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

asked by on

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

A rocker switch is a type of on / off electrical switch that rocks back and forth on a pivot point between positions when pressed. When the switch is pressed, one side of the switch is raised, while the other side is depressed, similar to the way in which a playground seesaw operates. Most rocker switches are designed to operate low amperage circuits, which make them ideal for control functions in the interior of a vehicle. Rocker switches are also commonly found in many consumer electronics and household appliances, used for their low cost and simple mode of operation.

A slightly more sophisticated type of rocker switch is a spring loaded rocker switch. Spring loaded rocker switches incorporate a spring into the switch which will return the switch to its original position when released. A common example of this type of switch is a power door lock switch; when pressed, the switch will recess to one side to lock or unlock the door locks, but will return to it’s original position when released. Same with a power window switch, which will pivot back and forth to raise or lower the window, but will always return to its default center position when released. Spring loaded rocker switches are useful because they do not require the user to deactivate or turn them off, as they return to the default center position automatically via the spring loaded mechanism.

Rocker switches can be found on virtually all modern vehicles in one form or another; both in their basic form, and when combined with a spring loaded mechanism, making them a very practical choice to control the electronics functions in the interior of a vehicle.

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 rocker 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: What Are Sprung And Unsprung Weight And Why Do They Matter?

The part of a car or truck that is supported by springs is the sprung weight (or sprung mass); the part that isn’t is called the unsprung weight. Everything attached solidly to the body is sprung while everything that moves...

Q: My turn signal lever is stuck on the right signal how do I fix this?

Hi there. You can remove the switch from the steering column and see if the housing is cracked. If so, then the switch will need to be replaced. The lock inside the switch could be broken causing the switch to...

Q: Car noise, dashboard warnings on

One guess is that the problem could be a faulty wheel bearing(s). Bad wheel bearings often result in a rotational growling noise. The wheel bearing is integral to the hub assembly on your vehicle, which also houses the reluctor ring...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...
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.