22 July 2012

Fixing A Window Switch - Part II

Earlier in the month, I had a problem with my window switch.  It just was not working, and I could not figure out why.  I took my switches to work and had the electronics guy check it.  Diagnosis, the switches were fine. Well, good.  I spent about $70 for the pair, so it should be good.  Now, I just need to figure out what was wrong.

The weird thing is, the switch would work fine when it was just hanging out.  Once I place the switch into the center console, it would stop working.  Pull out, it works...back in, not working.  Argh!  I pulled the wiring through the ash tray hole and found this:

Switches works better when wires are connected
Yeah, somehow the wire came loose.  This is good news.  A simple soldering job and it will be fixed.  When I say "simple", I mean this will take me about two hours.  Your "simple" is probably 5-10 minutes.

Disconnect battery
First thing to do is disconnect the battery.  Not that I am in fear of getting shocked by a live wire...I am more afraid of frying something.

Prepare wires for solder
I have done a little soldering in the past, mostly recently on this car.  Actually, you can see that I have soldered these wires when the older switch fried the original connector (and switch).

Not pretty, but it works
I placed a wood board, I think cherry, to protect the rest of the interior.  The soldering went fairly quickly...for me.

Heat shrink tubing is magic
My favourite part of soldering is using heat shrink tubing to 'seal' it off.

More heat shrink tubing
I love heat shrink tubing so much, I used a bigger piece to wrap all the wires that lead to the connector and switch.

Placing the switch back in its place
Now, I just need to massage the switch back in to its little hole.  The problem with the these newer switches is, they are a little longer than the OEM ones, as well as the previous version I had.  This extra length causes the base to hit the bottom of the center console.  Leaning on the armrest usually causes the switches to pop out or tip forward.  When this happens, it can cause the switch to stick during operation...which results in a fried switch and connector.

Hopefully, this problem is solved for good.

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