INOP-INTERMITTENT WINDOW SWITCHES
Problems with your sunroof or window switches?
All of my switches are appx 4yrs old and see regular use here in Vegas.(except for the rear wiper) Several months ago it got harder and harder to put the windows up on the driver side. I eventually had to push down hard and at a "certain" angle to get it to close. VERY FRUSTRATING. A week or two after the first symtoms appeared, the same thing started to happen with the passenger side. Eventually it got to the point where it was next to impossible to get either one working.
Before looking into new swicthes, i took an old one i had laying around apart. Practicing on that one with success, i moved to my car.
Below is what i have found.
With a small narrow flat blade screw driver, remove the switch from the console. By pusing in the back you can push the spring steel clip fwd(near my thumb above) and cause the switch to be released from the console. You will probably have to remove the side panels on either side and UNPLUG the assoc. switch's cable to get enough workable slack
. With the same small screw driver gently pry the "rocking" switch cover off the switch itself. BE CARFUL old switches may be delicate.
....next, pull the two copper plates out.
..use the screwdriver to gently pry open the switch. This is a bit of a chore and you may chew up the plastic a bit...No big deal. Try not to break the tabs
..this is whats inside! The plastic looks more mutalated than it really is. It went back together just fine.
.....side profile of the switch, pressed in the closed /working postition by my fingers..
The drawings below are from my CAD program to hopefully better show whats going on
the basic switch...
GOOD SWITCH..AS NEW, OPEN
With time the contacts errode(RED area) and corrode, both which cause problems.(ABOVE)
...the problem crops up when you push the switch down and the contacts no longer touch...or...if they do, they are too dirty. The problem also lies in the edge of the plastic casing shown in RED (above). After a period of time the bottom contact becomes pitted...basically one deep..big..concave surface as shown above. Also, at some pont because of the interference from the plastic edge of the casing, the contacts no longer meet. This usually happens when it starts to rain....or...you need your window at the drive through!!! : )
...The solution is twofold.
1) use some sandpaper to clean off the contacts.
2)and...if you have to, take an exacto kife and shave off part of the switch casing near the contact. This will allow them to touch and overcome the deep pit that was created.. This is what im doing above. Looking at a similar area near my exacto on the other end of the switch you can see a dark grey/black circle, this is a contact that has corroded and worn away (like i have depicted in the drawings).
...this shows the edge of the switch's plastic casing in blue . The red area at the top is an exageration of where the material needs to be sliced off to allow the switch to fully close, make contact and thus allow your window/sunroof to work.
Once all done put it back together....be sure it works first. OBVIOUSLY!!