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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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48 Responses to Replace Window Switches on Volvo S70 & V70

  1. Richard says:

    I paid a well-recommemnded mechanic $40 to tell me why my 1995 850 GLT’s front passenger window would go down but not back up. After about 3 hours, he side I needed a new motor — over $300 from Volvo. Turned out the problem was in the contact in the console switch. I pulled the switch out, sanded the contacts, put a drop of solder on each one, and it now works fine. Live and learn…

  2. martin says:

    my v registerd volvo v70 electric windows wont work
    this vehicle does not have sun roof checked fuses switches ect

  3. Mike says:

    The fix may be even easier.

    I fixed a problem with the right front window’s going up but not down from its own switch, although it worked fine from the master switch, by spraying contact cleaner (using the skinny straw that came with the cleaner) into the gap below the switch as I held it up as if raising the window. I did not have to remove the switch from the door.

    I still have a problem with a rear window not operating from the master switch. I will probably ignore it, but I may try taking the master switch apart if I can figure out where the “snap points” are. They were not obvious when I took the master switch out of the door.

  4. Hy Kim says:

    My S70 had problem in back window switch. It didn’t go up. After reading the article, I cleaned the contact points. There were 4 points and 2 were dirty. Now it works well. Thanks guys.

  5. 98V70 says:

    Thanks for the tips above, it really helped.

    The problem I had was that the driver side window did not go up anymore.
    I cleaned and conditioned the contacts with a spray set sold at Radio Shack and hooked it back up, as expected it fixed the driver side window but now the passenger rear door window did not go up anymore.
    Took it apart again and now sanded all contacts with 320 grid sandpaper by lifting the spring loaded side and sliding the sandpaper under it. I only sanded the contact of the spring loaded side. There was a clearly visible residue that came off, which I guess is some oxidation. It is hard to view the contacts.
    Mounted it once more and all is fine!

    Thanks again, the help from all of you made it a quick easy fix. Now I have to figure out what to do this weekend :)

  6. Gunnr98 says:

    Great advice!

    The windows and sunroof on my 98 V70 stopped working altogether, so I ordered my factory new replacement switch at switchdoctor.net for $90, and following this advice did the swap in 7 minutes with perfect results with a flat head screwdriver. My area dealer was talking about replacing the motors, etc which probably would have run me in the $300 range after all was said and done.

    Switchdoctor service was awesome, the Swedish made replacement switch arrived in 3 days by UPS ground, and they send out tracking info as the shipment is processed. Highly recomended.

  7. Clay says:

    Thanks for the tips! My switch was rolling the rear passenger window down only and didn’t work at all for the rear driver’s side. A good cleaning fixed everything.

    The most trouble I had was actually prying the switch out of the door. This tutorial says to pry at the top and bottom ends of the switch bank, but I had better luck along the lengthwise sides. There is more of a gap to work with and that’s where the actual tabs that hold the switch in the door are located. You can see the silver tabs I’m talking about in the 4th photo of this tutorial.

    Once I had the switch out, it was pretty easy to pry at the tabs to separate the switch into the three pieces shown above.

    I could easily see all the corrosion on the contact of the rear driver’s side. I used an x-acto blade to score it off and then I doused everything with contact cleaner and blew everything out with canned air. The thing works like a charm now.

  8. Dinos Gonatas says:

    I tried cleaning the contacts on my extremely annoying window switch… and it worked! So far no probs though I’m keeping an eye on it.
    One thing to watch out for, there’s a flimsy ribbon cable in the switch module connector – the ribbon itself pulls out when you release the cable holder mechanism, not the cable holder itself (which is what I was expecting).

    Much better than spending $400!

  9. Michael Pender says:

    Thanks for the tips guys – saved me a couple of hundred bucks!

  10. Julio Weissenberg says:

    Thanks for the tips. I all ready replace the switch in 5 min. and save $$$ for a mecanic.

