Instructables

Fix Psychotic Grand Am Signal Clicking

I have a 2001 Pontiac Grand Am.  About 5 years ago while driving down the road, the clicking noise, associated with the signal light and hazards, went psychotic.  I panicked because I thought the lights were also activated.  Nope, just the awful noise and about 2x faster than normal.  My nerves didn't last long and I took the car to the dealership.  About an hour later, they came out and said that it was fixed and the part was recalled.  I didn't pay a penny!  Whoo hoo!

About a year ago, the clicking returned.  Although annoying, it wasn't nearly as bad but I called the dealership again.  They said that the sound was NOT the same as before (they must be really good to know this over the phone) and that the fix would cost over $300.  No, thanks.  I'll pass and deal with the noise.  (PS. Don't do that with every noise.)  Soon after, I wasn't having any problems.

Fast forward to about a month ago and it went nuts again.  I decided that I was going to tackle the job of fixing it.  Could I afford to pay the dealership?  Probably.  Two reasons why I won't though.  #1 - I don't believe that it isn't the same part.  #2 - I am female!  Hear me roar!  I told myself that I could do it so I set out researching the problem.

In my FIRST instructable, I will show you what to do to rule out the easy fix.  DO NOT be intimidated.  Yes, I am technically and mechanically inclined but I would not have attempted this if I thought there was any way I could screw it up.  I also watched the following videos at least three times each and used auto websites through the library to get diagrams.  The diagrams are actually what gave me the idea to write this instructable.  They suck.  If you don't already know what you're looking at, they are not much help.  If you do know what the diagrams cover, you probably don't even need them.

Thank you SO much to these guys who helped me get through this.  I just wanted to share more details and simplified instructions for those who want to try to fix their own car.  This process should work with multiple years of Grand Am productions.  If anyone knows exactly, please let me know.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5g-1UkGFJA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPTkLD2JR9Q
 
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jjcarguy4 months ago

Realize this is a late reply to this post, but may help. ON 1999 Grand Am, there is a removable tab(fuse link, or whatever it may be called) in the drivers side fuse panel on the side of the dash. This is supposed to disable the airbag. Unhook the battery first, of course.

Had a 1999 GA, and had the same problem. Replaced the hazard switch, no luck. Narrowed it down to the "combination switch" as the turn signal unit is called, in a similar manner as GarageGuru, but never got around to fixing it before the motor had problems and I sold it, lol. If I ever have another one, or know someone that has the same issue, I know how to fix it without spending money on a new unit.

Thank you for a very good and enjoyable post.

Squash (author)  jjcarguy4 months ago

Never too late to add tips! Unfortunately, the sound returned and hasn't stopped. It is moody because it will go away for a few weeks but return. I'm in search for a newer car except v---dmensionz never offered to get me one so I guess I'm on my own. It's just time. There are tons of little things going wrong and need to be replaced.

I wouldn't mind looking in to the combination switch problem if it's not too expensive or hard to do. It would be nice to not have a crazy turn signal noise when getting rid of the car.

Thanks for reading and glad you enjoyed it!

jjcarguy Squash4 months ago

Sounds like my car when I got rid of it. The only window regulator that still worked right was the front passenger. The bearing was out on the AC compressor, Had replaced one fuel injector, one coil and the coil holder, and the fuel pressure regulator, as well as tracking down a mysterious vacuum leak. It also needed new tires($400 around here for the proper size at the time. So when the water pump went out, and I was going to have to pull half the engine apart to replace it, was time to sell. The buyer never said anything about the noise after it was sold, but I warned him of it and told him what I thought it was, so it may be clicking away as I write this. ;-)

Squash (author)  jjcarguy4 months ago

LOL. Wow. Well, when I first bought it, I bought the warranty as well. About 2 years in, something in the fuel system went out and it was over $800 to fix so I charged it. Found out later that the warranty company had gone bankrupt and didn't notify anyone. The dealership didn't even let me know but they were honoring the warranty work, except that I had moved and took it to a different dealership. After a class action suit, I got a whole $300 back. Other than that I haven't had much issues. The passenger rearview has cracked off twice because of someone hitting it. The defrost vent is old, warped and cracking. The vent selection knob is broken. The driver's window is making a popping noise when it gets to the top. The air hasn't worked for a few years because I think someone overfilled the Freon. Ugh. Tiny things but all together they are a pain. It's an '01 and I'm finally ready for something new. I love the car though. Too bad they aren't making it anymore.

