How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Mr. EdC Your Own Question
Mr. EdC
Mr. EdC , ASE Mastertech
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 224
Experience:  ASE Mastertech, 30+ years working on all makes and models in independant repair shops.
Type Your Car Question Here...
Mr. EdC is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

1996 town car: turn signals..brake lights..rear window..quit working

This answer was rated:

This afternoon the emergency flashers, turn signals and brake lights (all but the little one in the rear window) in my 1996 Towncar quit working. I can't locate the flasher unit(s). Can you tell me where they are installed on my car and if you think changing it (them) will correct the probvlems, please?



Hello Gilligan in Lousian

Thank you for choosing Just Answer

I can assist you with your question.

In answer to your question, the flasher unit is contained in the lighting control module, which is located behind the middle of the dash, right of the steering column, about knee high. I am attaching a drawing of its location.

Although I have had one or two go bad over the last 15 years, a more likely cu;prit is the multifuntion switch mounted on the steering column

The modules are 2 or 3 times the cost of the, switch, and with a minimum of testing we can determine just which component is bad.

Do graphicgraphicgraphicgraphic you prefer to try some testing , or go ahead and replace the module? The procedure for replacing the module fairly straight forwards. Remove the panel that allows you access to the fuses, and the module is mounted above the accelerator pedal. Disconnect the 2 connectors, unbolt he module and slide it from the mounting bracket.

Either way, you can contact me here with any more questions.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Mr EdC,

Thank you for a faster than expected response. Your answer is shedding light on the situation, but I'd appreciate more clarification. As I understand your answer, the flasher unit is a component of the lighting control module. You indicate from experience that the likelier fault is the multifunction switch on the steering column. You explained how to replace the entire lighting control module, but not what is involved in replacing the multifunction switch. How experienced and competent must the person replacing the steering column multifunction switch be? Are these tasks someone with little mechanical experience attempt? Can you guesstimate repair costs and mechanic's fees for replacing the lighting control module and the multifunction switch. Perhaps what may be confusing me is that O'Reilly Auto Parts quoted a flasher unit for $8.99. Or is this incorrect information?


Thanks again,



Definately wrong information. Both databases I have at my disposal show the same thing-the light control module is also the flasher unit.

Do you have a 12 volt test light available?

We can test that switch fairly easily with a test light, but also try this-cycle the hazard switch up and down a bunch of times in an attempt to clean the contacts, and then do this-very SLOWLY push down on the hazard switch with the turn signal lever in an on position-doesn't matter which one. If you get to a point where the indictor on the dash flashes briefly, or you can hold it in a position in between off and on and the signals start working, then its definately the switch.Try this several times before giving up.

And that switch is easy to replace. After placing the column in its lowest position, unscrew the tilt lever (sometimes it takes a pair of vise grips to get it out due to liquid lock-tight on the threads), and from under the column, there are 3 Phillips headed screws going in from the bottom. Also, on the right rear of the upper and lower shroud seam there is a small phillips-headed screw that needs to come out. Carefully remove the upper and lower shrouds. Now the turn signal/hazard/high beam switch is accessible. The only rub here is that I believe that it is held on with Torx or even torx tamper- resistant screws, which require special bits that are also available at the local parts stores. The job using an after market switch(which are usually more expensive than the Motorcraft ones) usuaaly runs around 200.00 plus. Very easy to do, however. Oh, yeah(sorry), make sure you have that knee bolster/Fuse access panel beneath the column out of the way before you start.

Mr. EdC, ASE Mastertech
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 224
Experience: ASE Mastertech, 30+ years working on all makes and models in independant repair shops.
Mr. EdC and 2 other Car Specialists are ready to help you
After checking my data base, the control module is about $600 from Ford just for the part. And here's the thing. The light control module, if it was the flasher section out, would still have the rest of the brake lamps work regardless. I'm seriously leaning towards that switch. If you decide to do it, get a tamper-resistant torx bit set as they work in regular torx AND tamper-resistant torx, whichever the case may mbe,ad if I remember right, those are either size 15 or 20 torx, tamper resistant ot not.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • I would (and have) recommend your site to others I was quite satisfied with the quality of the information received, the professional with whom I interacted, and the quick response time. Thanks, and be sure that I'll be back whenever I need a question answered in a hurry. Stephanie P Elm City, NC
< Previous | Next >
  • I would (and have) recommend your site to others I was quite satisfied with the quality of the information received, the professional with whom I interacted, and the quick response time. Thanks, and be sure that I'll be back whenever I need a question answered in a hurry. Stephanie P Elm City, NC
  • used your service this weekend with "Trecers" help. thank you ,thank you, thank you. replaced an A/C fan motor. Local Auto Zone had part. $15.00 "tracer" fee and $40.00 for parts, I saved several hundreds of dollers at a shop. i will recommend you and use you in the future. David L. Richmond, TX
  • 9 dollars, 2 hours of my time, and I drove away. Your diagnosis was right on the mark. Thank you so much. Phil Marysville, CA
  • Lurch. Thank you very much. I had real doubts about this website but your promptness of response, quick followup and to the point answer with picture was incredible. Charles Walnut Creek, CA
  • As a single woman, I really appreciate an excellent and affordable opinion.
    Thank you Geordie, I will not hesitate to contact justanswer in the future!
    Sue Charleston, WV
  • Another great insight to what may be the problem. I will have my mechanic take a look at it tomorrow. Thanks again, do indeed know your stuff. Jim Castleberry, FL
  • Excellent reply, and also very quick. Really sounds like the Expert knows what he is talking about. I will be back to use your service when I need more help with my RV. Dutch USA

Meet The Experts:

  • Chris (aka-Moose)

    Chris (aka-Moose)


    Satisfied Customers:

    16 years of experience
< Last | Next >
  • Chris (aka-Moose)'s Avatar

    Chris (aka-Moose)


    Satisfied Customers:

    16 years of experience
  • Ted G.'s Avatar

    Ted G.

    ASE Certified Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    20 years auto repair experience, ASE Master Tech, Mechanical Failure consultant, Expert Witness
  • George H.'s Avatar

    George H.

    ASE Certified Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    ASE Master Tech 15+ yrs, AAS Automotive Technology, Factory trained Asian specialist
  • GM Tech (Cam)'s Avatar

    GM Tech (Cam)

    Auto Service Tech

    Satisfied Customers:

    GM Grand Master Technician 2007. 14 years experience.
  • Amedee's Avatar


    Former ASE Master Tech

    Satisfied Customers:

    ASE certified tech advanced level specialist. Wisconsin certified emissions state inspector
  • Jerry's Avatar


    Master Mechanic

    Satisfied Customers:

    ASE master, 30+ years. All makes and models. Trouble shooter, shop forman, service manager
  • Richard's Avatar


    ASE Certified Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    12 years Ford Lincoln/Mercury Jaguar dealership as a technician and shop foreman reparing all makes