Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How to Make Car Switches Last Longer

car switches life

Every feature in your car is controlled by a switch or button. Most are actively controlled, such as the power windows and power door locks, by means of pressing a button. Systems that are actively controlled include:

  • The rear window defogger
  • The headlights
  • Cruise control
  • Heated seat switches
  • The radio power, station selection, volume and more

Even if your vehicle’s accessories aren’t actively controlled by a switch, they are passively controlled. The ignition switch activates power to components that are on all the time when the ignition is on, such as the speedometer.

There is no exact number of button presses you get before a switch fails. Switches can fail at anytime because they are an electrical component. Inside a button or switch there are electrical contacts that can be very delicate. While excessive pressure or frequent use will eventually cause them to fail, the switches can still fail even with gentle and infrequent use.

In order to make your car’s switches last as long as possible, there are a few steps you can take;

Avoid contact with water or other liquids

Water can and will cause corrosion on electrical components, so if you spill anything on a switch or if you leave a window open in the rain, try to dry the switches as much as possible. Use a small can of compressed air to blow the switches dry if you have it available.

Use your control buttons sparingly

Avoid unnecessary switch presses whenever you can. For example, pressing the power window button needlessly not only puts strain on the window motor itself but adds to the likelihood of switch failure. You can also engage the child lock on the driver’s controls to prevent undue stress on the rear seat switches and motors.

Use your car switches gently

If a button is not moving freely where it should, don’t force it. It's possible that something sticky or a small object is preventing a switch from moving as it should and pressing harder or carelessly can cause the switch damage. Clean the switch with electrical contact cleaner and ensure it is not blocked by an object.

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

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 What the P0121 code means P0121 is a generic OBD-II code which indicates that the Engine Control...
P0222 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input
P0222 code definition Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input What the P0222 code means The manufacturer specifies a range of acceptable voltage to be produced from the throttle position...
Insurance Requirements for Car Registration in Kentucky
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet requires that all drivers in Kentucky carry liability automotive insurance, or “financial responsibility” in order to operate a vehicle legally and maintain vehicle...


Related questions

Q: No sound from the stereo system

The most common cause of the radio not having volume in the way you have described is that the radio is failing. Other possible causes are the speakers have failed, or a wiring issue. A qualified technician such as one...

Q: What do the buttons do on the master key?

Your Accord is equipped with a keyless entry system, and the master key is where you interact with that system. There are several buttons here, all of which do something different: Lock: This button will lock the doors on...

Q: Windshield wipers turn on when I turn on fog lamps.

Hi there. Check the wires to the fog lights and the wiper system. There is a short to from the fog lights to the wiper system. Try turning on the wipers only and see if the fog lights come on....