Sometimes it's the dumb things that break…


My audio system is 98% finished. We’re having an issue with one part, which is slated to be swapped out. I was on my way to have that done when I pressed the switches to slide down all of my side windows. They now move freely and it’s nice to have fresh air flowing in, especially since the AC system isn’t connected. But the driver’s side front window button felt… off when I pressed it.
It was sticking. I pressed it a few more times and there was a bit more play than normal. I pressed it again and it popped out of place along with the two small pins and two small metal connectors along with it.
There’s always something to fix on an old car.

Shutting the car off, I spent far longer than I’d like to admit putting the various pieces of the front half of the switch all back together. One pin would slide out of place or a connector would flip on its side. It was frustrating but I eventually wrangled all parts of the switch back into place.

(An example of the offending window switch)
Reconnected to the plugs beneath the switch, I put the key in the ignition and twisted it over to the accessory position. Driver’s side front window? Nope. Driver’s side rear window? Yes. On the other side, the driver’s side front glass worked fine while the rear glass also wasn’t budging. That should mean it’s just a fuse replacement now.
Off to the local O’Reillys I shuffled where I found the 16-amp inline fuses I needed… and I left my wallet at home. Back home. Upstairs. My wallet’s nowhere to be found and then I remember it’s in the center console of the Dodge Charger Daytona press car parked out front. So I grab the keys to that car and extricate my wallet before hopping back in the Benz and returning to the auto store.
I had my fuses and I replaced the worn out units. Let’s try those windows again! Driver’s front and passenger rear still don’t work…
They worked fine for the last few weeks. They worked fine this very morning. Right now, they don’t work.
My kingdom for an in-house classic Mercedes-Benz specialist.

9 Comments

  1. UPDATE: I was pissed because I *knew* it was the damn fuses. I went back down there, removed all of the fuses then cleaned the terminals. Popped all new fuses in, and blammo – windows go up and windows go down.
    Fixed!

    1. I almost bought a new battery for my lawn mower yesterday just because the cable was loose. I knew the battery was a little weak and needed a charge. I used my big jump box/charger to start the first time and it ran fine. Stopped to check an issue with the belt and it would start right up with the jump box, but die as soon as I removed the jumper cables. As I was removing the battery to get a replacement, I noticed that the ground cable was loose. Tightened it up and it ran fine.

  2. Sometimes it’s the dumb that breaks things… Years ago I was removing a bolt holding the hand brake cable to a rear brake caliper, and it was very stiff. It started to move a bit, then get easier, and then more easy, and then… no resistance at all because I had been turning the bolt the wrong way and twisted the bolt a bit before it snapped. Using a ring spanner, not a socket & ratchet for a reason I can’t remember, but between lying at a funny angle and twisting my arm to get the spanner on the bolt I apparently mixed up clockwise and anti-.

  3. I recall the cleaning/adjusting the window switches in my E30 every couple of months. Oddly, my E28 has the same switches, but they’ve not failed me yet.

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