How to Replace a Car Door Switch

What You'll Need
Flat screwdriver
New switch mechanism

A door switch can be one of the greatest things in your car when they work. Opening windows, rearranging your side mirror and locking the doors with a simple touch of a button are all conveniences that people have gotten use to and have enjoyed for many years. When these things do not work anymore you want to get them fixed as quickly as possible so you can continue to enjoy their use. Replacing a door switch is not something that you are going to need to run to the repair shop for. A few basic tools and time are all you need to replace your door switch.

Step 1 - Purchase Correct Door Switch

When you go to the auto parts store for your new door switch, make sure that you are actually buying the right one. When you order the switch they will ask you questions about your car like make, model and trim style. These will all determine the actual switch that you are going to need. Once you have the switch and take it home, compare it to the one that is already in the vehicle. If it is the same, then continue to replace it.

Step 2 - Remove Trim 

Some cars will have a piece of trim that holds the switch in place. This can be removed with a small screw or by prying it up with a flat head screwdriver. If you are prying it up, be careful that you do not break the trim pieces.

Step 3 - Pop Out Switch

Again, you will either have some screws that are holding in the door switch or it will simply pop out. The screws are usually located in the middle of the switch assembly or on the metal bezel. Remove the switch from the handrest using the appropriate method.

Step 4 - Remove Door Panel

For most door switch replacements you will not have to remove the door panel. However, there are some cars that have the wire harness located under the panel. Fortunately, you can remove the panel without any problems as it is held in place by simple pop rivets. Go around the edge of the door and pry out the rivets one at a time.

Step 5 - Disconnect Wire Harness

As you lift the switch out from the bezel, and the handrest on the door, you will notice the wire clip that connects it to the power source. You may have to reach into the door itself to disconnect this if your switch is built in such a way as the wire harness is attached to the switch. 

Step 6 - Replace Switch

Place the new door switch into position and connect the wiring together. 

Step 7 - Reassemble the Door

Once the new switch is connected to the power source you can then replace the door panel. Go around the entire panel and pop in the rivets one at a time. Once the door is secured back into position you can pop the switch bezel back into place. Replace the trim, if needed, and then try out your new door switch to ensure that it is working properly.