What to Do If Your Car Switches Get Dirty

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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.


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Pardeep

20 years of experience
648 reviews
Pardeep
20 years of experience
Subaru Outback - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - San Jose, California
If I could give 6 stars out of 5 I would. Very friendly and accomodating. Please retain and take care of Pardeep.
Honda Odyssey - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - San Jose, California
Great service. Timely, efficient, and friendly. Also gave good advice on services I actually needed.

Andrew

14 years of experience
236 reviews
Andrew
14 years of experience
Ford Escape - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Portland, Oregon
Andrew has come to fix my car on two occasions and both times he was on time for the appointment, professional , and extremely thorough in his examination of my car and diagnosis. He is honest and straightforward as to what my vehicle actually needs done immediately, and what I can hold off on for awhile. Money can be tight sometimes, so I do appreciate that. I highly recommend this mechanic!

Christopher

19 years of experience
152 reviews
Christopher
19 years of experience
Honda Pilot - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Land O Lakes, Florida
Would book again. On time, knowledgeable and friendly. Will definitely have him on my next appointment.

Theodore

15 years of experience
1132 reviews
Theodore
15 years of experience
Subaru Outback - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Renton, Washington
We have had previous work done by Theodore. Really appreciate his thoroughness and professionalism!

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