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GM Power Window Switch Copper Contacts Cleaning Guide
Pictures illustrated instructions for how to clean power window switch copper contact points in a 97-03 GM Pontiac Grand Prix.

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Paul B. Michaels
Author & Photographer
Auto Mechanic Since 1989

This automotive how-to guide was specifically written to assist owners of the sixth generation GM Pontiac Grand Prix (1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003) in cleaning the copper contact points inside a faulty, dirty, defective or intermittently working driver's master power window switch.

Owners of newer seventh generation (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 & 2008) Pontiac Grand Prix cars and other similar General Motors W-Body vehicles such as the Chevy Impala, Monte Carlo, Lumina, Buick Regal, Century, LaCrosse, Olds Cutlass, and Oldsmobile Intrigue may also find this guide to be useful.

Driver's Master Switch
Pop Up Rear Of Assembly
Pull Up & To The Rear
Recently I noticed that the driver's power window in my 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP wasn't working reliably.

Sometimes it would go up but not down and vice versa. Occasionally the window would stop unexpectedly and then continue when I tapped the switch repeatedly.

I had just replaced the power window motor & regulator assembly, so I knew that the problem was probably the driver's master window switch.

Since the switches are nearly a decade old, there was probably a significant build up of carbon deposits, dust and possibly rust.

To complete this procedure, you'll need a variety of flat head screwdrivers, and cotton Q-Tips. A tube of Dielectric grease is optional.

If you'd rather buy a brand new assembly, check out the GM window switches at Amazon.

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To remove the driver's master switch assembly, you'll need to insert a flat head screwdriver into the rear center of the plate and gently pry it up.

There is a small metal clip that holds the rear of the assembly in place. Don't pull up on the front of the switch plate since where there is a relatively fragile plastic tab.

To disconnect the master switch assembly from the power connectors, use a flat head screwdriver to push out the retaining tabs while gently pulling on the connector and wires.

Try wiggling the connectors if you have trouble removing them.

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Once you have the entire master switch plate out of the car, you can pop out the four window switches assembly by prying it out with small flat head screwdrivers. It is held in place by 4 plastic tabs.
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After the four window switches with "Lock Out" switch assembly is removed, pull the "Lock Out" button straight off and gently pry up the 4 grey window switch covers with a small flathead screwdriver.
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Then pry up on the bottom sides of the switch assembly to remove the switches from the black housing.

They are held in place by 5 plastic tabs.

The lower white plate may come out first, if so, be careful not to bend or snap off the exposed copper metal blades.

If you have trouble getting it out, try gently holding open the black side walls while pushing down on the switches with your thumbs.

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The power window switch copper rockers and contact points are covered by clear plastic rockers.

It's a good idea to gently re-attach the lower white plate while you're working on the switches to prevent them from being damaged.

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To remove the clear plastic rockers, gently pry out one of the white plastic sides and lift the rocker out of place.

Don't bend the side clips too far or they may break or stay bent.

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Underneath the clear plastic rockers, you'll see the flattened "W" shaped copper switch rockers.

If you lift those off with a pair of tweezers or a small flat head screw driver, you'll see the copper contact points.


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Now you'll be able to see all of the black carbon build up on the bottoms of the flattened "W" copper pieces and the copper contact points inside the switch assembly.
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To clean out the black crud, insert a clean cotton Q-Tip into the window switch and rotate it for a few seconds.

Then repeat the procedure as many times as necessary until the Q-Tip comes out relatively clean.

I used both sides of about 6 Q-Tips on each switch.

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To clean the flattened "W" copper metal pieces, turn them upside down and scrub the contact points with the Q-Tips.
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If you have dielectric grease handy, apply a tiny bit to the copper metal rockers and the copper contact points in the switch.
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Once you have thoroughly cleaned all of the contact points and "W" pieces, re-assemble the window switches and test them out.

If you hear a distinctive "click" and they have a smooth action, they are ready to be re-installed into the master switch plate and the car.

If this doesn't solve your power window problem, consider investing in a multimeter.

Then check that you have 12V at the power window switch connector, 12V at the power window motor connector and continuity when the switches are clicked.

For some switch problems, the only solution is to purchase a new or barely used switch from eBay, a salvage yard or a GM dealership.

Check out all of the power window switch assemblies at Amazon.

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For more of my related automotive how-to guides, click on the following links: GM Power Window Motor & Regulator Replacement Guide, GM Power Window Tracks & Regulator Lubrication Guide, GM Pontiac Grand Prix Headlight Bulbs Replacement Guides, GM Pontiac Grand Prix Tail Light Bulbs Replacement Guide, Zaino Bros Show Car Polish Review, WeatherTech FloorLiner Car Mats Review, GM 3800 II Power Steering Whine Repair Guide, GM Pontiac Grand Prix Front Brake Pads Replacement Guide, GM Brake Line Bleeding Guide, GM Pontiac Grand Prix Rear Brake Pads Replacement Guide, Headlight & Tail Light Condensation Solution Guide, GM Pontiac Grand Prix GTP Supercharger Belt Replacement Guide, GM Pontiac Grand Prix Serpentine Belt Replacement Guide, GM 3800 II Idler & Tensioner Pulleys Replacement Guide, Corroded Car Battery Terminal Replacement Guide, GM 3800 II Alternator Replacement Guide, GM Pontiac Grand Prix PCV Valve Replacement Guide, GM ABS/TCS/SES Warning Lights Solution Guide, GM Wheel Bearing Hub Replacement Guide, GM 3800 Series II Engine Oil Change Guide, Buffing Old Faded Headlights Guide, K&N Air Filter Cleaning Guide, GM 3800 Series II Eaton M90 Supercharger Oil Change Guide, GM Pontiac Grand Prix 3rd Brake Light Bulb Replacement Guide, and Meguiar's Headlight Restoration Kit Review.

For more, check out all of my Pontiac Grand Prix DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.

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