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Door Jamb Switch

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4 Steps to Install a Door Jamb Switch

Imagine after a night of fun, you find yourself walking to the dark parking space behind your favorite watering hole. You reach your car, but the cabin lights did not turn on when you opened you car door. What do you do? Check the condition of your door jamb switch. It's the switch that automatically turns the light on when you open your vehicle's door. If it's maladjusted, a minor tweaking could turn on the light. On the other hand, if it has gone bad, then you need to replace your door jamb switch. It's a bit challenging, but if you don't want to stay in the dark, then have them replaced; or better yet, do it yourself. It only takes less than an hour.

Required skill level: Intermediate

Needed tools and materials

  • Phillips-head screwdriver

  • Torx screwdriver

  • Flat-head screwdriver

  • Wrench set

  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Preparing for the task

    To access your door jamb switch's location you must first remove the door panel of the malfunctioning door. Use the Phillips screwdriver to unscrew the door panels off.

    Locate the door jamb switch

    Once the door panels are off, zoom in on to the door jamb switch. In some vehicles, it can be a small plastic panel that fits into the upholstered panel; in others, it is shaped like a tube with wires attached to it. It is normally behind the door latch assembly.

    Disconnect the wiring harness

    Once you've located the door jamb switch, check out the back part and use needle-nose pliers to pull out the wirings that connects the switch to the door panel.

    Replace the switch

    After removing the old door jamb switch with a Phillips screwdriver, attach the new one to the wiring connectors. Then push the door panel back on the door and tighten the screws to secure it in place.

    Finish up

    When you have installed the door jamb switch, put everything back into place. Then test the door again by closing the door and opening it again. Verify if the lights come on this time.

    Door Jamb Switch Articles

    • Painless Performance Products vs. MotorCraft: Switching to the Better Door Jamb Switch

      Replacing your vehicle's original parts and accessories can be a bit daunting with all the options in the market. Type "door jamb switch" on the Google search engine and you'll pull up hundreds of results. To help you choose the best one, we have narrowed down the search to the two most popular brands. Check out how they fared against each other based on the following categories.


      One of the first things people look at when getting a replacement door jamb switch is the warranty. MotorCraft door jamb switch offers a specific 12 month or 12,000 mile limited warranty. In the same way, Painless also offers a limited warranty for 1 year.



      Although good quality door jamb switches are not exactly cheap, they can't be considered as overly expensive either. In fact, MotorCraft door jamb switches, which are sold individually, have price ranges between $9 and $14. On the other hand, we have the Painless door jamb switch, which sells as a set of two and comes complete with 10 male butt connectors, instructions and mounting hardware. It also has heavy-duty solid brass contracts and accepts 10 to 16 wire gauges. The entire set is about $50.50. The only catch is that, you usually need just the door jamb switch itself so the rest of the components in Painless switch set would be useless.


      Visual appeal

      It's easy to keep up appearances on your vehicles' exterior. Still, when it comes to you vehicle's insides, it's disappointing how everything just is just all over the place. In this case, MotorCraft products' sleek designs are much appreciated. Not to be outdone, Painless Universal door jamb switch set may have several components, but it prides itself with its products' designs. They could be mounted almost anywhere yet puts the wires neatly out of sight.



      Another thing a DIYer considers is the sturdiness of a product. MotorCraft is Ford's own auto parts division. Being connected to Ford itself, the MotorCraft provides sturdy replacement and OEM parts. In fact, its products are designed to meet and even surpass the original parts' durability and reliability. In addition, MotorCraft door jamb switches are guaranteed abrasive and corrosive free. Unfortunately, Painless, though an OEM manufacturer as well, cannot guarantee the same.



      Both brands offer almost the same warranty, and acknowledge DIYers' primary concerns. However, in the end, MotorCraft beats out Painless when it comes to durability and bang for your buck. On the other hand, if you are ever unlucky enough to manage to destroy your entire door jamb switch assembly; consider looking into Painless brand. Not only do they have quality products, but they also provide amazing technical and customer support.