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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Replacing the indicator relay on a Skoda Octavia 1.9TDI Elegance (on a '53 plate).

Replacing the indicator relay on a Skoda Octavia 1.9TDI Elegance (on a '53 plate).

Tools required: Small flat bladed screwdriver
Time required: 5 minutes
Parts required: Replacement flasher relay unit / hazard warning switch (it's all one unit!)

When the indicators on my Skoda Octavia (1.9 TDI '53 plate) started beating erratically - sometimes a double click, sometimes (and more often then not) a single burst before falling silent, I realised it my be time to replace the flasher / indicator relay.

Usually, you'd expect to find the relay within one of the fuse boxes along with the headlamp relays etc, but on the Skoda (and several VW models), the relay for the indicators is actually 'behind' the hazard warning switch in the centre of the dash.

When I say behind the hazard warning switch - what I mean is it's actually part of the switch - all one assembly, so you have, to in fact, replace the whole hazard warning switch! Ouch!

Actually, the cost from my local Skoda dealer in Spondon, Derbyshire - Clock Garage - click here (non-affiliate link) - was £32.00 inc vat. I did try a few auto spares type shops but they don't stock the actual manufacturer switch. If you know different, leave a comment below.

So to actually fit the new indicator/flasher relay / switch, you need a fairly small flat blade screwdriver.

Sitting in the car's front passenger seat, gently prise the small rectangular 'Octavia' branded plastic surround away from the hazard warning switch. Start in the bottom LH corner and gently pop out the four locating lugs - two on the LH side and two on the RH side (quite near the corners).

With the switch fascia removed, you can again, gently prise out the exposed switch block. Pull the switch right out (there's enough wiring loom to do this) and pull off the connecting wire block at the rear of the switch.

The switch will only fit one way so don't worry too much about remembering the orientation of the socket to the switch back. Do make sure the loom with the connector can't disappear back down the exposed switch hole in the dashboard!

Connect  the new switch and re-fit the switch to the dashboard. Make sure the switch locates snuggly all around the surround - it's easy because of the angle of the dash to think you've pushed it all the way home when in fact the top of the switch isn't quite flush. Use the flat end of the screwdriver to gently push the corners of the switch block back. It's a bit tight for fingers.

You might want to try the switch works so put the keys in the ignition and try both directions and hazard functions. You should get a satisfying regular 'heart beat' from the unit and the indicator lights should work accordingly.

If all's good, then re-fit the 'Octavia' fascia plate by pushing all four corners back into place.

That's it. Job done.

A reminder that your car will fail its MOT if the indicators / hazard warning lights are not functioning correctly.

Image gallery:
1) the connector from the back of the hazard switch showing unique location points.
2) The replacement indicator relay including hazard warning switch head.
3) The 'Octavia' fascia plate (removed) showing the location of it's locating lugs.

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