'78 Honda Civic -- bad direction signals

'78 Honda Civic -- temperamental direction signals
My '78 Honda Civic (1200) has developed temperamental direction signals, and I am at a loss how to cure it. Sometimes they work normally, but then
stop. Then resume. Then stop again. Completely unpredictably. It seems that sometimes quickly flicking the signal lever back and forth would restore the operation, but this may be an illusion. I think I've located the switching mechanism in the console a bit to the left of the manual choke knob. (This car has a manual choke!) With two fingers from below, I can feel it vibrating when it works. Do I have to remove the console to access the unit or can the repair be done from below? The Honda repair manual has no suggestions. Sometimes I have to open the window (at 20 degrees F) to give a manual direction signal. Thanks for any help with hints and/or referrals.
I remember changing the direction signal switch in a Pinto by unplugging the old clicker and replacing it with a new one. It was easily accessible.
Alex
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alex wrote:

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Please give a few more details: Does it light the bulbs, but not flash them, or just play dead? Do the four-way flashers work? Have you checked the relays in the under-hood fuse box (if there is one)? Can't the Honda dealer tell you where your relay is?
:-) In Canada, when somebody rolls down the window in and gives you the 'signal', it's called the Pierre Trudeau DIGITAL salute :-)
'Curly' 'Curly'
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<snip>
OP says he can feel it vibrating. To me sounds like the turn signal unit is bad. It won't stick in one place long enough to do anything useful. Heating element is probably too corroded to heat up properly.
I can't see something like this being particularly hard. It's easy to remove under-dash trim, although clips might be brittle when the car is almost 30 years old. And it's got to be roomier under the dash than in my car, so peeking under there with a light should be possible.
--
TeGGeR

The Unofficial Honda/Acura FAQ
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At times, nothing happens. At other times, signals work OK for a while but suddenly stop. At times, the light stops blinking but stays lighted. The four-way flashers work OK.
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alex wrote:

In addition to the other posts regarding a potentially bad flasher relay, you may also want to consider that the turn signal switch in the steering column needs to be cleaned up especially since you state that flicking the lever back and forth can sometimes get it to work. It's pretty easy to remove the steering wheel to gain access to the switch. You may need to lightly sand the electrical contacts in the switch with some 400 or 600 grit sandpaper. I had a similar problem on my '88 Civic with the headlight switch and cleaning it up fixed it and it's been working great for a couple of years now.
Eric
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