Safety is a subjective term. For car owners, it may mean the welfare of their passengers, including themselves, or the safety of their car and whatever's inside it. Lives are more important, of course, but it's not to say your car isn't.Thus, it should be safe to say that keeping your car's doors locked at all times is the simplest precaution against accidents or theft. But sadly, a lot of car owners accidentally leave their car doors unlocked. So what's the door lock switch for besides being mere decoration?Modern cars now have a main lock switch on the driver's door panel to make locking the doors a lot simpler. With just one flick of the switch, you automatically lock all your car's doors. The same goes for unlocking them.A door lock switch usually comes standard with power door locking systems. But they can fail through time, whether due to rusting or natural wear and tear. If the switch for your car's doors breaks down, grab a replacement switch here at Carparts.
• The switch helps keep your car and passengers safe.
• Its OE design and specifications make the switch easy to install.
• The switch protects your car against theft.
Door Lock Switch Buyer’s Guide
- Safety in your vehicle can mean a lot of things. But sometimes, it can be as simple as a working door lock switch.
- A door lock switch is the device that you use to lock and unlock your vehicle’s door.
- By providing the electrical power to the door lock solenoid, you can lock and unlock your car door through the use of your door lock switch.
- A door lock switch is supposed to last the life of your vehicle, but it can fail due to regular use.
- When the door lock switch goes bad, you’ll find it difficult to lock and unlock your door.
- Make sure to purchase a door lock switch replacement that is durable and can directly replace your stock part.
- An aftermarket power door lock switch usually costs $10 up to $290.
People want a lot of things from their cars. They want it to be fast, comfortable, and easy to handle. But most of all, they want it to be safe. Now, safety in vehicles comes in different forms. It can refer to good brakes, so you can slow down or stop whenever you want to. Or it can mean your headlights, which allow you to see the road when there is low visibility. Sometimes, however, safety could simply mean a fully functioning door lock switch.
What is a door lock switch?
A door lock switch is the device that you use to lock and unlock your car doors from inside the vehicle’s cabin. It is usually found in the door pull or armrest area. You can also find a main door lock switch in the driver’s door panel that allows the driver to lock or unlock all the doors with just a flick of the switch. Door lock switches are a standard for modern vehicles that come with power door locking systems.
How does a door lock switch work?
The door lock switch is an electrical rocker switch that rocks back and forth whenever you lock and unlock your car door. Once the switch is flicked towards one direction, it allows the electricity to get to the door lock solenoid so it can activate the door lock mechanism. To lock the door, two terminals of the solenoid receive electricity from the door lock switch. To unlock it, the polarity of the voltage is reversed by the switch before it is delivered to the solenoid.
How long does a power door lock switch last?
Parts like the door lock switch don’t really have a specific replacement interval. It also doesn’t have to be regularly checked to see if it is still in good working condition. When the door lock switch is starting to show signs of failure, that’s how you’ll know that it needs to be replaced.
Regular use can cause the door lock switch to fail. It can also act up if electrical components like the wiring are in bad shape. The only solution to this is to change your faulty door lock switch with a brand-new part.
Symptoms of a bad door lock switch
Once the car door lock switch goes bad, it can exhibit a few symptoms. Pay attention to the following signs to know when it’s time to replace this part.
Car door won’t lock
The most common sign that your door lock switch is not working is when it fails to lock the door when you press it. The switch might not be working anymore so it fails to provide the electrical power needed to activate the door lock mechanism. A car door that can’t be locked is a big problem and can put you and your passengers at risk especially when you are on the road. You might accidentally open your car door when the vehicle is running. To solve this problem, have someone inspect your door lock switch and replace it when it’s faulty. Make sure to have the other components like the door lock actuator or wirings checked, too, to ensure that they are not the ones causing the problem.
Erratic door lock
If your vehicle’s door lock sometimes works and there are times that it doesn’t engage at all, the culprit could be a faulty door lock switch. The door lock solenoid in the door panel should receive the voltage it needs to lock and unlock the door. But that won’t happen if the door lock switch is damaged. The electrical current won’t flow to the door lock solenoid. To fix this, you need to replace the faulty component with a functioning door lock switch.
Visible damage to the door lock switch
How many times do you get in and out of your car? If you know the answer, that’s also the number of times you use your door lock switch to lock and unlock the car door. This high-frequency usage can speed up the wear and tear of the door lock switch and may even cause visible damage. If you already see that the switch has broken or damaged parts, it’s probably time to replace it. Operating a damaged door lock switch is not only troublesome. It won’t also look good inside your vehicle’s interior.
