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Old 09-24-2017, 06:33 PM   #1
Petey
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Default Saturn's Switches

Did Saturn design their switches to last 21 years then die all at once?


Over this weekend I had or discovered 3 switches malfunction.

1) Headlight switch
2)driver's door interior light switch
3)horn switch

Previous ones that I knew about
4) high beam switch has to fully clicked on for them to turn on (annoying when you just want to signal to someone)
5) trunk light switch

All them will work properly for a bit after you play with them but then start malfunctioning again.

At least #'s 1 and 4 will be fixed with the same switch.

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Old 09-24-2017, 07:05 PM   #2
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Default Re: Saturn's Switches

Did plastic break down or the electrical contacts? If the same plastic is used then they may have failed at the same time, relatively speaking. Plastic have a finite life as uv exposure breaks down plastic. Electrical contacts last only so long and vary with current loads. 21 years is an eternity for cars with most owners changing them as maintenance costs rise. To make things interesting, some owners rack up more miles in one year than others that use theirs for local trips. Wear and tear.

I've owned several ski boots over the years and a few simply fell apart from a simple act like kicking against a wooden stair to knock off snow. Several pairs failed. Ski bindings too. Plastic used in ski bindings fail and these are supposedly name brand equipment............boots and bindings.

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Old 09-24-2017, 07:08 PM   #3
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Default Re: Saturn's Switches

??? Meant to edit, not add another post.

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Old 09-24-2017, 07:14 PM   #4
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Default Re: Saturn's Switches

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
??? Meant to edit, not add another post.

Not broken, they all act like dirty contacts. I push/turn them repeatedly fast they start working again.

I have a parts car that I will harvest the switches from (same age half the miles)

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Old 09-25-2017, 07:35 AM   #5
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Default Re: Saturn's Switches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Petey View Post
Did Saturn design their switches to last 21 years. . .?
I'm pretty sure no car manufacturer designs their switches to last that long.

The current best bumper to bumper warranty seems to be 5 yrs, 60k miles

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Old 09-25-2017, 08:14 AM   #6
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Default Re: Saturn's Switches

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
...I've owned several ski boots over the years and a few simply fell apart from a simple act like kicking against a wooden stair to knock off snow. Several pairs failed. Ski bindings too. Plastic used in ski bindings fail and these are supposedly name brand equipment............boots and bindings.
The 1990s were hard on the ski industry’s...quality.
As one of my engineering materials professor once said, “Plastic is not an engineering material.”

I say, “It is amazing how long these cars last.”

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Old 09-25-2017, 08:01 PM   #7
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Default Re: Saturn's Switches

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post
I'm pretty sure no car manufacturer designs their switches to last that long.

The current best bumper to bumper warranty seems to be 5 yrs, 60k miles
I know that nothing is designed to last a lifetime, I just found it weird that those 3 switches all started failing in the same weekend.

And yes this is my daily commuter car, normally its parked on the weekends (maybe that was the problem)

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Old 09-25-2017, 11:19 PM   #8
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Default Re: Saturn's Switches

Quote:
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I know that nothing is designed to last a lifetime, I just found it weird that those 3 switches all started failing in the same weekend. .....
One of my favorite lines from a comedian, Pat Morita, was his standup comic routine when he's asked philosophical questions of terrible occurrences. His dead pan answer was "Karma?"

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Old 09-28-2017, 07:53 PM   #9
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Default Re: Saturn's Switches

LOL add the seat belt buckled switch to that list.


On a side note... has anyone ever taken apart the driver's seat buckle apart and how does the switch in it work? would spraying contact cleaner in there work? At least it thinks I always have my belt on.

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Old 09-29-2017, 10:15 AM   #10
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Default Re: Saturn's Switches

couldn't hurt that would be my preference since it is fast and easy, and may take care of the issue.
it just closes a contact that closes a circuit when buckled in. May also want to check under the seat; if someone in the back stuck their foot in, may have pulled wires out causing them to ground or something. It may be easier just to remove the seat if the contact cleaner doesn't work

my 98 SL2 was a M-F commuter that sat on the weekends; just (bad) luck of the draw on the switches - Murphy's cousin? Come to think of it, contact cleaner on all the other switches may be worth trying - some of them are greased and over the years, they accumulate dust and whatnot

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Old 09-29-2017, 03:35 PM   #11
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Default Re: Saturn's Switches

I Will try the contact cleaner.

Does the seat belt light light with the bulb check? I noticed that mine does not. I always put my belt on after the engine is running so I always hear and see the reminder, but now.. nothing

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Old 09-30-2017, 10:34 PM   #12
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Default Re: Saturn's Switches

Yes, it does, or is supposed to. It should come on and stay on, until you are buckled up

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Old 10-01-2017, 08:22 PM   #13
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Default Re: Saturn's Switches

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post
Yes, it does, or is supposed to. It should come on and stay on, until you are buckled up
So that would lead me to think something else is the problem. Burned out bulb not be telling the chime to ding?

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Old 10-01-2017, 08:32 PM   #14
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Default Re: Saturn's Switches

I thought there was no seatbelt chime with these cars? I left mine off on accident once before and the only thing that happened after about 5 minutes was the light blinking

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Old 10-03-2017, 04:31 PM   #15
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Default Re: Saturn's Switches

I switched the column and horn switches from a parts car that I have. I discovered that the horn switches itself were fine, but there was a build up of crud around the button preventing free movement. I cleaned them up and put them away as its difficult to find them now.

As for the seat belt light/ chime.... That started working again on its own after sitting for the weekend. In case anyone is wondering the seat belt light is not part of the bulb check. If it is buckled before you start the car, it will not light at all.

Oddly the headlight switch worked fine too after the weekend but I decided to swap it out because I had already taken it out of the parts car.

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