  11. TUSWEET says:

    Before you buy a new switch take the old one apart as per this site,use a very small screwdriver and scrape the old dirty post were the metal makes contact.This works more often not

  12. JK says:

    Excellent!!! My family and I were halfway to my family’s place on Christmas day (in Michigan, I might add), when I rolled the passenger rear window down partway. I couldn’t get it to roll up, but it would go down just fine. After 15 minutes of messing with it (pulling on glass, etc) on the side of the road, we continued our remaining 50 miles to Ann Arbor. Upon arrival, we tried some more, and eventually put a garbage bag over the window to keep the snow and rain out. I got on my brother’s computer, and found this. Much to my wife’s dismay, I took the panel out of the door and cleaned it. Popped it back in, and voila! If a mechanical idiot such as myself can handle this, anyone can. Thanks a lot. My 4 year old daughter thanks you even more. It would have been a cold, noisy ride back to Kalamazoo otherwise.

  13. hatemy850 says:

    I guess I spilled one too many cups of coffee on the console. My back window would not go up, after being rolled down.

    For others experiencing windows that go up, but not down, or vice versa, I found a quick solution. Without even removing the switch, I sprayed WD40 around the button in hopes that it would work its way down to the contacts. After a couple of shots of the stuff and working the switch back and forth, the window started going up and down again, a good quality in a window.

    I then tried the same with the power mirrors which would go some directions, but not all. That worked as well.

    No tools or disassembly required, just WD40 and a paper towel. A good thing to try first.

  14. Carlos Manta says:

    Amazing article. Congratulations, you really saved me a lot of headaches. As with most people who commented, the driver window on my V70 went down, but refused to go up. Every now and then it would go up, like when your TV remote batteries are going out.
    This usually leads to one franticly pressing all the buttons and taping the remote on your hand. That was close to happen to the buttons as well… The problem is of course that driving on the highway when it is raining with the window open is totally no fun.
    So I took it to my mechanic who told me probably it was the motor for lifting the window and it would have to be replaced. Fortunately he didn’t, he told me he cleaned the contacts on the buttons, and it started to work again, so the problem should be with the buttons.
    Though he handed the car to me with the window going up and down, when I got home I was wet and cold again after driving with the window down.
    It was then that I found this website, and your instructions. I decided to risk it and try to take the buttons out. It was simpler than I expected, but I also went for the four spots where the metal clamps there, and pried the screw driver in there.
    I also disassembled the top buttons and was able to see the plastic sliders. I applied WD40 and cleaned them, but when I turned the key to I or II I saw the sparks on the orange slider, and it immediately started to be covered with a black layer again.
    Cleaning did not do the trick for me, so I ordered a replacement unit. I took the unit out and drove the car without it. Mind you that none of the windows works with the master unit out, nor do the fuel cap buttons. I was just afraid that those sparks could harm the battery or blow a relay somewhere in the car, or the window motor.
    Inspecting the master buttons unit, I realizes that on that orange slider there were huge grooves where the metal slides. This means that probable the switch is not able to undo the connection properly, and then the sparks appear, followed by the burnt insulating layer. This is what I guess leads to the switch buttons not working any more.
    I just installed the new master switch unit, and it works great. It costed me about 100€ but gave me some peace of mind. I am travelling this weekend and all the toll booths were going to be serious challenges.
    So if I don’t write again next week that means I am another Volvo V70 user you have rescued. (My car is about 215.000 km by the way).

  15. paul says:

    had a problem with my drivers windows it stopped operating came across your site.What a godsend tried the WD40 fix and it worked a treat thanks a million

  16. ChrisTheAncient says:

    The pictures of how to dismantle the switch assemblies have saved me a lot of money!

    I have just bought a ’99 model and all the switch assemblies were coated in a thick brown gunge (seemed to be a mixture of nicotine, soda, various forms of cockpit shine and various other horrible things that defied all cleaning.

    I dismantled the switch plates down to component parts, soaked them (not the electronic parts!!!) in a strong warm solution of biological laundry liquid for an hour and all the gunge just scraped off with a thumbnail.

    Took the opportunity to clean up the contacts as described and I now have a clean and functional pair of switch assemblies.

    Thanks

  17. Adam says:

    Tip when cleaning up switches: it’s necessary to disassemble the switch to clean up the contacts, and each switch has 5 or 6 points at which the “body” of the switch catches on the “chassis” of the switch. Usually, during disassembly, once you’ve freed one catch, it’ll re-catch when you’re trying to free the next. Do avoid this, cut 3 toothpicks in half; once you free up a catch, shove a toothpick half in between to keep it from re-catching, then move to the next, and do the same. Since they’re somewhat soft, not only do they tend to stay put, but they minimize damage to the switch.

