Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. What to Do If Your Car Switches Get Dirty

What to Do If Your Car Switches Get Dirty

Dirty Door Lock

Your car interior gets dirty from normal everyday usage where dust settles inside, from a mishap like spilling french fries to accidentally leaving a window or door open at an inopportune time. Dirt can get into your vehicle, wreaking havoc with your controls.

When your car switches get dirty, particularly the switches on the driver’s door like the power window switches and the power mirror switch, they need to be cleaned. Dirty switches can wear and fail from the abrasive nature of dirt, sand, and other debris.

To clean your car switches:

  1. Remove any loose dirt from the switch. Using a dry cloth, gently wipe the dirt off the switch. If you are able to, prevent any additional dirt from falling into the switch where it can obstruct the electrical contacts.

  2. Blow dirt out of the switch. Using a can of compressed air, blow any dirt out of the dirty switches. This is especially important for often-used switches like the power window switches, power door lock switches, and power mirror switch.

  3. Check the switch operation. Press the switch or switches you are cleaning to see if they function smoothly. If they stick or are hard to press, it may be that there is a sticky substance, such as soda, on the contacts.

  4. Clean the contacts if necessary. Spray the dirty switches with electrical contact cleaner. If you notice any unusual colored gunk coming from the switch, repeat this step as necessary until the contact cleaner comes out clear. Blow the switches dry again with the can of compressed air.

Limit your use of dirty car switches until you have a chance to clean them properly. Dirt in the switch can cause wear on the electrical contacts and you may experience premature switch failure. Also, don’t use the switch until it has dried completely after cleaning.

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

The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in Malaysia
CraigBurrows / Shutterstock.com Malaysia is a popular destination for many tourists today. The country has amazing sights and attractions that you will want to explore....
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in New Mexico
The state of New Mexico offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch...
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)...


Related questions

Q: Why Is There a Shade Band on the Windshield?

Regardless of whether you drive a truck, SUV, or a passenger car, besides having four tires, an engine, and a transmission, they also have one other detail in common – they all have windshields. Windshield technology has evolved since the...

Q: Problem with the cruise control

Hey there, thanks for writing in about your 2005 Mercury Montego. Mercury has a technical service bulletin out for brake light switch being either faulty or not adjusted properly causing all kinds of cruise control issues. The brake lamp...

Q: How do I use the rear window washer?

The rear window washer gives you added visibility through the rear window by spraying washer fluid on it, and wiping it away. To use this feature, push the wiper lever (located on the right side of the steering column) forward,...