May 25, 2009

Replace Window Switches on Volvo S70 & V70

Overview

You are driving along on the freeway, decide to roll down the window to enjoy the one sunny day you get per week (in Seattle). Pretty soon you realize it is not exactly as warm as it seems and you would rather not have the cold wind hitting the left side of your face. (the prettier side I would like to think). So you decide to roll up the window, but now the glass does not want to go up anymore. No amount of frantic pulling on the button will help. The window will not budge. You try pushing it down – it will go. But it refuses to go up – making you even more frustrated! In some cases you might smell something burning, and notice smoke coming out of the power window switch. Not good. So that was *me* a few days back! Call me old fashioned, but driving with the window down on rainy days is not fun folks (and we get a few of those rainy days around here!). In summary, the power window switch needed fixing or replacing in my S70. Let us try fixing (the cheaper option), before replacing. In my version of the story, fixing did not work. And that was not for lack of trying. I ended up buying a new switch bank (from ebay – God bless Ms. Whitman).

Tools

The tools you are going to need a. A screwdriver and some masking or electrical tape. b. A new switch bank if you are looking to replace the old one (from the dealer or some other source such as ebay) c. If you are looking to fix the old one, some electrical contact cleaner (from Radioshack or similar establishment)

Procedure

We start by pulling the old one off. This is done by gently prying on the top end and the bottom end of the switch bank as shown in the picture below. Notice I put some electrical tape on the screwdriver to avoid scratching the trim. The entire switch bank is going to come right out. There is really no reason to take anything else apart. Not knowing this little nugget of information, I went as far as taking off the torx nut, the plastic trim around the handle etc etc. intent on pulling the entire door off. Totally unnecessary!

At some point I got frustrated and decided to just pry on the ends of the switch. I also remembered the dealer quoting me a half-hours labor to replace this part. So I figured it has *got* to be easier than taking the entire door off. You have to disconnect the three cable bundles. You might want to mark which way the connectors go. In my case the grey connector is in the back and the white one in the front- This is probably true for all S70s. If you have already purchased a replacement switch bank, you just plug that in and snap it back into place in the door. Turn on the ignition and make sure all the switches work. It is back to cruising the mean highways with your windows rolled up. The picture below shows the label on a new switch bank I purchased. I was not going to give up that easily. Before I considered purchasing a replacement I took the old one apart. You will see snap points that you have to press with a screwdriver to pull the plastic trim out first. Then the switches comes off to expose the actual contacts. Clean the contacts with some electrical contact solution. This might fix the problem. In which case you just saved yourself about $130 ($170 + Tax, if you were to buy from the dealer).

I actually plugged this back in, but the contacts did not work. I was successful in rolling up the window by pushing on the contact with the screwdriver – the one with the electrical tape on it – do not use a bare screwdriver, you might receive a nasty shock. But you knew that already didntya ? If cleaning does not fix the problem, I am afraid you will have to purchase a replacement. This is apparently a common problem with these switches – the parts department at the dealer sympathized with me! Not enough lifecycle testing done by the engineers up in Sweden, seems like. The offending part is the little orange plastic slider under the copper contacts. It tends to wear off over a period of time due to extended use. As a result the copper contacts fail to make contact properly. Sometimes the contacts will come close enough to spark – hence the burning smell I refer to previously ! This is what it looks like, when pulled apart. Reminded my wife of a scene featuring the “Governator” from the first Terminator movie !

Conclusion

That’s all folks !! By the way, how do you like my new countertop – it photographs well doesn’t it ? :-)

aj98s70 April 6 , 2005

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Tags S70, V70, window switches
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