Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

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

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...
How to Transfer a Car Title in Idaho
In order to prove ownership of a car, you must have the title. However, when a car is sold, given away or inherited, the title needs...
How to Get a Louisiana Driver's Permit
s licensing program. The first step in this program is to obtain...


Related questions

Q: Master window lock feature quit working.

Hey there. The power window lock out is controlled by the drivers door window switch. The signal for the lock goes through the body control module (BCM) to signal the other windows switches to let the windows open or not....

Q: The car turns off when shifting the gear to neutral automatically.

This is likely related to what is called a neutral safety switch. This is an electrical switch near your transmission that is designed to not allow the car to start when in any gear other than park. Occasionally, this switch...

Q: Windows not going up or down

If both of your front windows do not go up, that may be a sign of potential electrical problems. There may perhaps be a failed switch, or blown fuse, that is preventing the windows from receiving power, or perhaps failed...