How to free stuck pushbutton switches


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How to free stuck pushbutton switches

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:18 am



This is a fairly simple one, but a problem I have seen many people mention experiencing. Even if you haven't experienced this problem yet - it's only a matter of time. Performing this procedure as preventative maintenance is a good idea!

On the GL1500 (the GL1800 also suffers from this problem) there are push-on/push-off buttons on the handlebars that control things like cruise control, hazard lights, and the audio mute. The shaft connecting the buttons to the actual switches are lubricated inside with a grease-like lubricant. This grease picks up dust and dirt over time until it is not lubricating anymore, and acts more as an adhesive than anything else.

It doesn't prevent you from pressing the button to turn it on. Where the problem arises is when you try to push the button again to turn it off - the tiny spring inside the switch is not powerful enough to push the button back out against the stiction of the dirty lubricant, and the button stays pushed in. As a result, you have Goldwing owners riding around with cruise control on, hazard lights flashing, and no music.

The solution is quick and simple. You will require some electrical contact cleaner. You want a quick-drying contact cleaner that does not leave residue behind. CRC Electrical Cleaner is my favorite:

Image

I had originally found that WD-40 works quite well: its carrier flushes away the dirt on our switch mechanisms, and when it evaporates it leaves behind an oily film that lubricates it and keeps it working. However, I later found that the oily film attracts dust and dirt, meaning that the switches will begin sticking again a few months later - particularly in cold weather. I since switched to simple contact cleaner with great success.

1. The first switch is the easiest to do: The audio mute switch. The reason this one is easy is because no disassembly is required! Insert the cleaner straw into the right side of the tuning switch as shown, push it in until you feel the resistance of the mute switch mechanism, and spray. Give it a 1-2 second burst. If the switch is already stuck, start working it in and out until it pops free. Once it is free, give it another half-second spray, then work the switch in and out 10-20 times until it moves freely.

Image

2. The hazard light switch requires that the left grip switch module be taken apart. There are two screws on the bottom that must be removed, as shown:

Image

3. Once the screws are removed, the top half can be separated from the bottom half. You do not have to separate them completely - you just need access to the underside of the top half:

Image

4. Insert the straw as shown, up and toward the mechanism of the hazard light switch. Lubricate it the same way as described for the Mute switch. Once it's working well, snap the halves back together and re-tighten the screws.

Image

5. The cruise control switch on the right handgrip also has two screws on the bottom that must first be removed:

Image

6. The cruise control switch mechanism is much more exposed and can be easily accessed and lubricated. Snap the halves back together and replace the screws.

Image


It might not be a bad idea to put this item on your annual winter maintenance list. It only takes a few minutes to perform, and will prevent frustration down the road - literally - usually when you're miles from home!



tatewatts
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Re: How to free stuck pushbutton switches

Postby tatewatts » Tue Jan 03, 2012 7:45 am

I've had to do this very thing and it works. Though I didn't take anything apart, I just squirted WD-40 right into the cracks. I was riding home from a high school football game and accidentally turned on my hazard lights and couldn't turn them off until I turned off at a gas station and repeatedly hit the button until they finally turned off.

cedobihal
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Re: How to free stuck pushbutton switches

Postby cedobihal » Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:01 pm

Is ther anything special that will free up the turn signal lever so that it will return faster? More WD-40?

Trainertim77
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Re: How to free stuck pushbutton switches

Postby Trainertim77 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:40 am

Excellent, glad I saw this, I replaced the dash lites with leds and noticed the cruise light staying on. Will try this fix tonite.

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Re: How to free stuck pushbutton switches

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:24 am

Trainertim77 wrote:Excellent, glad I saw this, I replaced the dash lites with leds and noticed the cruise light staying on. Will try this fix tonite.


If the LEDs you use to replace the bulbs do not draw enough current, the Cruise, Cruise Set and Low Fuel lights will stay on, even when you have full fuel and the cruise is not on.

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Re: How to free stuck pushbutton switches

Postby twostrokes48 » Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:25 pm

Amazing this post came up. I have had my hazard button stick 2-3 times lately and had been putting off figuring out what to do with it. Will get on this in the morning. I also started having trouble with the micro switch that locks out the ability to start the bike on the reverse lever if left in reverse with engine off. Also had that one get fussy on me recently. did get cleaned up and is now functioning ok.
I really appreciate this info...

willyssr
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Re: How to free stuck pushbutton switches

Postby willyssr » Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:14 pm

I tried this twice with no avail. My cruise is still stuck in the on position,and my hazard flasher button will not stay in to keep the flashers on. It's almost as if it doesn't catch to hold the switch on. Anybody's thoughts?

