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Door Contact Switch Cleaning

I live by the sea in the San Francisco Bay area.  One of the best places in the world to live!  One little problem however. The air has minute traces of salt in it. When it rains here this salt can work its way into the car if it gets wet. 

I noticed recently that the red light on the side of one door that comes on when the door is opened was intermittent. Sometimes it came on other times it did not.  The culprit turned out to be minor corrosion on the door open/closed contact switch. The switch unit (there are two switches in one assembly)  is on the front side surface of the door.  It needed to be disassembled and cleaned.

Before one goes about removing these contact switches, do check that the bulb in the door is not in fact blown, Pop out the red cover with a screwdriver and remove the very small bulb (Fig 2). These bulbs are small. I think they can be found in electronic stores. They look like the kind used in radio station dials on receivers.

If the bulb is OK then chances are its a bad door contact switch (Fig 3). With the door open and with your finger press a few times the contact switches. Sometimes the contact may work.  To remove these switches, with a small Philips screwdriver open the two screws attaching the pair of switches to the door (Fig 4).  Then pull the unit out.  Pull it out as much as you can and carefully disconnect the 4 wires from the switch itself (Fig 5).  Be careful that the wires do not slip back into the door otherwise you will have to remove the door panel to get them back out -- a bigger job see Repair of Window Worm Screw  The next task is to disassemble the actual switches  (Fig 6).  To do this one needs to press in a small screwdriver on two sides of each switch where there is a hole (Fig 7).  The switch then comes apart and the spring is visible. (Fig 8). The interior of the switch has copper contacts that often get corroded or dirty.  I use a common battery cleaner to clean the contacts. Any electronics contact cleaning spray will do (Fig 9). Reassemble the switch, check contacts with an ohm meter and reconnect the switch to the door.


Fig 1. Right door showing red light on when door is opened. Fig 2. Red cover removed from light. Bulb is then pulled out carefully.   Fig 3.Door opened/closed contact switches.
Fig 4. Remove two screws to remove the switch assemble. Fig 5. Take care to disconnect attached wires.   Fig 6. Switch assembly removed from door.
Fig 7. Pop open the switch with a screwdriver. Fig 8.   Switch dissembled.   Fig 9.   .Battery cleaner to clean switch contacts.

























This page was last modified on 03/12/2014

This page was last modified on 09/06/2014