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The window switch is part of the efficient power window system, helping to make the operation of your vehicle windows safer and more convenient as you travel. The window switch is the handy little control that makes opening your window as easy as the touch of a button, rather than the time consuming hassle of cranking the window handle, which surely takes more of the driver's attention, distracting it from the road ahead. The window switch uses electrical contacts to complete a circuit of electricity when engaged, allowing the window motor to switch on. The window motor, tucked inside the vehicle door, powers a series of gears that lends motion to the window mechanism, which in turn moves the window glass up and down according to the direction that is indicated by the operation of the window switch. The window switch is quite durable and reliable, performing efficiently through years of use in most cases, but time and wear will begin to show eventually. Moisture can cause trouble with the window switch, promoting corrosion on its contacts to interfere with its transmission of electricity. The wiring of the window switch can be loosened or damaged by daily use and road vibration, causing it to fail. Our online catalog carries a selection of quality window switch replacements at very affordable prices. Ordering is always safe and easy on our secure site or our toll-free phone line is available for your convenience, staffed with knowledgeable customer service representatives to help you order the right window switch for your vehicle.
Getting the Right Window Switch for Your Ride
A power window switch controls the movement of your vehicle's window. When activated, it allows you to roll the glass up or down easily. This power window system has replaced the manual, hand crank-operated ones. This is a standard on almost all vehicle models today. This mechanism is activated when the window switch signals a relay to the power window motor positioned within the car door. Once activated, the direction of the car's window circuit is altered, and this enables the glass to go up and down without the need of a traditional hand crank. It's basically the same for all vehicle models. The only difference is the type of window switch you're using.
What are the different types of window switches?
When choosing a new power window switch, you have to consider your vehicle's OEM requirements first. Consulting your owner's manual wouldn't hurt, as it probably specifies the type of window switch you need to get for your car. There are three basic types: push-pull, toggle, and rocker switches.
Dodge and Chrysler cars are known for using this type of switch. One simply has to
rock or press gently on the switch to roll the windows up and down. The rocker switch does this by connecting and disconnecting the electrical circuit on the motor. Some cars built with rocker switches have a locking mechanism to prevent other people from accidentally activating the switch. This is particularly useful when you have a kid on board.
This type is more commonly used in Chevrolet/GMC, Saturn, Ford, and Pontiac vehicles. It is built with a sort of lever or a handle that is pushed forward and backward to control the window's movement. The lever controls the electric current that enables you to roll up and down your windows with ease. This type of switch is probably the simplest and easiest to use, as you only have to push the lever forward to move the windows up, and push it backward to roll the glass down. However, there's no locking mechanism for a toggle switch, so you have to be extra careful when driving with a child on board. This type of switch is considered the least safe among all three types.
As the newest power window design, the push-pull or lever switch is most commonly found in luxury vehicles, such as Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, and Jaguar. Less expensive models are also built with this switch, including Saab, Toyota, and Honda models. It is considered the safest type of window switch because it rules out accidental window movement. To roll up the windows, you need to hook your finger under the switch and pull it up. Simply do the reverse if you want your windows rolled down. It costs more than the other switches, but it is highly recommended to prevent window-related accidents.
Consider the passengers riding with you on a regular basis to determine which type of window switch to get. To be safe and sure, choose one with a locking mechanism, as it is both budget- and child-friendly.
How to Replace a Faulty Window Switch
A power window system allows you to roll your windows up and down with ease. A window switch activates this mechanism to control the movement of your vehicle's windows. To change the window circuit's direction, the switch sends out a signal to the power window motor located inside the car door. This enables the window glasses to go up or down, depending on your preference. At some point, the window switches will get worn out due to frequent use. Moisture and debris may cause switch failure, and the contacts inside this part may break down as well. Replace faulty switches right away for safety and proper window operation. Here are the tools you'll need and the steps in replacing a faulty window switch:
Difficulty level: Moderate
- Screwdriver (may be flat-head, Phillips-head, or snub-nosed)
- Long-nose pliers
Step 1: Disconnect the negative battery terminal before working on the switch to prevent short circuit. Remove the car door panel to gain access to the switch. Disconnect all other electric wiring first, including wires for stereo speakers and power mirrors. Next, unclip the handles using a screwdriver. Lift the faulty switch out of its harness.
Step 2: If you don't want to take off the door casing or the door handle, simply slide a flat-head screwdriver under the switch bezel and pry it until it loosens to access the housing.
Step 3: Once the switch pops out of the bezel, disconnect it from the wire harness and detach it from the outlet. Remove the rockers before inserting a new switch into the harness holes.
Step 4: Assemble the rockers into the new switch and snap the device into the bezel. Turn the engine on and see if the switch moves the windows in the proper direction. If it does, press it firmly and reconnect all wiring harness. Screw the door panel and handle back in place.