1979 Chrysler New Yorker Electrical Issues

I just got a 79 New Yorker. The car itself is a beauty and starts right up. Only has 60k miles. I have been having issues with many of the switches. The driver control for the rear passenger side window will only lower the window and I have to raise it from the switch in the back. The electronic locking switch on the passenger side does not work and turning the key on the passenger side does not unlock. I am still able to lock the passenger door with the driver switch. The driver seat switch only lowers the seat and won’t raise it even with help. I have checked all fuses and all are good. I am very inexperienced when it comes to car repair. What do you think the issue is coming from. Wiring or bad switches?

Bad switches. Chrysler had a habit of using cheap electrical components.

Thanks for the quick reply! Can they be repaired or do I have to replace them?

They have to be replaced.

Alright I’ll see where I can get them. Thank you!


It may require using newer switches not designed for that vehicle, as those switches are probably no longer available. Doesn’t hurt to search for them though. You might googling to see if there are any classic car clubs for Chrysler vehicles in your area. If so, those folks may be able to provide a source for your switches.

The window up/down circuit is pretty simple I expect. The input to the switch is 12 volts from the battery, and the switch either connects that to the motor as +12/ground, or ground/+12, for the up/down function. So all you have to do is measure the voltage at the window motor. If it has one of
those and it doesn’t work, the motor is bad. If it has neither of those, the switch or wiring is bad. Repairing the switches is probably too complicated, but repairing the motor is probably possible.

This restoration you are embarking on will require some patience. There’s some folks in Cuba restoring Ernest Hemmingway’s New Yorker, a 1959 as I recall. They’ve been working on it a long time, still not done as far as I know.

Just as a suggestion , this vehicle will not like E10 fuel . So Ethanol free fuel or an additive would be a good idea.

Thanks! You might not believe it and might hate me for doing it, but I actually daily this car. I’m a high-schooler just driving it 3 miles a day to school and back. I’ve just been dealing with this issues. I might just install other switches as said for the seat but I might just keep the window and lock switches broken as I don’t use them much and would rather keep the car stock. I find it amazing that so many people are willing to help me in this speed for free!

Classic cars are meant to be driven. Driven daily, even better. No trailer queen cars for me.

Many people say that I’m “ruining history” because I daily it but I truly believe that it’s more hurtful to leave a car sitting than to drive it. Glad I’m not the only one.

Get yourself a can of spray Contact Cleaner at a car parts store. Squirt some around the rocker switch for one of the windows that doesn’t work. It’s very runny so keep a rag to sop up the overflow. Then rock the switch back and forth like you were using it a bunch of times, power off. Then squirt a tiny bit of WD40 into the same places, rock the switch a bunch. Then turn on the power and see if it works. The contacts get dirty and funky over the years and sometimes this works for me.

I’ll try that tomorrow after school. Hopefully that’s the issue. A lot easier fix.

You’re not ruining history. But you are ruining the fuel system if you’re running E10 gasoline in the car.


You may find this interesting. Presumably at least you don’t have the US/Cuba parts embargo to worry about.

Contact the WPC club, and they can guide you to a good vendor.

Nope. Just good old unleaded.

If the gas pump doesn’t say non-ethanol and doesn’t show a 94 octane rating, the gas you’re using is E10 unleaded gas.


I guess you know that all fuel is unleaded except for aviation and marine use . The pumps at most station contain 10 percent Ethanol which is not good for your old vehicle. If you know this great , if not look at the sticker on the pump.

I have been using E10 gasoline in my Mopars for the last 30 years, all gasoline in my area has been E10 year around for the last 25 years, it started as a winter fuel in the 1980’s.

All of my fuel hoses, fuel pumps and gas caps have been replaced and the carburetors have been rebuilt. It would be unusual for a 40 year old car to have all original fuel system parts that predate E10 or Gasohol.

The car only has 60k miles.

Who knows how often the car was driven before the OP purchased it.