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Short-Term Memory Loss Strikes Again

I’ve got a really bad short-term memory, sadly my car gets hurt because of it This time I forgot to return to the car after removing a stack of hot pizzas from it. When I returned to the car late that night, after some rain fall, water got into the inside of the driver’s side door. The electronics worked ok at first, but as I exited my driveway my driver’s side passenger window automatically went all the way down by itself. I put it back up, then it came back down, up, down, up, down, up, down … for about 1/2 mile, when I got to the store it refused to go back up so I had to babysit the car in the parking lot until it decided to allow me to send it back up again.

Today (a day later), I got in the car exited the driveway tested the windows, thought everything was OK because the driver’s side passenger window worked just fine, but 2 miles into my trip my driver’s window would not respond to the up command, then the other windows stopped responding to the driver’s window controls although they did respond to respective door controls. I arrived at my destination but could not close my window, it starting to drizzle so I just went back home.

I’m thinking the contacts on the mother board got wet and the corrosion was just waiting for me to open the circuit one last time so that it could finish frying itself to death.

Questions: Is there a test for this type of damage? What is the most cost effective way to repair this? Is there a spray (ie: silicone) that might get things back on track? Could I replace mother board or must I replace the whole keypad?


Yes, there is a test. It requires removing the inner door panel and checking voltages. However, the “mother board” in this will be just contacts under the window switch and at the regulator motor. There is no “mother board” per se.

Spray silicone won’t help. Contact Cleaner (available at Radio Shack) might, but it might be a temporary fix. Corrosion rules.

If the contact cleaner does not work, you could try abrading the contacts with emery paper. Don’t use steel wool unless you disconnect the battery. You should disconnect the battery anyway, but sometimes people don’t do it.

Thanks ‘the same mountainbike’ and ‘jtsanders’ for the info, I’ve disconnected the panel, I will remove the control panel from the door panel then bring it to Radio Shack to see if they would test it for me.

Although I’ve already lined-up the purchase of a used replacement from ebay, I would love to actually fix it or at least to a really good try.

I expect this is just a problem with something inside the door that got wet. The first thing I’d try if it were my car is remove the door panel and dry everything off with a hair dryer. I expect that would probably fix it straight away, but it might take some perserverence to get everything dry. Be careful around circuit boards. Use the “low” setting for that part.

If that didn’t work, the next thing I’d do is remove all the electrical connectors inside the door (one at a time) and and look for corrosion. Often minor corrosion on a connector surface can be removed with nothing more than a pencil erasor.

Beyond that, you’re looking at getting the VOM out and digging into the wiring. You’d probably need a wiring schematic. This is better left to the pros unless you have experience in reading schematics, using a VOM, and diagnosing wiring problems.

The biggest problem I expect you’ll find is removing and replacing the door panel. There’s a secret. You need special tools to do it without damaging the fasteners. They aren’t very expensive. I think they are availabe to most auto parts stores, or possibly Harbor Freight.

Here’s a suggestion: Next car you buy? Manual windows!

George, Thanks for the info.

No worries @LetsPlayArmis. Hey, you know what? After I read your post I got so hungry for pizza I stopped for a NY Style thin crust pie on the way home! So your window problem has at least boosted your Pizza business!

short term memory loss strikes again
"Is there a test for this type of damage? "
Yes there is a test. But you have to make an appointment with a competent neurologist first to have it done.