The combination switch assembly is connected to your turn signal indicator. The purpose of the assembly is to adjust the high and low beams on your headlights, turn on your right or left turn signal, and activate your hazard lights. In addition, it turns on the windshield wipers on the front and back of your vehicle, along with the fluid, depending on the make and model of your car.
The combination switch assembly has multiple wires that connect it to the steering column. Since the switch controls so many different things, when it does fail, it can be quite inconvenient. The switch may fail due to faulty wiring, or electrical components shorting out within the system. In addition, the combination switch assembly may break off due to overuse or excessive force.
If the combination switch assembly is going bad, some components may work while others may not. Furthermore, the switch may completely stop working, so that your headlights, turn signals, windshield wipers, and anything else the switch controls will not work either. If this happens, your combination switch assembly needs to be replaced as soon as possible. Driving without proper working headlights, turn signals, or windshield wipers is a hazard to yourself as well as other drivers around you. In addition, your vehicle may not be legal to drive on the road if none of these are working.
Since your combination switch assembly may fail due to wearing, electrical issues, or breaking off, it is important to be able to recognize the symptoms before it completely fails.
Signs your combination switch assembly needs to be replaced include:
- The washer fluid will not turn on, but there is enough fluid in the reservoir
- Neither turn signals work and you have checked the light bulbs in them
- The headlights will not adjust from low beam to high beam, or vice-versa
- The hazard lights will not illuminate, and you have made sure the light bulbs are intact
As soon as you notice the combination switch assembly is not working, have it fixed immediately because this is a safety hazard. In addition, the vehicle may not be legal to drive.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How Long Does a Combination Switch Assembly Last? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.