If you have any suggestions on trucks, I'd take them! I really want to go back to Nissan. My first car was old but dependable and no major issues. I was looking at the Frontier and Titan but also looking at the Toyota Tacoma and Dodge Dakota. Smaller trucks preferably with a back seat. I've done some research but input is always good.

jjcarguy Squash4 months ago

Bought mine used, out of warranty. Had about 95,000 miles on it, so thought it was a good risk. Had for enough years, that it was a very good buy. Really liked it, as well. Another reason I decided to sell, was I developed arthritis in my hip, and was getting hard to get in and out of every day.

As far as trucks go, have not had any personal experience with the models you mentioned, but have heard some things you may be interested in knowing.

Heard no real complaints about the Frontier or Titan(am sure someone will read this and give you a horror story or two, :-)

The Tacoma has been said to be uncomfortable on long trips by several people I know, but no complaints about the reliability.

The Dakota I have always liked, but never have owned one. Only caveats are the automatic transmission. Some don't last very long, while others seem to go forever, but on Craigslist in OK, there a quite a few for sale with bad trannies. Standards seem to hold up fine. And the other thing is the V6 engine. Seems reliable enough, but the gas mileage is so close to the V8 option, you may be better off finding one instead. Four cylinder seems to be okay from what I've heard.

Hope that helps. :-)

Squash (author)  jjcarguy4 months ago

Thanks for the tips!

dmensionz9 months ago
The easiest fix would be to take this heep to the dumpster
Squash (author)  dmensionz9 months ago
The first day as an Instructable member and you are already trolling? I happen to love my "heep" or as others spell it "heap". The 30 minutes, $1.36 and satisfaction of fixing the problem outweighs the cost of a new car. If you have any positive or constructive comments (per policy), feel free to respond. OR if you want to buy me a new car, I'd accept that option, also, and let you have the satisfaction of taking my heap to the dumpster.
Good to know. My wiper switch is going out, and my right blinker does the doubletime click thing, so I might try cleaning it out while I'm in there.
Squash (author)  steampsycho1 year ago
Might as well! Good luck with it. Thanks for checking out my page.
Or if you didn't like someone you could just lock them in the car with the crazy clicker on! They wont be half as annoying after you let them out!

>:D. Muhahaha!
Squash (author)  nerfrocketeer1 year ago
Hmmm...maybe next time. Lol.
Great ible btw! Good job!
Squash (author)  nerfrocketeer1 year ago
Thank you!
Great first instructable! One thing though disconnecting the battery doesn't disable a cars airbags, they have a seperate rechargeable battery and could still activate! I really liked the bit about "impressing Big Hoss" at the auto parts store that made me laugh! (I work pt in an auto parts store)
Squash (author)  BilltheCatACK1 year ago
Thanks for the information. I'm just going by a collection of information I've found. I will check in to that! Glad you appreciated my auto parts store experience. I should give a shout out to the Advance Auto employees on Noland Rd in Independence, MO. Although our interaction was brief, they were very nice and multitasked to help everyone.
Drakekay1 year ago
Fantastic! The first car I ever owned, Ford Fiesta, had a broken turn signal switch. I learned all about those pesky probes and how the whole switch itself functions before replacing that stupid part. Wish my fix was as easy as yours. If I remember correctly the plastic chassis for the turn signal switch had separated at a rivet, causing the awkward switching mechanism to come out of its path along the probes.
Squash (author)  Drakekay1 year ago
Thank you!
GarageGuru1 year ago
Nice work! I have the same problem with my 2000 Blazer, and I've always been suspicious of the turn signal switch causing it. I'm able to get mine from making the turn signal noise by gently either lifting or pushing down on the lever, almost to the point where I would activate the turn signal as if I were to pass someone. And whenever I applied the brakes, the noise would always stop. More instructions should include double entendres like yours ;)
Squash (author)  GarageGuru1 year ago
Thank you for the encouragement!
IF you let them out...
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