There is no shortage of electrical components in your vehicle today. In fact, so much of it seems to work by buttons and switches, it’s only natural that you run into problems now and then. A door lock switch is a small but important component in your automatic door locking and unlocking system. If your vehicle is equipped with power door locks, then it has this part. This is literally the switch that you find on your driver’s side door, and the other doors, which allows you to lock and unlock the door at the press of a button.
To get really technical the door lock switch is an electrical rocker-style of a switch. Simply push it upwards or downwards to use it. Each time you do this a signal is sent to your door lock relay so that the door lock actuator opens up. Now as far as the lifespan goes on this part, it is unfortunately prone to wear and tear. This isn’t a part you use from time to time, it gets used pretty much each time you use the car. Every single time you use it, you're sending an electrical current through the switch, and over time the switch will just cease to work. While this may not happen on a regular basis, there’s a good chance if you have your car for any length of time (a few years or longer), you could run into replacing this part.
Here are some signals that will alert you to the fact it's time to replace the part.
- You press on the door lock switch to open the lock, and it doesn’t work.
- You press on the door lock switch to lock the door, and it doesn’t work.
There is some good news with this replacement job. Firstly, it is very affordable, in that you won’t have to spend much at all to replace the part. Second, it’s a relatively simple fix for the mechanic so it won’t take long at all. And third, and perhaps the most important, is that if this part has stopped working it is inconvenient but it doesn’t pose a safety risk when driving. This means you can fix it at your convenience.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms and suspect your door lock switch is in need of replacement, get a diagnostic or book a door lock switch replacement service with a professional mechanic.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How Long Does a Door Lock Switch Last? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.