Q: What is a lever switch and what uses do they have in cars?

asked by on

What is a lever switch and what uses do they have in cars?

A lever switch is any electrical switch that uses a physical lever to actuate and operate the switch. Most lever switches function as simple on / off switches that operate using a lever or handle to toggle the switch between the two positions. Many lever switches use either a flat lever, toggle switch, or handle that must simply be moved back and forth to turn the switch on or off. When the switch is activated, electrical contact points inside of the switch touch together and the circuit is closed, allowing electricity to flow.

There are several different types of lever switches, each designed to serve a specific purpose. Toggle switches are a popular type of light duty lever switch that use a short handle as a lever to actuate the switch on or off. Toggle switches are often installed on classic vehicles when retrofitting them with modern amenities or aftermarket accessories.

Another type of lever switch is the snap action lever switch. Snap action lever switches use a flat lever that is usually covered by a button which, when pressed, will push on the lever and actuate the switch on or off. Snap action switches will also usually be spring loaded and return to the same position once they are pressed. In other words, the button is pressed once to turn a component on, and then once more to turn it off. Many of the buttons used for climate control or entertainment system functions are good examples of snap action lever switches.

There are also heavier duty lever switches, which are much larger and durable than their smaller counterparts, and are sometimes operated by a sizeable lever. Heavy duty lever switches will often have multiple positions, and usually serve to actuate mechanical functions. These switches will usually have strengthened contact points, and will be reinforced for increased durability. Examples of heavy duty lever switches are automatic transmission shifters, or switches used to control mechanical functions, such as transfer case switches.

In short, a lever switch is basically an electrical switch that uses a physical lever to actuate the switch between positions. They operate in a similar manner to most other electrical switches, and just the same, should be replaced as soon as they begin to show signs of failure. You can contact a certified mobile mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, to inspect any faulty electrical components and replace the switches, if deemed necessary.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. What is a lever switch and what uses do they have in cars?

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Q: A fuse blows when power seats are used

The power seat motors on your 2004 Kia Amanti have only one fuse, and it is a 30 amp fuse. If you replace this fuse, and it blows when you try and operate the seat then there is a problem...

Q: Why doesn't my turn signals work unless I press the emergency lights first and why does my hot & cold meter not moving

Hello there, you have a few different faults with your 2001 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. If the turn signals do not work without the hazard lights than the most common failure would be a turn signal stalk failure, wiring harness fault,...

Q: Key won't come out of the ignition, clicking sound while pressing brakes

The most common cause of this is a failing ignition switch. For the ignition switch to allow the key to turn, it looks for the car to be in Park or Neutral. When the car isn't in either of...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.