Applying Brakes affects turn signal indicator - Chevy Colorado & GMC Canyon
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-25-2010, 01:58 AM Thread Starter
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Applying Brakes affects turn signal indicator

This annoying issue has crept up in my 06 I-280 in the last couple of weeks. Whenever I hit the brakes the right hand indicator arrow on the cluster lights up a bit. I would say it lights up about 50% brightness as normal. Accompanied by this phantom illumination is a single turn signal "click" sound when the brakes are applied or released. It only illuminates right hand indicator, and I checked outside and when it is doing it the turn siginal itself is not affected.

If I am stopped waiting to turn right with the brakes pressed, the turn signal produces no noise at all and cycles between being half lit and fully lit. If i release the brakes is starts making noise again and drops the half lit stage but speeds up the blink rate dramatically.

One thing I did notice early on was that sometimes after using the right turn signal (or flipping it on/off a few times) the problem would cease to exist for a few seconds. It has since stopped doing that and this occurs 100% of the time. This made me suspect the turn signal switch. Anybody else have similar issues?

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-25-2010, 02:08 AM
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Re: Applying Brakes affects turn signal indicator

Typically, when there are strange electrical gremlins like that, you will either have loose battery cables, a bad ground junction or a battery that is starting to go bad.


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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-25-2010, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Applying Brakes affects turn signal indicator

The oem battery died in august and was replaced. I did note the electrical components went absolutely bonkers when undervolted! Everything went back to normal after the new battery was installed. In the back of my mind I can't help but wonder if the stress put on the electricals during that period might of worn something out though.

Are the brake light/turn signal switches piggy backed into one system on these trucks? Everything else works flawlessly with no problems whatsoever. Any idea of where the grounds would be to check them out?

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-25-2010, 07:17 PM
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Re: Applying Brakes affects turn signal indicator

The ground box is on the passenger side fender behind the intake filter box.


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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-26-2010, 01:24 AM
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Re: Applying Brakes affects turn signal indicator

If you have a trailer wiring connector, look under the left side of the rear bumper and find the trailer adapter. Unplug it and plug the two cables removed from the adapter together. This sounds like a shorted diode in the trailer wiring adapter. If this is your problem, you can get a new one from your local autoparts store or off of ebay for about $30.00.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-12-2010, 12:17 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Applying Brakes affects turn signal indicator

You have hit the nail on the head n9cv. I disconnected the trailer brake adapter from the the back and the problem is solved. Thanks a bunch :)

got busy and just now got around to posting, but it has been fixed since halloween lol. thx again

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-12-2010, 04:34 AM
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Re: Applying Brakes affects turn signal indicator

That is the thing with "Guessing" what is wrong over the Internet. Sometimes you are correct and sometimes you are way off base.

You can get another one of those adapters on Ebay, most trailer supply stores, and some of the Autoparts stores. They are around $30.00.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-12-2010, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Applying Brakes affects turn signal indicator

honestly I haven't towed anything in a couple years now. I towed a couple atv's around after i first got the hitch and then sold the atv's. I'm probably going to wait and buy another if I need to tow again.

I wonder if it would be better to just keep the next one in the garage between tows. Hook up is a matter of seconds.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-13-2010, 06:47 AM
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Re: Applying Brakes affects turn signal indicator

I've never had problems with mine and it is out there is the weather, salt, and snow all the time. I do not think they go bad from being installed, but if you are not using it why not just buy one, throw it in the truck, and install it the next time you need it.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-16-2011, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by n9cv View Post
If you have a trailer wiring connector, look under the left side of the rear bumper and find the trailer adapter. Unplug it and plug the two cables removed from the adapter together. This sounds like a shorted diode in the trailer wiring adapter. If this is your problem, you can get a new one from your local autoparts store or off of ebay for about $30.00.
I have an 05 Chevy Colorado Z71 LS Crew Cab with 75,000KM on it, and the other day I was also experiencing the same problem... I would apply my brakes and my left and right indicator on the dash would light up. You would also hear the 'click' sound when applying and releasing the brake. So I was reading up on the forums and came across your response about the trailer wiring harness... Took my truck to the wal-mart underground parking lot (it's cold here in Canada), and unpluged the trailer wiring harness (threw it in the garbage) and plugged the original junction box back together. PROBLEM SOLVED!!!!

I have been reading on this forums for over a year now, and I finally registered today because of the abundance of information everyone has provided, and the help you have provided in invaluable.

I just wanted to say thanks alot and I really appreciate your help n9cv.
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