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Author Topic: Replacing the multifunction switch (turn signal) on a 2001 Aztek  (Read 4395 times)
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Citrus
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« on: November 05, 2011, 08:54:29 PM »

Our 2001 Aztek had a turn signal problem. At night (when the headlights are on) turning on the right turn signal would also turn on the high beams. I did some looking around and it appears to be a common problem and the fix is to replace the multifunction switch (the turn signal).  From what I can tell, the "official" procedures are not for the light hearted (it calls for removing airbags, steering wheel etc.), but with one inexpensive speciality tool and a couple tricks, it's actually an easy job. The problem is one Torx screw that has to be removed at the front of the switch. It's behind the steering wheel, so you can't easily get to it to remove it.  But it turns out that Snap-on makes a tool just for this purpose (for Aztek's and 53 other GM vehicles). I purchased the tool directly from Snap-on's web site, it costs about $25, and it is tool # GMSTB25 (I have no doubt this is much cheaper than my labor bill would have been from a dealership). I ordered the multifunction switch from GM Parts Direct and set out to replace it. I got stuck right away when I couldn't figure out how to get the plastic steering column covers off. The tilt lever is in the way on the bottom and the ignition switch is in the way on the top. I did some more digging around and found the "tricks" I needed to get the covers off, and 30 to 45 minutes later I was done. Here's what I did:

You'll need a Torx T25 screw driver and a Snap-on tool # GMSTB25

(1) Disconnect the negative battery terminal.

(2) The first "trick" is to remove tilt lever access panel. This is above the tilt wheel lever on the left side of the steering wheel, and is easily removed by pressing the tab on the panel. This will allow the bottom steering column cover to be removed over the tilt lever (initially I had a bit of tunnel vision here; I had decided the tilt lever must come off somehow and didn't notice the access panel).

(3) Remove the two screws from the underneath of the bottom cover (both are T25 Torx screws), one near the center and a longer one on the left.

(4) The bottom cover will now tilt down. It is hinged to the top cover at the rear on both sides. The hinged joints will unhook by sliding the bottom cover to the rear by approximately 1/2" as you gently push down.

(5) Once the bottom cover is removed you can access the last screw that is fastening the top cover. It is to the right side of the steering wheel and up in the top cover looking from underneath. Remove the screw with your T25 Torx driver.

(6) The last trick . . . the top cover can't be removed because the ignition switch is in the way. It turns out that the collar around the front of the ignition switch, the part with the little tabs that you put your finger and thumb on to turn the key, comes off.  Gently pry it off - not much chance of damaging the collar, but be careful of the plastic steering column cover when you're prying. The collar is held on to the ignition assembly by a rubber o-ring - it will pop off. Once that ignition switch collar is removed, the right side of the top cover can be gently lifted over the ignition switched and removed over the turn signal on the left.

(7) The multifunction switch is held in place by two T25 screws. The screw on the top right of the switch is easily removed with the T25 Torx driver.

(Cool The screw on the front of the switch is also a T25 screw, but not easily accessible because it is behind the steering wheel.  Remove this T25 screw with the Snap-on tool # GMSTB25. The multifunction switch can now be easily removed.

(9) Unhook the four electrical connections - three on the switch itself and one about six inches down the steering column. Note that two of the three electrical connections on the switch itself are side by side. I initially thought it was a single connection instead of two.

(10) Reverse the instructions for reassembly with the new multifunction switch. Note that the ignition switch collar removed in step 6 is keyed, and will only fit back on in one way.

I hope this helps!

Citrus
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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2018, 11:12:52 PM »

Excellent write-up.  Thank you.  I followed this and replaced my switch in about 20-30 minutes.  The only thing I would add is that I found it easier to access and unplug the "pigtail" on the switch once I took the plastic knee pad off (otherwise I couldn't get my fingers back in the hole far enough to unplug that little bugger).  Only 2 screws and then it pulls right off.  It's also easier to line up and re-hook the lower steering column cover with the knee pad off.
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