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Re: How to free stuck pushbutton switches

Postby Mag » Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:07 pm

My emergency button stuck, then broke inside the block....and my cruise gets stuck and I can not set it. I am busy shopping for new"er" ones right now.

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Re: How to free stuck pushbutton switches

Postby Paulcf » Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:16 pm

This is good but I have a GL1800, the MUTE button is at the bottom and no way to get at it like the 1500 which your excellent photos cover. I've sprayed everything I know of into it. No luck. My headlights won't work either, apparently the start button causes that. And the fog/driving lights are hooped also, the list goes on. I've never owned such a troublesome bike and it is a 2003 with only 16k miles on it.

I have also read that you should not use WD40. Use only silicone spray...it clears gunk and lubricates. Well I bought both and no luck.

My next step is to get a manual on how to disassemble and I'm going to see if it's not too expensive I'll buy the individual switches, if possible.

Gosh, compared to my BMW K1200LT which had no issues, this Wing is giving me a hissy fit.
MOBILIS IN MOBILI

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Re: How to free stuck pushbutton switches

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:59 am

Paulcf wrote:I have also read that you should not use WD40. Use only silicone spray...it clears gunk and lubricates. Well I bought both and no luck.


I may modify my article to say the same - my switches are starting to get a bit "slow" again with the WD-40. I'll give it a try and see.

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Re: How to free stuck pushbutton switches

Postby djlundwall » Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:54 am

Great article!

BTW, did you know that WD40 got its name by having gone through 40 iterations of formulas until they (the makers of WD40) settled on the current formula? Thus, WD40 really stands for "Water Displacement using the 40th formula"

I know, useless trivia :D

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Re: How to free stuck pushbutton switches

Postby alle751 » Sun Apr 29, 2012 10:54 pm

Paulcf » Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:16 pm
My next step is to get a manual on how to disassemble and I'm going to see if it's not too expensive I'll buy the individual switches, if possible.

You cannot get the individual switches, you have to buy the switch assembly. You can get it for only $126.00.
Mfg Product Number: 35013-MCA-505: SWITCH, STARTER STOP

Honda Direct Line had the lowest price.
5169 Guernsey Street
Bellaire OH 43906
888-693-1011
Email: sales@directlineparts.com
http://www.hdlparts.com/

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Re: How to free stuck pushbutton switches

Postby Paulcf » Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:07 am

Thank you Alle751 for the info, that is a lot cheaper than the $271 I was quoted by my local dealer here in Canada. I'll have to contact them. Thanks!
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Re: How to free stuck pushbutton switches

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:17 am

alle751 wrote:Paulcf » Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:16 pm
My next step is to get a manual on how to disassemble and I'm going to see if it's not too expensive I'll buy the individual switches, if possible.

You cannot get the individual switches, you have to buy the switch assembly. You can get it for only $126.00.
Mfg Product Number: 35013-MCA-505: SWITCH, STARTER STOP

Honda Direct Line had the lowest price.
5169 Guernsey Street
Bellaire OH 43906
888-693-1011
Email: sales@directlineparts.com
http://www.hdlparts.com/


Cyclemax (click on "OEM parts") has it for $121, and you'll get it a lot faster. I rarely wait more than a week for OEM parts from Cyclemax, whereas I have waited 5-6 weeks for parts from Honda Direct Line (on more than one occasion).

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Re: How to free stuck pushbutton switches

Postby Paulcf » Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:22 am

Thanks...again!

My Goldwing was shipped and it was damaged extensively in shipment. What I also need are fairing parts and saddlebag lids so I will pass along this website to the insurance company to use. I don't care the cost to replace but if I can help them out to help me it seems fair. I have a hard time to prove that their negligence in leaving the bike outside in the weather for 3 weeks caused the buttons to sieze up. And I've just found out that the CD player in the trunk is also damaged by the severe impact. Of course I only have the word of the selling Dealer to say it was working when they shipped it. What a mess.
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Re: How to free stuck pushbutton switches

Postby Mag » Tue May 01, 2012 12:09 am

Ok, I have a full set of used switches for my 88 (audio, start/stop, turn signal), and the buttons are sticky somewhat, so what am I using? WD40? or Silicone spray? or?? The above went in 2 directions there and I want to make sure I do this right.

Now is the time to play with the newer ones that I have while they are not on the bike.

