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HighwayRepair
HighwayRepair, Buick Technician
Category: Buick
Satisfied Customers: 628
Experience:  8 Years Auto Repair Experience. Owner/Operator of Highway Auto Repair, a mobile automotive repair business
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1999 Buick Regal: front turn signals..bulbs..flasher..headlights

Resolved Question:

1999 Buick Regal - front turn signals don't flash - rear signals do (rapidly) - if bulbs are changed, they work for maybe a day, maybe a week, but I'm always replacing them. Last time I replaced them, flasher didn't work, lights are lit up at night when headlights are on. About 1 year ago, mechanic replaced one front headlight with one from a junkyard - problem seemed solved, but now they're both doing the same thing. Am told this is well-known problem with Buicks.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Buick
Expert:  HighwayRepair replied 3 years ago.

HighwayRepair :

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer

HighwayRepair :

Unfortunately you are correct Regals are notorious for a few different electrical issues, luckily we've had plenty of time to narrow them down to a couple common causes.

Customer:

And what might those be?

HighwayRepair :

the first step for a complaint like this is to remove the turn signal bulbs and check the contacts for corrosion, loose connections, water, other contaminants.

After you have verified that is not the issue, you are forced to choose between one of three options:

1) because the fault is intermittent and will not blow the bulb immediately, performing a proper and thorough electrical test on the system and guaranteeing a correct diagnosis is either extremely time consuming or not possible. option one would be to spend possibly countless hours moving from circuit to circuit in the vehicle testing wiring for excessive amperage draws and poor contact, not the best option IMO

HighwayRepair :

2) replace a module called a daytime running light module, this would be my go to option, because generally when these module fail they leave behind a "burnt" smell and an visible "char" inside of them so you can take apart your old one to "confirm" your repair.

HighwayRepair :

3) replace the turn signal multi-function switch ( the stalk on the steering wheel that turns on and off your turn signals ( less common than the daytime running light module, but these are known to burnt up on the inside and cause vehicles to chew through turn signals bulbs also)

Customer:

How expensive are these rapairs?

HighwayRepair :

the daytime running light module is relatively easy to get to under the driver side kick panel

HighwayRepair :

if you can replace the module yourself, the part can be gotten for around $130.00

Customer:

is there something different that governs the rear blinkers? I'venever had to replace a bulb there!

HighwayRepair :

its not a different circuit, i believe the rear bulbs are a higher amperage bulb and that is why they don't seem to be affected by the faulty components, the rear turn signals never seem to be affect, just the front, and usually the right side (passenger side) more than the left.

Customer:

The right side was the one where we replace the whole headlight assembly, but it unfortunately went kaput too

HighwayRepair :

I'm assuming the headlamp assembly failed in a different manner? neither of the components Ive recommended usually damage the entire headlamp, just the turn signal bulbs.

Customer:

We just replaced it beause that was all we could think of to do!

HighwayRepair :

on the plus side, im assuming that means you were having bigger problems with the right side than the left, which is usually the case when either the daytime running light module or the turn signal switch are at fault

Customer:

So you would recommend trying the running light module?

HighwayRepair :

last i checked the only place to get the daytime running light module was the dealer, and the turn signal switches were available from aftermarket suppliers. But the daytime running light module were still cheaper than the turn signal switches

HighwayRepair :

if you have the time, i would advise to expose the module

HighwayRepair :

check it for a burnt smell

HighwayRepair :

and visually check it for burnt contacts

HighwayRepair :

if is seems faulty or iffy, id replace is as a solid educated guess

Customer:

Won't be me who does it....I consider it an accomplishment to change the bulbs, and my husband is even less mechanical than I am!

HighwayRepair :

if it looks prefect.....then we have to choose between a cheaper repair and a more expensive one, without any real facts leaning us one way or the other

HighwayRepair :

HA, congrats on being more mechanical than him

Customer:

Almost sounds like new-car time......

HighwayRepair :

its really not too bad, the regal is a strong car, but with known issues

Customer:

Well, there are other problems - odometer display, gas gauge, etc. I have to use my gps as an odometer

HighwayRepair :

the vehicle itself is extremely strong, it just happens to have a few issues that basically every one of them will encounter in its lifetime

Customer:

mine has lived a longer life than most will ever see

HighwayRepair :

Hmm... I'm not familiar with a recurrent issue with the instrument cluster on these vehicles.

Customer:

maybe mine is the only one

HighwayRepair :

all in all, id say a turn signal issue isnt worth getting rid of a car, but if you are having multiple other issues that are making you unhappy with it..

HighwayRepair :

just remember, with a new car comes a car payment, and/or new problems ( only sometimes)

Customer:

I bought a car with all the bells and whistles - my next one is going to be so basic, I'll have to hand crank the windows!

HighwayRepair :

a new car or used?

Customer:

used

Customer:

no - the one I bought was new - my next one is going to be used

HighwayRepair :

cutting down on the options can save alot of money on cost and on unkeep costs with both new and used

Customer:

Well, I do thank you for your advice. This will give me something to try.

HighwayRepair :

You are very welcome, take care. please don't forget to click accept if I have helped you.

Let me know if there is any further information I can provide for you

Customer:

Thanks again!

HighwayRepair, Buick Technician
Category: Buick
Satisfied Customers: 628
Experience: 8 Years Auto Repair Experience. Owner/Operator of Highway Auto Repair, a mobile automotive repair business
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