What is the life expectancy of car switches?
There is no set life expectancy for electronic car switches, however most are designed to last the life of the vehicle. The exact life expectancy can vary greatly depending on several factors.
One of the most important factors that determines the life of a switch is the frequency of its use. Some switches will be used much more frequently than others, and thus, will wear out much more quickly. Switches that are used very frequently, such as power door lock switches and power window switches, will be put under a lot more stress than those that are used less frequently, such as a cruise control, or defogger switches. Repeated use will slowly wear the electrical contacts inside of the switch, or sometimes even the plastic base or button on the switch, until it eventually breaks or fails.
The next most important factor in determining the life of a switch is the quality of its construction. Electrical switches of higher quality are built with strengthened contacts and components that can withstand heavier use, so they will usually last much longer than those of lower quality. Most auto manufacturers will usually compensate for this by using heavier duty switches for components that are used more frequently. For an example of this, one could compare the construction and build of a power window switch, versus that of a hazard light switch.
While there is not really a set life expectancy to electrical switches, there are a couple of things that can be done to help maximize their life expectancy and functionality. For one, try to keep them as clean as possible; avoid getting any debris or liquids, such as food or drink, into the switches. Also, be gentle with the switches when pressing them. Just doing these two things will go a long way in making sure that they last as long as possible. Also keep in mind that just because a component isn’t working, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the switch is faulty. In these cases, I would recommend hiring a certified technician to inspect your faulty electrical components, and recommend the best path to repair.
Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.
Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%