How to Make Car Switches Last Longer | YourMechanic Advice

How to Make Car Switches Last Longer

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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.


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Chris

21 years of experience
1861 reviews
Chris
21 years of experience
Mini Cooper Clubman - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Silverado, California
He arrived early, went straight to work, and it should have been quoted higher as it’s a Mini which takes longer than the average break job. He didn’t try to get more than the quoted amount. He even set out to replace a running light for me when he was finished. I thought there would hard sales telling me I needed more work but there wasn’t. Because he didn’t try to sell me more work, I will use him again. When I hired a mechanic I don’t want a salesman. 
Land Rover Range Rover Sport - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Irvine, California
Chris again has provided great Service. Everything was great. I was very happy with the work and will definitely have him return for any other work.

Bryant

11 years of experience
408 reviews
Bryant
11 years of experience
Ford Fusion - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Indianapolis, Indiana
Bryant has done great work on my car before, the latest work is no exception. He's very flexible, and goes the extra mile to get you back on the road.
Scion iA - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Carmel, Indiana
This is my first time using this service. I am very happy with it. Bryant was very knowledgeable and did quality work. I will use this service more regularly.

Edmar

21 years of experience
184 reviews
Edmar
21 years of experience
Chrysler 200 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Euless, Texas
Edmar always does a very good job. He's done a few different things on my car the last two years. Each job was performed very fast and top quality. Thank you once again.

Mazyar

7 years of experience
255 reviews
Mazyar
7 years of experience
Jaguar XF - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Lawrenceville, Georgia
He was early, courtesy and actually helped me save some money since i didn't need all the work that i thought i needed done. Honest guy. Very knowledgeable. Great attitude.

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