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
Icon-warranty_badge-02

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.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
P2422 OBD-II Trouble Code: Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP) Vent Valve Stuck Closed
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2422 P2422 code definition Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP)...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...

Related questions

Q: Can you resurface the rotor?

You can not install new brake pads on a vehicle without either re-surfacing the brake rotor on a lathe or replacing the rotor with a new one. This is because allowed thickness variation on a rotor (new or used) is...

Q: 1998 Ford Expedition - when I open just the driver side front door the dome light flickers on and off -- why?

The switch in the door frame is probably not making good contact. That is fairly easy to test just by bypassing the switch. If that is not the issue, a simple trace of the dome light circuit will reveal the...

Q: New brakes squealing bad new rotors replaced and all lines bled and all shims in place

If you are not using OEM pads, rotors and shims, that can account for the squealing. If you want to attempt to resolve it as is, Permatex Disc Brake Quiet (Part No. 80729) might work. Use that compound sparingly though...