’m having problems with my signal lights. They start blinking super fast or not at all. When they do work if I hit the brake they stop working until I release the brake. Please Help

Is it just left or just right or both ways?

The super fast flashing is typically a sign that one bulb is burned out. If so , it would only do that when one signal is being used (left OR right). And that wouldn’t explain their not working at all.
So I’d go to the flasher unit, which is a little box installed into the fuse box, under the dash. Your owners manual should ID which unit it is. I doubt you can get a test done, so unless you can find a working unit to borrow and try, you’re faced with having to buy one on blind hope.

The next time the turn signals act weird, try turning on the emergency flashers and get out of the vehicle to see if the rear lights are flashing. If not the problem is most likely with the turn signal/emergency flasher switch.


Mostly a guess, but might be helpful. If by “super fast” they are going so fast they sound almost like a “buzz”, that could be the turn signal switch is starting to fail. The one in the steering column. That could also explain why they stop blinking with the brake pedal depressed, with a bad (high resistance) switch, the current to power the brake light could be robbed from the switch circuit, making it stop working. With a good switch there is a lot more current so even if the brake lamp circuit robs some, there’s still enough for the blinker.

Before going down this route, it makes sense to eliminate the blinker gadget plugged into the relay box as a cause first.

Thanks for the input. We just got a bit of snow here but hopefully in a day or two I’ll start checking these poss. causes out. It happens to both blinkers. The funny thing is that sometimes when I first start driving somewhere they start out working fine and then before I’ll get to where I’m going I’ll hit the brake and I lose the blinker. I let go of the brake and they work again. I really appreciate all the help.

Do the blinker and the brake both use the same filament in the same bulb, in the back? If they do, then I’d be looking for a bad ground in either rear light fixture. The ground wire coming out of the socket should be green and runs to a ground post somewhere on the body or frame. Often the ground lines from both lights join together before they go to the body or frame, so the loss of ground could affect both sides. I don’t know how experienced you are with this sort of thing, so it’s not possible to give you a step by step procedure. But I promise you can not electrocute yourself.