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Gisetta

Window Switch Problems

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Greetings all,

I'm a new member here and you can see my maiden post here.

Basically I've got a lovely ES300 97 in which the right rear window switch has trouble working. It will move the window up and down but requires some jiggling. I have done some troubleshooting to confirm it's the switch by testing the drivers side switch for the right rear window in which it works flawlessly. It's my opinion that the switch is at fault.

Perhaps the previous owner got some juice or dust in the switch. What I aim to do is to replace or remove the switch, but is there any way I can do so safely without damaging the interior trim? Has anyone done this before. Any suggestions or help is greatly appreciated and will then in turn benefit future users. I plan to document my adventures but I do not want to damage to trim in any way. Can I also confirm the switches are universal (basically any switch will work regardless of where it came from, right, left, front etc).

Hope to contribute whatever knowledge I can give or from my experiences given so that other users can benefit.

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One would think that the 3 switches (both rears and the front passenger) would be the same, but I can't verify that in any way. That said, from what you describe the switch is just dirty. Been there with several different cars myself. What you need is a spray can of electrical contact cleaner. It comes with a thin plastic tube so that you can shoot the fluid where its needed.

Sometimes you can just shoot the fluid in around the switch and cycle the switch a dozen times or so. Repeat several times and allow the fluid time to evaporate, before turning on the ignition and testing it. If the fluid overspray gets on the interior, just wipe it up with paper towels. It won't mark anything as long as you get it wiped up fairly quickly.

If that doesn't solve the problem, you'll have to pull the switch from the inner door panel, find the seams and openings where it was put together and do the same procedure I previously described.

If this still doesn't correct the situation, and you are brave, you can pry the switch apart while your hands and the switch are inside a large clear freezer bag. (Some switches have a spring under tension that flies the copper internals all over the garage.) Then you'll see the contacts that need cleaning and be able to figure out how to replace all of the pieces before you snap the case back together.

Should you not be brave, you can always purchase another switch from a wrecker. You'll find many switches are generic with Toyotas. They use the same ones in the Lexus that you'll find in Corollas, Camry's, Rav4's, etc. Good Luck!

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One would think that the 3 switches (both rears and the front passenger) would be the same, but I can't verify that in any way. That said, from what you describe the switch is just dirty. Been there with several different cars myself. What you need is a spray can of electrical contact cleaner. It comes with a thin plastic tube so that you can shoot the fluid where its needed.

Sometimes you can just shoot the fluid in around the switch and cycle the switch a dozen times or so. Repeat several times and allow the fluid time to evaporate, before turning on the ignition and testing it. If the fluid overspray gets on the interior, just wipe it up with paper towels. It won't mark anything as long as you get it wiped up fairly quickly.

If that doesn't solve the problem, you'll have to pull the switch from the inner door panel, find the seams and openings where it was put together and do the same procedure I previously described.

If this still doesn't correct the situation, and you are brave, you can pry the switch apart while your hands and the switch are inside a large clear freezer bag. (Some switches have a spring under tension that flies the copper internals all over the garage.) Then you'll see the contacts that need cleaning and be able to figure out how to replace all of the pieces before you snap the case back together.

Should you not be brave, you can always purchase another switch from a wrecker. You'll find many switches are generic with Toyotas. They use the same ones in the Lexus that you'll find in Corollas, Camry's, Rav4's, etc. Good Luck!

That is exactly what I plan on doing. I've got some cleaning solution and plan to pry the switch open so I can obtain more access to it. Do you know how to remove the switch without damaging the trim though, that's the question. I'm pretty sure all the switches are universal so I can pinch one from a wreckers.

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My wife used to have a 97 ES300, but that was too many years ago for me to remember the inner door panel configuration.

I believe that the window switch is mounted on a basically oval plastic plate that sits slightly above the armrest. If I'm correct, that plastic plate can be pried up at its rear end, using a flat bladed screwdriver (tape its blade to prevent scratches). Once up at the rear, you can slide the entire plate out of the armrest, as far as the wiring harness to the switch will allow. Turn it over and you can remove the screws that hold the switch and disconnect its wiring harness.

On some cars that plate is screwed to the armrest and can't be removed unless you remove the inner door panel from the car door. Like I said, too many years. Try the first method above, but don't force the plate up too far if it appears it might break off. If that doesn't work, you'll have to attempt the second method.

Then again, someone else might jump in with the proper sequence needed. Good Luck!

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My wife used to have a 97 ES300, but that was too many years ago for me to remember the inner door panel configuration.

I believe that the window switch is mounted on a basically oval plastic plate that sits slightly above the armrest. If I'm correct, that plastic plate can be pried up at its rear end, using a flat bladed screwdriver (tape its blade to prevent scratches). Once up at the rear, you can slide the entire plate out of the armrest, as far as the wiring harness to the switch will allow. Turn it over and you can remove the screws that hold the switch and disconnect its wiring harness.

On some cars that plate is screwed to the armrest and can't be removed unless you remove the inner door panel from the car door. Like I said, too many years. Try the first method above, but don't force the plate up too far if it appears it might break off. If that doesn't work, you'll have to attempt the second method.

Then again, someone else might jump in with the proper sequence needed. Good Luck!

Thank you so much. This was just the information I was hoping for. I'm going to take some pictures and give it a try as you suggested. I hope you all stay tuned :)

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Removing the trim has been quite hard but it appears someone has already tried to do the same before and probably with little success. The window switch does work going down but is intermitant going up. Perhaps when the switch is raised there is an issue or there is no contact being made in some cases?

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Greetings all,

I'm a new member here and you can see my maiden post here.

Basically I've got a lovely ES300 97 in which the right rear window switch has trouble working. It will move the window up and down but requires some jiggling. I have done some troubleshooting to confirm it's the switch by testing the drivers side switch for the right rear window in which it works flawlessly. It's my opinion that the switch is at fault.

Perhaps the previous owner got some juice or dust in the switch. What I aim to do is to replace or remove the switch, but is there any way I can do so safely without damaging the interior trim? Has anyone done this before. Any suggestions or help is greatly appreciated and will then in turn benefit future users. I plan to document my adventures but I do not want to damage to trim in any way. Can I also confirm the switches are universal (basically any switch will work regardless of where it came from, right, left, front etc).

Hope to contribute whatever knowledge I can give or from my experiences given so that other users can benefit.

I have the same problem on my 2000 ES, it will require a new switch set. Pretty affordable if you find your year on eBay.

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By switch set do you mean just the switch itself. I haven't been able to remove the switch for fear of damaging the trim. I am also unable to source spare trim.

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Its been years since I owned my 97 ES (had a service manual for the car but sold it with the car),so I can't be 100% on the inner door panel removal. Your best bet is to get to a Toyota dealership and beg the service manager for the proper sequence for removing the inner door panel. Generally the bottom and both sides simply pull out from the door and the entire panel slides up to remove. Before that, however, you have to pop out the flat plate garnish in behind the door handle, remove a screw, and remove the garnish around the door handle. Then you need to remove the screws/bolts ( POSSIBLY 2) that hold the armrest to the door. Sometimes the screws are visible in the armrest or behind plugs that pull out. And sometimes the screw is behind the switch plate once its removed.

Without seeing the car I can't give you more to go on than that. You might try doing just a search online for "97 toyota door panel removal" or similar. Good Luck!

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