How Long Do Car Switches Normally Last?

Nearly all your vehicle functions are operated by switches of some sort. When you start your car, the ignition cylinder activates the ignition switch. When you open your car’s power windows, you operate a switch. When you activate the rear window defogger, you press a switch. A switch is a component that changes the electrical input of a device, whether that is on or off, increasing or decreasing.

No matter what function it operates, every button in your vehicle is a switch. Their purpose is to turn on or off a feature or perform an adjustment. Some switches, like radio buttons and power door lock switches, are used much more than others.

Switches are prone to failure depending on how much they're used. A few switches particularly susceptible to failure are:

  • The driver’s power window switch
  • The driver’s side power door lock switch
  • The ignition switch
  • The headlight switch

Though these switches are more prone to wear than others, there is no set life expectancy. It is very possible that a power door lock switch can be used several thousand times and never fail. The ignition switch can be cycled dozens of times per day over the course of decades and never needs to be replaced. Though there are some that require replacement more commonly, it does not indicate that you should expect to replace it on your car.

If you do experience any problems with one of the switches in your vehicle, no matter if it is the defroster or the audio system, have an automotive repair professional inspect and replace the faulty switch.


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Ben

41 years of experience
1222 reviews
Ben
41 years of experience
Ford Focus - Defroster is not working - Houston, Texas
thanks Ben!
Land Rover Range Rover Evoque - Brake System Flush - Spring, Texas
Really easy and very courteous mechanic

Kenneth

20 years of experience
653 reviews
Kenneth
20 years of experience
Nissan 350Z - Defroster is not working Inspection - Los Angeles, California
Kenneth was very professional in his work very knowledgeable with all my concerns about my car I could've asked for a more understanding and knowledgeable technician was very pleased with the answers he gave and the finding of the problem with the defrost system
Saturn Ion - Alternator - South Gate, California
Kenneth did an amazing job. Finished under an hour. Car runs better than before. Would definitely utilize Kenneth again for my car service needs. Way to go YourMechanic! Keep up the great work. And thank you once again, Kenneth!

David

13 years of experience
327 reviews
David
13 years of experience
Mitsubishi Eclipse - Defroster is not working Inspection - Marietta, Georgia
David K. was knowledgable, prepared, and very professional. I highly recommend his service.
Honda Civic - Thermostat - Marietta, Georgia
Professional, excellent job. Great.

Dave

23 years of experience
303 reviews
Dave
23 years of experience
BMW 528i - Defroster is not working - Aptos, California
Dave is awesome!! He is always very clear on what needs to be done, researches if problems are consistent with car types, and is very trustworthy!

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