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Re: How to free stuck pushbutton switches

Postby barnaclebill » Thu May 03, 2012 5:56 am

Hi Mag! Go with the silicone spray. Like it says, it cleans and lubricates without leaving that greasy residue

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Re: How to free stuck pushbutton switches

Postby barnaclebill » Thu May 03, 2012 5:58 am

An excellent posting, and advice we that we will all need eventually! When I bought my GL I cleaned up all my switches, buttons and relays with then silicone spray. No problems.

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Re: How to free stuck pushbutton switches

Postby gwmanlov » Thu May 03, 2012 8:17 am

Excellent article. Thanks. My 03 Goldwing 1800 fog lights switch was stuck on and finally I sprayed some WD40 in as far as I could and it worked. Now to go back and do the off-on things a few more times.

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Re: How to free stuck pushbutton switches

Postby David in the woods » Thu May 03, 2012 9:02 am

I have always accepted the notions that WD-40 was a fair "penetrating oil" for breaking things loose; a good "water dispersant"; but poor "lubricant", because virtually all volatiles would dissipate, leaving a pretty dry surface, although not quite as readily as just a pure cleaner will. Virtually any lubricant will have a "tac" to it, that will attract and allow dust/dirt to accumulate. Perhaps graphite is the best lubricant to avoid the dust/dirt build-up. ??

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Re: How to free stuck pushbutton switches

Postby WingAdmin » Thu May 03, 2012 10:01 am

DavidMB wrote:I have always accepted the notions that WD-40 was a fair "penetrating oil" for breaking things loose; a good "water dispersant"; but poor "lubricant", because virtually all volatiles would dissipate, leaving a pretty dry surface, although not quite as readily as just a pure cleaner will. Virtually any lubricant will have a "tac" to it, that will attract and allow dust/dirt to accumulate. Perhaps graphite is the best lubricant to avoid the dust/dirt build-up. ??


No!! Graphite is conductive! Never use it to lubricate electrical switches!

And WD-40 is actually designed to leave an oily layer behind as a corrosion inhibiter. That was its original purpose.

I had my 1500 on a trip last weekend in some cold weather, and my WD-40-lubricated switches started getting sticky again. I flushed them all out with straight electrical contact cleaner (which leaves no residue) and they're good as new again. I'm going to modify this post to change the recommendation from WD-40 to contact cleaner.

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David in the woods
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Re: How to free stuck pushbutton switches

Postby David in the woods » Thu May 03, 2012 10:56 am

I agree. WD-40 does have a light lubricating quality that gives a good quick fix (which I use often); but while it is able to lubricate, it can attract dust . . . and the light lubricating qualities do cease as the volatiles slowly evaporate. That is why it is not a long-term fix in this situation, or most any other.

As far as the graphite not being dielectric, if it is just a single pole switch, with no other adjacent contacts to short to, it should not be a problem . . . just talking about a modest amount of slickum for the plastic housing and switch button. It would take a considerable amount, which would be unlikly to reach the frame or handlebar for grounding. ??

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Re: How to free stuck pushbutton switches

Postby WingAdmin » Thu May 03, 2012 11:01 am

DavidMB wrote:I agree. WD-40 does have a light lubricating quality that gives a good quick fix (which I use often); but while it is able to lubricate, it can attract dust . . . and the light lubricating qualities do cease as the volatiles slowly evaporate. That is why it is not a long-term fix in this situation, or most any other.

As far as the graphite not being dielectric, if it is just a single pole switch, with no other adjacent contacts to short to, it should not be a problem . . . just talking about a modest amount of slickum for the plastic housing and switch button. It would take a considerable amount, which would be unlikly to reach the frame or handlebar for grounding. ??


I don't think the graphite would be a problem with things like light switches, but some of the switches that control semiconductor-controlled things (i.e. radio, cruise control, CB) might malfunction if presented with leaking current.

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Re: How to free stuck pushbutton switches

Postby David in the woods » Thu May 03, 2012 11:33 am

The best thing to take away from this discussion is your opening statement; because if you are on a ride, and especially one far from home, and the sticky switch problem rears its ugly head, what you need is a quick fix that is readily available at your nearest Wal-Mart, WalGreens, auto parts or most any grocery store or service station . . . WD-40! (unless you have a little travel size can in your bag!) Long term remedies can be addressed in your leisure time after you get home!

Thanks for an insightful, timely fix!

:D

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Re: How to free stuck pushbutton switches

Postby Mag » Thu May 03, 2012 9:42 pm

Ok, (dig this article) since these switches are not attached to the bike yet, I will go the silicone spray and also contact cleaner and see what happens from there. Will let you all know how it goes. If well, then I am putting these switches on the bike hopefully the following weekend (I hear it should only take me 3-4 hours to do it).

Thanks all!!




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