What to Do If Your Car Switches Get Wet

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Your car switches are electrical components. They operate internal and external vehicle functions that require low currents in some cases and high currents in others. These functions can be for lighting, accessories, heater controls, or power windows, to name a few. No matter what the electrical component, they all have water as their common enemy.

Water is very damaging to electrical parts. Damage that may occur includes:

  • Blown fuses
  • Wiring shorts
  • Corrosion on contacts and wiring
  • Possible fire
  • Shorted switches

It is not uncommon to notice someone’s window open a little bit in the rain or snow. If that happens, it is possible that the car’s switches will get wet, especially the power window and power door lock switches.

If you notice that any switches inside your car have gotten wet with water, you should try to remove the water as quickly as possible. If the water is allowed to sit on the switches and penetrate down into the contacts, damage is likely to occur.

  1. Wipe any excess water off with a microfiber cloth, towel, or paper towel. Try to soak the water up instead of moving it around to prevent getting water deeper into the switches.

  2. Do NOT operate the switches while they are wet. Often a wet switch will be alright if it’s allowed to dry thoroughly before it is used again. Using a wet switch allows any more standing water to penetrate deeper. Also, if the switch is operated while wet, the water can short the switch, the wiring, or even cause a shock.

  3. Blow the switch out with compressed air. Use a can of compressed air to push as much moisture out of the switch as possible. It will dry the switch quickly, which means water will not sit in the contacts, causing corrosion.

If the substance that got on your switches is not water, you will need to clean the switch to prevent it from sticking. Spray the switch with a can of electrical contact cleaner after drying it to clean away as much of the contaminant as possible. Let the electrical contact cleaner evaporate fully before trying the switch.

If your car switches get wet and stop working, have a professional mechanic diagnose and repair the affected system as soon as possible.


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Damian

10 years of experience
403 reviews
Damian
10 years of experience
Chrysler PT Cruiser - Electric Problems - Sanford, Florida
DAMIAN SHOWED UP EARLY AND WAS VERY COURTEOUS AND PROFESSIONAL.I WAS VERY IMPRESSED WITH HIS ELECTRICAL KNOWLEDGE. HE FOUND THE PROBLEM WHEREAS ANOTHER MECHANIC SAID WE SHOULD JUNK THE CAR. THANKS DAMIAN
Ford Escape - Electric Problems - Palm Bay, Florida
Damian was very professional and courteous, he explained everything that he was doing. Found the door lock had corrosion and fixed it in a very timely manner. Will recommend him to friends and family.

Chris

21 years of experience
1676 reviews
Chris
21 years of experience
Toyota Camry - Electric Problems Inspection - Garden Grove, California
I am happy with Chris recommendation, he also was professional, friendly and he also was early the appointment.
Volkswagen Super Beetle - Electric Problems - Murrieta, California
Chris Allshouse offered me an earlier appointment which I accepted and it helped to free up my afternoon. He quickly diagnosed my problem and set about resolving. He offered valuable information that would allow me to troubleshoot a problem before it arose. I couldn't be more pleased. I would rate Chris a 10 out of 10. Thanks gain Chris!!

Joe

42 years of experience
715 reviews
Joe
42 years of experience
Land Rover Range Rover Sport - Electric Problems - Tampa, Florida
I couldn't be happier with Joe. Joe is professional, knows his stuff, and is very thorough. I am going to use Joe again, you can bank on that.

Erfan

6 years of experience
20 reviews
Erfan
6 years of experience
Acura TL - Electric Problems - Redmond, Washington
Erfan is great. He notified me right away when he knew that he would be late due to delay from previous work. He is professional and honest. He only charged for what he had done, and he patiently explained to me what was wrong with my car. I highly recommend him.

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