Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

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: A rocker switch is a type of on / off elect...

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?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Squealing at lower speeds

Hello. If the noise is related to the vehicle going over bumps or imperfections in the road then it is in the suspension. If it occurs when the vehicle is moving then it is something else. If that is the...

Q: Heater blower

If the blower motor does not respond to on and off commands at the switch, generally the switch is faulty. The turn signal issue is probably not related to the problem with the blower. If you hear the flashing unit...

Q: Does my 02 civic have shocks or struts or both?

Hey there, thanks for writing in about your 2002 Honda Civic. Your car has struts all the way around. There are pros and cons to lowering your vehicle. Make sure that you consider everything before moving forward with this modification!...

Related articles

How to Renew Your Car Registration in Oklahoma(DELETED)
Having your car registered with the Oklahoma Tax Commission is an important part of driving legally in this state. You will need to do this within 30 days of moving to Oklahoma...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.