With just a flick of a switch, you can change your car's radio station, open the windows, turn on the signal lights, and control the temperature inside the passenger cabin. With the help of different types of automotive switches, driving your car becomes more comfortable and convenient. Unfortunately, these switches are some of the most ignored parts on your vehicle. After all, you won't really notice them until they stop functioning. And once they start to show signs of wear and tear, simple, everyday tasks suddenly become a headache. Just imagine if a power window switch gets stuck with the window half-way down. Since you won't be able to close the window, your car and belongings inside become thief magnets. So before things take a turn for the worse, make sure to replace a busted switch ASAP with a high-quality alternative. If you're not sure as to which replacement product to buy, here are some tips:
1. Match the right type of switch with the right application.
Because your car uses at least five types of switches, you'll most likely encounter a variety of options when shopping for a replacement. Some of the most common types are toggle and push buttons, rocker switches, key switches, and engine switches. Toggle, push, and rocker types are universal and can be used on various applications (depending on your car make) such as wipers, windows, signaling devices, brake lights, and fog lamps. As for key switches, they're commonly used to replace busted ignition and starter switches. Engine buttons, as the name suggests, are meant to replace switches found on motors and oil pressure assemblies. Bring the old part with you when shopping so you could easily compare if a certain product is an exact replacement.
2. Invest in a switch with nifty features.
These extra features that are worth every buck:
Illumination . Switches that light up when turned on are good replacements if you want a visual indication that you've switched an automotive application on.
On-and-off label . Aside from illumination, another nifty feature is an on-and-off label. Just like an illuminating button, this type provides you with a visual indication of whether the button is on or off.
Modules or panels . If you want easy-to-install switches and your car can accommodate a button panel, opt for replacements that come with a panel or module. Because the switches are fully integrated into the panel, installing multiple switches for various applications becomes hassle free. Plus, many panels are designed to be installed without having to trim or drill holes.
3. Take note of the original switch's operating temperature.
Depending on its purpose, a switch will have a certain operating temperature. So if you're buying a replacement, choose an alternative that's designed to handle the same operating temperature range as the original one. Installing the wrong part will result in immediate failure or worse, damage to nearby components.
4. Opt for a reliable brand.
Because switches are constantly exposed to heat, electricity, and force, you need a replacement that's from a reputable manufacturer. Switches are cheap to replace, but if you install a flimsy or poorly constructed alternative, you'll have to shell out money for a new one more often than necessary.