I went to put my windows down while driving, and the driver’s side stopped in the position pictured. I couldn’t get it to go back up or do anything else. Fortunately, it didn’t rain that day.
On these cars, the power window switch contacts have a tendency to go bad and simply stop working. This is what happened in my case, and here’s how I fixed it. Miata window switch repair is an easy job, only requiring a screwdriver and some minor soldering and sanding.
Here are some tools I used for this:
- Lead-based rosin core solder
- Really nice soldering iron I use or you can use a cheaper alternative that is supposed to work OK
- Knock-off Dremel that I prefer
Pulling out the Window Switch
The power window switch has to come out for this job. Step one is to undo the shift knob.
Then, there are 5 screws to remove from the center console.
Once that’s all off, you can simply pull the console up and off. You have to pull it forward over the gas cap and trunk release levers.
You then can flip the center console over, and undo the screws holding the window switch assembly on. This comes out fairly easily.
If you look at the switch assembly, the white panel is what we’re after. It comes off by gently prying a few locking clips and lifting out.
The black button panel is now free and can be set aside. At this point, we can focus on the white backing panel. It can be unplugged from the car and taken to a more convenient work area.
Inspecting the connectors
If you flip the back panel back over, you can see the contacts. The window switch works by using the little arched plates pictured to make connections when pressed down. With the contacts this grimy and worn down, no connection will be made and the window won’t move.
In particular, all of the black dirt on the contacts, and the rust-colored grime on the arched plates will inhibit function. No wonder my window stopped working.
Soldering the panel
Getting the panel contacts clean is the next step. First, we need to get to clean metal. You can do this with sandpaper or a dremel tool; it doesn’t take much. Just get the layer of grime off to where you can see nice clean metal as shown.
Some of the contacts will likely be very short now, depending on how bad a state they were in. They also wear down over time from use. The next step is to simply put a blob of solder on these contacts. It doesn’t have to be pretty, we’ll shape it in a second.
Lastly, we can sand down the solder to a flat shape of approximately the right height. I used a sanding drum on a dremel, which made short work of this. You could just as easily hand sand it or use a file.
Cleaning up the arched plates
I’m sure there’s a real name for these, but “arched plates” is all I have to go with. Anyway, these need to be hit with a little sandpaper as well, on the contact ends. Just getting the corrosion off is enough.
And now this is ready to go back in the car. Reinstallation is the reverse of removal. After this, I was able to start the car and roll my window back up.