  18. Hollysmom says:

    My problem is that neither switch will work to raise the right rear window. Both the door and driver’s door switches will not work. I accidently backed into something with the door open and bent it forward – sprung the door. We accidently closed the door with the window down and it will not go back up.

    Suggestions?

    SSM

  19. Brett says:

    I tried these tips but they didn’t work. I disconnected the jumper at the motor and measured the resistance between the two wires at the motor side – I found ‘infinite’ resistance. I also applied +- 12V across the two leads on the motor side and the motor doesn’t activate. Seems like it must be a bad motor. Is it possible to replace this? Some indications on the web that the motor is integral with the regulator which is riveted in place.

    Any help would be most appreciated.

  20. Marc Clodfelter says:

    Wow! This worked like a charm. While driving home, I put the window down and it wouldn’t go up. Googled the problem, found this site, and had the issue resolved in 15 minutes. Thanks!

  21. Lauren says:

    Similar to everyone else – driver’s side window went down and will not go back up. Managed to partially disassemble the window switch (no longer in door and top cover is off) but am having trouble disconnecting the cables and taking apart the last two pieces. I’ve managed other basic repairs over the years and have to admit I feel like an idiot for having trouble with this given how easy everyone says it is. Any tips?

  22. Jeff says:

    I have had the same problem with my ’98 S70, but all four window switches on my panel don’t work, and neither does my power mirror for the driver’s door and the individual door window switches all are failing as well. I did smell a slight burning odor from the driver door and saw a hint of smoke once. Not sure if it is related but I cannot open all four doors with remote or key anymore as well (all on that main control console). Fuses were checked and changed but to no avail….any hints?

  23. Tony says:

    Hi all. I have had quite a bit of trouble with my driver’s door window motor. The black plastic part broke in two about a year ago and I aw able to epoxy it back together and that held until now. Then recently my lock actuator went. I was lucky enough to find an entire door on Craig’s List for $50. I am now in the process of trying to figure out how to change the window motor. It appears I will have to change the entire window regulator. Does anyone know if this is true? Also, how the heck do I get the window off the track if I need to? Any help would be greatly appreciated as I have an inspection/registration renewal in 20 days.

  24. Lee says:

    I had the switch problem wiht the driver side front door window while I am on my way for a long journey. I stopped in a motel and borrow the tools and disasseble dthe dorr. FIenly using reverse wiring to raise the window up so that I can get back on road.
    After that, I ordered a new switch on line with $125. The siwtch worked for a week then the switch for dirver side back window stopped working. I finally sand the old (original) siwth metal contact parts, it back to work.
    Now the driver side back window stop raising up. After 2 hours of trying everying, I drove 500 miles with beer box paper covered my half window to finish the jurney. I sanded all switch contact parts for the switchs of front door box and back door box. Nothing works. Do not know what is the next step.

  25. Bill says:

    The 2001 Volvo V70 has a screw inside the door panel that must be loosened to remove the switch panel. If the panel does not lift easily with gental prying it most likely is secured inside the panel and you must remove the panel and loosen this screw.

  26. bryan cameron says:

    i also have a volvo s70 and had the same problem with drivers electric window would go down but not back up,got the advice that it could be the electrics or something more exspensive.
    so after reading this web page i dismantled the switch cleaned all the elements which were covered in black matter, then i checked the individual switches and found that the drivers switch was faulty as the small clips that hold the switch in position the bottom half was missing so when you pressed down the elements connects. so when you pull up the element does not release so for a quick fix i took out passengers switch and transferred to drivers side total success no more wind in my face
    good site so hope my find may help someone else save big money.
    your sincerely
    bryan

  27. Jeff Williams says:

    Today, I was visiting in Vermont and, during an enthusiastic snowstorm, the right front window on my 2002 V70 went down and stayed there. After pulling the door apart looking for the problem (no luck) and then trying to find how to raise the window (no luck), we found this article. We couldn’t get the contacts cleaned so we phoned the local Volvo dealer and they scheduled us in within two hours. They replaced the switch, did a PDM reload (supposedly a software upgrade so that the switch would be recognized), and spent an hour and a half labor. The final bill: $621.73.

