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Discussion Starter #1
I just relieved my grandparents of their 3-door accent that's been sitting in the garage for 4 years.
The car runs fine, but whenever the key is in the ignition, the back lighting on the dash and radio console as well as the turning signals on the front and rear flash at an even pace.
This flashing is accompanied by a ticking noise that sounds similar to a clock, but uneven.
It goes, tick-tock (with the back lights and signals) *pause* tick-tock (with the back lights and signals) *pause*, etc...
I need to have to car safety certified to be able to drive it, and this is the only thing that the technicians at the shop found that was wrong with the car.
They say they're going to charge me $95/hr to do diagnostics to find the problem, and I would really like to avoid that!
Thanks for reading this far, and I hope you can help me figure this out!
 

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So, you start the engine and intermittently you hear the tick-tock along with the turn signals lighting?
If that's the case the tick-tock is probably coming from the turn signal relay/flasher unit.

Do the turn signals on both sides of the car light up, or just the one side when this happens?
How long is the pause between events?
Do the turn signals & hazard warning lights work when you switch them on?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So, you start the engine and intermittently you hear the tick-tock along with the turn signals lighting?
If that's the case the tick-tock is probably coming from the turn signal relay/flasher unit.

Do the turn signals on both sides of the car light up, or just the one side when this happens?
How long is the pause between events?
Do the turn signals & hazard warning lights work when you switch them on?
Thanks for the response, I appreciate it. I think I should clear some things up.

First off, the engine doesn't have to be turned on. Just placing the key in the ignition or opening up one of the doors triggers the flashing.
Left and Right, front and back all light up for hazard lights. The whole left side lights up when you signal left, same with the right side.
The car functions 100% normally except for this ticking and flashing. While driving the signal lights do not blink, but the ticking continues.
I got a temporary permit to drive it to the garage, and the car drove fine on the highway and on residential roads, but the tick-tock and dash flashing continued the whole time.
There's about a second in between the events.
To be clear, the ticking sound is different than the sound it makes when you signal a turn.
 

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OK, what you describe sounds like two different issues.

First off, the engine doesn't have to be turned on. Just placing the key in the ignition or opening up one of the doors triggers the flashing.
Left and Right, front and back all light up for hazard lights.
This sounds to me like the alarm is being triggered which will cause the hazard lights to flash.
How do you get the hazard lights to stop flashing when this happens?

mattydac said:
The car functions 100% normally except for this ticking and flashing. While driving the signal lights do not blink, but the ticking continues.
I got a temporary permit to drive it to the garage, and the car drove fine on the highway and on residential roads, but the tick-tock and dash flashing continued the whole time.
The ticking you can hear while driving will probably be the tail light relay which supplies power to the dash illumination, as well as the parking/tail lights. I'm not sure what would cause it to switch on & off every second though. Is the ticking constantly happening approx every second, or is it more random?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I didn't do anything to stop the hazard lights from flashing. While driving I did not notice the hazard lights blinking from the alarm.
The flashing I experienced was a lot dimmer than when I put the hazards on.

The ticking comes at equal intervals, spaced out approximately by a second each time. There is no randomness to it, it follows the same pattern.
 

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Any aftermarket accessories fitted to the car that might be connected to the lighting circuit?
 

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You say the car's been sitting in the garage for four years? My guess would be something might have taken up residence and dined on the wiring somewhere. Check for chewed wires and/or nesting sites under the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Any aftermarket accessories fitted to the car that might be connected to the lighting circuit?
There was this weird cable for an antenna that was coming out from the ceiling panel right above the rear-view mirror. It was disconnected from its cable. I didn't know what it was so I left it disconnected.
The cable had 4 pins, and the antenna itself looked like this.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
You say the car's been sitting in the garage for four years? My guess would be something might have taken up residence and dined on the wiring somewhere. Check for chewed wires and/or nesting sites under the car.
They never had a mouse problem, and the garage door was rarely ever opened, but I'll give this a try. Thanks!
 

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I just got news back from the mechanic.
Apparently it was an aftermarket alarm system that was causing the problem.
They went ahead with the diagnostics without telling me.

Oh well, thanks for helping me out regardless.
 

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Very difficult for us to diagnose issues with aftermarket accessories that have been fitted. Glad the mechanic got to the bottom of the problem.

Scottie.
 

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I just got news back from the mechanic.
Apparently it was an aftermarket alarm system that was causing the problem.
They went ahead with the diagnostics without telling me.

Oh well, thanks for helping me out regardless.

I came to the party late, and Sparky hit on this a couple days ago. That would have been my first guess, too, since mine does the same thing. The intermittent means you tripped the alarm, but someone must have disconnected the horn/siren, as it was probably keeping them up at night. ;)
 
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