What to look for in your door lock switch replacement?
Although the door lock switch is a small part, it plays a crucial role in your safety. You need to be able to lock and unlock your door at all times without any problem. If you want to guarantee that, make sure to get a replacement door lock switch that is built to last. Purchase one that is made from durable materials so it can withstand the wear and tear that comes with high-frequency use.
Your replacement door lock switch should also be able to fit into your vehicle’s door lock assembly without a hitch. It should have the same specifications as your factory-installed switch to ensure that the installation process will be a breeze. This saves you from the hassle of returning the part and buying another one if the switch that you first bought doesn’t fit.
How much is an aftermarket power door lock switch?
The price range of an aftermarket power door lock switch is usually from $10 up to $290. You can purchase one as a single part or in sets of two, which is ideal to get if you are replacing multiple faulty door lock switches. If you want to ensure that you are protected from buying a defective part, look for a door lock switch that comes with a warranty.
Finding the right fit
CarParts.com makes it fast and hassle-free to look for the parts and accessories you need. If you are looking for a specific component, make sure that it fits the year, make, and model of your car. With the help of our filter bar, you can narrow down the search results to parts that are compatible with your ride.
Choosing the Best Door Lock Switch
Access, safety, and security inside your automobile are made easy by your automobile doors. But they are not lone parts; they are equipped with working components that need maintenance all the time. One of these is the door lock switch- the ?actuator' of all vehicle door functions. When it fails, all those functions are compromised so restore them by installing a direct-fit replacement.
Knowing your door lock switch and its appropriate replacement
Manual. Automobiles with manual door locks have switches with indicators of pull or push types. The good thing about this type is that you have full control of your doors, and you can always convert it to a power-lock type.
Power lock. Automotive doors with power lock switches are the types that can be locked and unlocked with a remote control. This type is still categorized into two:
- Power lock door with external switch. This switch can be opened manually or with a remote, making it the better choice if you are planning to convert your manual switch.
- Vacuum system. Whenever a door lock switch is absent from your door or arm rest, what you have is a vacuum-lock system. The problem with this type is that it can't be used again when it fails, until you get it fully restored, making a less effective choice if upgrading your manual switch.
Identifying switch types by manufacturer
Type A. Mostly American brands like GM and Chrysler. The door lock wires of this switch are located at the driver's kick panel. This can be activated using the chassis ground, so it's easy to use but not so safe from thieves. You can convert it with the use of direct-fit replacements in the market.
Type B. Mostly import vehicles and some new Ford models. The wires of the switch are at the driver's kick panel and can be energized with the use of +12v electrical power. Its configuration is simple but requires power from your battery to use. It is more secure from auto thieves and is a better choice of switch type.
Type C. All-American makes. Switch wires are at the kick panel of the driver, and the switch is activated by the side master switch of the vehicle. It is more secure from auto theft and is the best type of car door switch.
What to consider:
The fit to ensure compatibility with your make and model.
The electrical requirement to keep your vehicle from overload concerns.
DIY Installation of a Door Lock Switch
You don't need to hire a professional mechanic to get a new door lock switch in place of your irregular part. The task is easy and can be done with some hand tools. And to ensure you have everything you need for this DIY task, get a good aftermarket part that comes complete with the necessary installation accessories and manual. And for your reference, here is a step-by-step guide:
What you'll need:
- Screw driver
- Cleaning agent and rug or old clothes
- Turn your engine off.
- Disconnect your negative battery cable from its terminal.
- Park your automobile on a level surface.
Always wear safety goggles and gloves whenever you work on your electrical parts.
Step 1: Locate the door lock switch of your vehicle. Generally, it is located either at the driver's kick panel or under the dash.
Step 1: Disconnect the switch from its harness. The connector is plugged directly at the back of the switch.
Step 2: Remove the old switch.
Step 3: Clean the area and check the wires for electrical supply with a multi-meter. Compare your readings to the data of your owner's manual.
Step 4: Compare the new switch with your new one.
Step 5:Connect it to the harness. Make sure it sits perfectly in its place.
Step 6: Put everything you remove or disconnect back in place, including the cable of your battery.
Step 7: Check if you have installed your new door lock switch right by locking and unlocking your doors. It should respond immediately when you insert the car key, to your push or pull actions (if you have a manual lock switch), or the remote (for power door lock switch). If it does, you have just restored your doors' ease of access, security, and safety.