Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. How Long Do Car Switches Normally Last?

How Long Do Car Switches Normally Last?

Car Switches

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.

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

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Flexible Clutch Hose
Common signs include difficulty shifting, low clutch fluid, and feeling no resistance at the clutch pedal.
P0121 OBD-II Trouble Code: TPS "A" Circuit Range Performance Problem
P0121 code definition Throttle Pedal Position Sensor/Switch (TPS) A Circuit Range Performance Problem...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...

Related questions

Q: None of the power windows work

There are two likely causes of this symptom: Either the driver front master window control switch has gone bad, or the control module for the windows has gone bad. The most likely would be the switch. The driver front door...

Q: If the power window switch on the front passenger door is out and motor is fine then window should still work from the master?

Hello, thank you for writing in. The master switch is wired independently of the other switches, and it should be able to power the window without the passenger switch working. This is one of the reasons it has been designed...

Q: Window off hinges

Both of these issues are inconvenient but can be fixed. Replacement hinges for the rear glass can be purchased and installed along with the rear door handle. You may want to enlist the help of a mechanic, such as one...