    Did I mention that the snowstorm was really bad ?

  28. John says:

    Thank you! Sites like this are so helpful !!! I am on my fourth Volvo but never had problems with window switches until now with a 2001 XC70……I hope to clean things up and try the switch again.

  29. Jeff Star says:

    V70 Wagon 2000. Rear deck lid lock does not work when closed but worts fine when open.. Is there a short or grounding problem.

  30. dave glover says:

    v70 98 frount windows ok back drivcer side gose up/down from driver switch but only down back switch passengers side only gose down from back nothink from frount

  31. hotwheels says:

    Just simply removing the switches, prising them apart and blowing the hair and dust out FIXED my windows.

    Both back windows had stopped going up or down.. I thought it was going to be costly but managed it all with a pocket knife.

  32. DaveK says:

    I can’t get the right rear switch to come out. Embarassing since everyone says it’s so easy. Anything different with the rear bezels? I have tried removing the screw inside the bezel. The front comes loose but not the back. I’m confused.

  33. Nathan D says:

    I have a 01 v70 TM5… just started getting below freezing temps here (Maine. The other day as i got in the car… all windows started to go up/down, locks on/off, and mirrors moving…before i had a chance to turn the car on. it was like it was Armageddon.. luckily the ground wasn’t shaking too. Called a volvo dealer, they said they had no idea.. i pressed harder.. they spoke to a volvo master tech.. he said the only thing that the locks, windows and mirrors have in common was the drivers window switch. Dealer quoted $671 including parts and labor. Told me the door panel had to be removed.. and they couldnt use used parts, because it would need a software download etc.

    I had them look up the exact model switch in my car per my vin. With this, i set off to ebay. Found a match for $65. Put it on my car only to see it not recognized by my car.. no power, no lights turning on. Given that the issue seems to directly correspond to the cold weather i assumed i must have gotten moisture into the switch months ago. I disassembled my old unit, dried it out by the fireplace for hours.. only for it to happen all over again in the morning. I ended up Frankenstein-ing my old part to my new. If you use the lower half of your old module the car will still recognize it. The top half as the article suggests then can be added to the old lower half to incorporate a new set of buttons and their mini-circuit board… so far so good..

    Cheers

  34. John Sellens says:

    Thanks for posting your experience and pictures – cleaned up my 1998 V70′s switches, and all is happy again, just in time for winter. Thanks!

  35. Princess says:

    Borrowed my friend’s ’99 S70. Arrived home only to discover the front passenger side window was stuck. (Same window had been working fine all week!). We purchased the cleaner but it was still smoking. So he realized something else was wrong. It seemed like one of the copper contacts was stuck, so my husband (who is extremely handy!) was able to correct it with the edge of a library card :-). All is well! Thanks!

  36. kevin says:

    I would not suggest wd-40 for electrical contacts. I had success with CAIG DeOxit spray. this does not leave alot of residue and is specifically formulated for electrical contacts. My window makes a mechanical grinding noise at the half way point, So I will still need the dealer to go inside and deal with that. but at least the contact cleaner got the window functioning again without any dissasembly.
    Kevin
    Nov 25 2011

  37. Steven says:

    I have a 1999 volvo s70, and my drivers side window will not roll up, all of the other switches work. I tried cleaning the contacts and that did not work. But before I buy a new switch bank, how do I know if it is the switch or the window motor? I do not want to buy new switches and then find out that it is the window motor that is broken.

  38. James says:

    Same story as many of you: one day my wife’s front passenger window suddenly decided on its own to go down and not come back up again. I started frantically searching online for suggestions on what the problem might be…found this forum. Took the car to dealership to have the problem officially diagnosed – as expected: they said it was the power switch module in the driver side door arm rest – it was making a clicking sound after the car had been turned off, and ended up sucking all the juice out of a brand new battery. The dealership wants between $300 and $400 to install a new switch. I bouth one on Ebay for 70 bucks…it arrived today. I plugged it in, expecting a miracle. Nothing. The lights indicating the switch is getting power are not operating (on the original module, all the switches have little lights to make them easier to see and use…). None of the switches work..and the front door will not open with the keyless entry, yet all the other doors and latches do. Anyone have any suggestions? Did I just get a bum part on Ebay, or is there some computer re-setting that needs to happen before this replacement part will work?

