Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. Can My Car Use Universal Switches?

Can My Car Use Universal Switches?

Universal Switches

Each system on your car is controlled by a switch. The ignition and starting system are controlled by the ignition switch, your power windows and door locks are operated by switches, your heater controls have buttons and switches, and even your radio has switches on it. Each system has unique requirements, including:

  • Voltage
  • Number of positions
  • Style of switch

Replacement parts need to be very specific because each system is so unique.

Replacing regular switches with a universal switch

If you are looking for replacement switches, you will come across universal switches. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, styles, colors, operating voltages, and number of operating positions. Universal switches are not manufactured for a specific use, but are instead matched up specifically for the use you require. In order to shop for a universal switch, you need to know:

  • Your voltage requirement or current load
  • The size of switch you need
  • How many positions you require

If you know these items, you may be able to use a universal switch as a replacement switch in your vehicle. Often, universal switches are not an exact fit for your application and their appearance doesn’t match that of your interior or other controls. You may find that the switch is too deep to fit in the location you desire, or it does not mount in the same way as your failed switch.

Best practices for replacing switches

If you are replacing a switch in your vehicle, the best practice is to use a direct replacement switch from an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) source.

If you are installing a new accessory, usually a universal switch comes with the kit. Some of these kits include:

  • Fog light kits
  • Off-road lights
  • Winch controls

These items and others usually contain their own specific universal switch. You can mount them in an accessible location at your discretion, and they are wired into your vehicle separately. These systems are not as difficult to find replacement switches for as they are usually sourced from readily-available stock.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.


More related articles

How to Buy Fuel Treatments
Adding a fuel additive to your gas tank when you fill up is one way to clean vital engine parts of deposits, improve the performance of your engine,...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
P0608 OBD-II Trouble Code: Control Module VSS Output "A" Malfunction
P0608 means there is an malfunction in the vehicle speed sensor A control module often due too faulty speed sensor or shorted electrical wiring.

Related questions

Q: What are the best brake pads to get for my volvo c70? I am in rushhour traffic and I travel to the beach.

The best brake pads and rotors for your car are those supplied by Volvo. Nowadays, those parts can be obtained from legitimate Internet Volvo dealers at a discount off of what you would pay at a local Volvo dealer. If...

Q: How do I change the audio setting with the steering wheel?

The steering wheel sound system switches are all located on the backside of the steering wheel. To adjust the audio setting, you’ll want to reach your right hand behind the steering wheel, to find a cluster of buttons and...

Q: OEM-sized pipe exhaust flow

As long as you use the basic same size, it won't affect anything, but you want to stick to OEM size on that Audi, because the exhaust flow is based on the diameter of the pipe and if you put...