I have just cleaned ignition switch internals with sand paper. When doing so the silver plates got scratched up and some areas the underlying(copper?) got revealed.

You can also see there are stubborn black marks, especially on the wired side of the plate(don’t know what these marks are) and they just didn’t come off.

Is this result ok or are the concerns above going to create problems and are those black marks of some underlying damage and the switch May still be faulty?

Thanks.enter image description here

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1 Answer 1


With out plating the copper is a much softer metal. It will wear a lot quicker then it is suppose to and will need replacing.

I guess in theory, Once the contacts start getting thin then there could be problems with them getting too hot, maybe even melting the housing a little. I reckon the starter circuit would be the most worrisome.

  • 2
    Not only that, but bare copper will corrode much faster than the original plating. You probably now have microscopic bits of "sand" from the paper embedded in the copper, which will wear more surface away every time you use the switch. This may or may not have been a good switch before you wrecked it, but IMO the best thing to do with it now is throw it away and buy a new one. It's just an electrical failure waiting to pick the worst possible moment to happen.
    – alephzero
    Commented Jan 6, 2021 at 20:44
  • @alphazero can I still use it though until it fails? This is one of two faulty switches I have for the same car. I opened this one first but I can always keep the second on me incase I need it. Thanks. Commented Jan 6, 2021 at 21:25
  • Narkeleptk, are u saying the switch is ok to run but due to the copper being visible it will just wear quicker and I’ll need to replace it again? Or are you saying it will damage other parts in which case I shouldn’t run it to begin with? Thanks. – James Wilson 5 mins ago Delete – Commented Jan 6, 2021 at 21:27

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