  39. juny20 says:

    Thanks for the info. I took the switch out per instructions and cleaned the electrical connections with CRC Mass Air Flow sensor cleaner which is safe on plastics and electronics. Worked perfect. I saw how the connections changed from black full of dust and dirt to shiny clean copper color. Saved a bundled!

  40. Fred Flintstone says:

    This worked for me. Used CAIG De-Oxit and pipe cleaners to clean out the very dirty switch on my 1998 V70. Toughest part was re-assembling the switch. The little pins connected to the finger buttons must be lined up correctly with the plastic spacers under the switch.

  41. KAREN JONES says:

    I WOULD JUST LIKE TO SAY THANK YOU TO MATTHEWS VOLVO SITE I REPLACED MY OWN WINDOW SWITCHES. AND TO THINK VOLVO OF PRINCETON WAS ABOUT TO CHARGE ME 397.00 TO AS THEY PUT IT REPLACE ONE MASTER SWITCH AND PROGRAM IT (WHAT PROGRAM). IT IS NOT NICE TO MISLEAD PEOPLE AND TAKE THERE MONEY. AND THANKS TO EBAY FOR BEING SUCH A GREAT SITE TO.

  42. KAREN JONES says:

    TO JAMES FROM 104 DAYS AGO POST. SOUNDS LIKE YOU BOUT A BAD PART OFF EBAY IT TOOK ME 3 DAYS TO LOOK ON EBAY AND READ ALL THE POST FOR SWITCHES FOR SALE THE BEST IDEA IS TO BUY A NEW ONE FROM EBAY’S SITE THERE ARE PART CENTERS THAT SALE THERE PARTS ON EBAY HERE’S ONE I FOUND TO BE VERY HELPFUL TASCAPARTS.COM MY MASTER SWITCH DID COST 128.00 BUT IT WAS WORTH IT. AND I INSTALLED IT MYSELF. GOOD LUCK

  43. Godfreyofsoup says:

    It’s the little things that are most frustrating – like a stripped head on a Hubble telescope – just the tip about how to get the switchbank out was worth a lot. My 704 had the same problem, but I found two wires running to the switchbank that had somehow gotten worn patches that had shorted and caused the fuse to blow. I tapedhem up and putting in a new fuse and so far it’s a fix. What can eat into wires I don;t know, buit if it happens again I’ll be ready. Cost? a fuse and a bit of tape. Thanks!

  44. Jeremy says:

    Fixed! Great post!

  45. Mark says:

    2002 V70 that has the power mirror control on the same switch. Thanks to the above for info on how to get the switch out. The switch with mirror control is a totally different animal on the inside than the pictures above. I did try to spray oodles of contact spray into it before pulling it out, hoping for a quick fix. I was lucky the spray didn’t destroy it. This switch has circuit boards connected with a ribbon cable. Then there is a little rubber mat with dots that press on the circuit board more like a calculator or kid’s toy. Took it all apart, gently cleaned contact areas on circuit board and the little dots that push on these contacts with alcohol. It’s working right now! If you need more detail, I am happy to help. Anything to keep money in your pocket instead of the dealer!

  46. john maggitti says:

    Thank you. Thank you very much. Took less than an hour being careful. Used a non-lubricating contact clearner along with a very fine and thin emery paper. Your picture were most helpful.

    ’99 XCD with more than a light-second on the odometer!

  47. Alex '99 S70 says:

    Thanks for pictures, descriptions and taking care of this forum. My rear passenger window was first stuck open, I close it by connecting 12V to window motor poles from the door light. Then I found this forum, cleaned contact in driver’s door switchbank with small file and sand paper, and now every windows work fine!
    Thanks a lot,
    Alex from Québec

  48. Matt says:

    Thanks for the kind words, Alex. Glad you fixed your window switch.

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