Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

What to Do If Your Car Switches Get Wet

Wet Car Switches

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.

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

How Long Does a Throttle Return Spring Last?
Not all vehicles on the road feature an electronic throttle control (ETC), which is also called drive-by-wire. For vehicles that don't offer this system, they have a throttle cable instead that...
P0121 OBD-II Trouble Code: TPS "A" Circuit Range Performance Problem
P0121 code definition Throttle Pedal Position Sensor/Switch (TPS) A Circuit Range Performance Problem What the P0121 code means P0121 is a generic OBD-II code which indicates that the Engine Control...
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...


Related questions

Q: Alternators not working properly

Hello there, a few different faults can be preventing your 1997 Chevy C2500 from charging. The most common would be the alternator, battery, battery cable, wiring fault, or an open circuit. To diagnose this, the first step would be to...

Q: The front wipers doesn't work

Hello. The best thing to do is to further test the system for the voltage supply. You need to locate the component or wire that is dropping the voltage. If the motor is not receiving any power on any speed...

Q: Can you put a Mazda ignition switch in a Honda

Hi there. Switching the ignition switch depends on the year of the vehicle. Older Honda's and Mazda's could swap out the ignition switch together, but the newer vehicles cannot as they are coded for each vehicle by VIN number. If...