2000 Town Car. Random blinker clicking - where's the ground?

tdc1tdc1 Member Posts: 11
edited July 2014 in Lincoln
Just recently my 2000 TC (48 k miles, well maintained) has started clicking -- not really constant, but random and very frequent, as though something with a sensor is turning a relay on and off. Sounds like the blinker, but it's hard to tell if the click is actually coming from the blinker switch. Nothing seems to be affected, but I'm off on an 1800-mile drive soon, and the clicking is annoying and something must be getting way too much use.

Blinkers work fine when turned on, left/right and front/rear, whether the engine's running or merely ignition on. When the blinkers aren't on, i.e. lever in neutral position, there's the sound of blinker -- uneven, not rhythmic, random but frequent -- but no lights flash front or rear. With ignition on only, there's some of it, i.e. several random clicks, but it then seems to stop or at least subside. With engine running, it's ongoing. In both modes it stops when brakes are applied, then starts up again when brakes are released.

Form what I gather, everything seems to point to either the blinker switch or the lighting control module being wonky. Before delving into that, a crucial thing to check, and in principle easy, is the ground: it can be subject to corrosion.

And there's where I'm stuck -- where is the ground, and how do I get to it? I've searched for diagrams and photos, so far in vain. If the problem is only that the ground needs cleaning up, I'd hate to have to take it to the $$$dealer$$$.

Anyone know where the ground is, and how to get to it?


  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Member Posts: 3,425
    it stops when brakes are applied makes me ask........

    Could the clicking be related to the Traction Control Module? I don't have an answer as to where you would locate the Ground connection.
  • tdc1tdc1 Member Posts: 11
    Thanks -- another good possibility to add to the list!

    meanwhile, still haven't found the ground. :cry:
  • bookman4bookman4 Member Posts: 1
    Have you had any luck sorting out the problem?

    Our 1999 Towncar started doing exactly the same thing yesterday. It does it randomly driving down the highway. Touching the brake causes the clicking to stop. No lights blink while the clicking is going on, yet the turn signals, flashers and brake lights all work correctly. I've noticed that just sitting still, I can make it click just by moving the steering wheel. The clicking may be fairly slow and irregular or it may be very fast.

    I wonder about the ground issue also. Is it possible that a wire has worked loose in the steering column? Or is it possible that the switch that causes the cruise control to disconnect when the brake pedal is pressed could be bad? All lights work properly, possibly ruling out turn signal switches. The cruise control switches are in the steering wheel. Brake disconnects cruise and causes clicking to stop..any possible connection?


  • tdc1tdc1 Member Posts: 11
    bookman, no, I haven't really had any luck. I did get replies on another forum that suggested it's most likely a problem with the ground, located under the carpet and behind a plastic flash panel, down low just forward of the passenger-side door opening.

    Mine stopped clicking a few days after I posted here, and I couldn't figure out how to get the flash panel off without destroying it, so I didn't try. The clicking has started up again with great enthusiasm just lately, though, so I may get up the nerve to start pulling it apart soon. The diagnosis that it's the ground seems to be a good educated guess, and worth trying for a fix with that, IMO.

    As for what it's affecting, good idea: cruise may be a possibility given that braking stops the clicking. But the sound I get is the same clicking as when blinkers are on (even though, as in your case, my blinker lights aren't affected).

    Maddening little glitch, whatever it is, and the long-term effect can't be good.
  • mrsme1mrsme1 Member Posts: 1
    my 2000 lincoln has stared doing the same thing. Does anybody have a clue is to why ? before my husband destroys my car trying to fix it himself .......
  • tdc1tdc1 Member Posts: 11
    mrsme, I've seen two solutions suggested, neither of which I've tried (cold seems to have sent my maddening clicking dormant for now). One is the ground that I've mentioned before, i.e. it needs cleaning, presumably wire brushing and making sure the connection is solid. The other is to replace the turn signal unit.

    If your husband can figure out where the ground is and how to get to it without destroying anything, that would be the first to try -- and if it works, please report back! :) The description I read of how to replace the turn signal unit made it sound like an exercise in how an amateur like me can ruin something, so I'm not going near that.

    Must say that the lack of a proven solution is surprising, as the clicking is apparently a relatively common problem.
  • tdc1tdc1 Member Posts: 11
    edited February 2010
    mrsme, here's another possibility that I haven't checked out:

    "there is an ABS siloniod [solenoid] located to the upper left of the brake pedal, under the dash you can check."
  • dhopesdhopes Member Posts: 1
    Mine wasn't the ground but good to know where it is. You simply snap the molding loose from mid section of door on the floor and pull upward till entire piece comes off that covers right fromt floor panel.
    PROBLEM was multi function turn signal lever. Less than $70 at local parts store. Steering wheel column cover snaps apart and lever is easy to replace.
    That's all folks!!! No more free loading crickets under my dash!
    Love this site!
  • tdc1tdc1 Member Posts: 11
    dhopes, thanks for the solution! Mine hasn't done its clicks in a couple of months now (too warm? Who knows???), but in case it starts up again, can you describe for us klutzes what you mean by steering wheel column cover and snapping it apart? Nothing to break (for break I will, if it's possible), just pull?

    Also, the molding over the ground - is it on the door, or forward, lower left just beyond the door frame?

    Thanks for any help!
This discussion has been closed.