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Common for the early Volvo S40s and Volvo V50s, the door handles can develop an intermittent power connection problem. Losing power hinders the ability to roll the windows up or down, it also prevents the driver from adjusting the side view mirrors. If you find that your window switches occasionally stop working, it may be an easier fix than you think.

Most times, the problem is due to a weak connection or loose terminals in the door harness. Volvo's main fix is to disconnect the harnesses, clean the points of contact, then apply some dielectric grease before reassembling the connectors. In rare cases, they may suggest replacing both halves of the harness connector, but I like to try every option before cashing out to replace parts.

Necessary Tools:

  • T40 torx bit and ratchet or screw driver
  • Flat head screw driver and/or bone tool
  • Compressed air or electric connector cleaner (recommended)
  • Dielectric grease

Accessing the door harness:

Open the problematic door and locate the swing check arm.

Using a T40 torx bit, disconnect the swing check from the body of the car. This will allow you to open the door a bit further to gain easier access to the wiring harness.

With a flat head screw driver, carefully pry the wiring harness clip straight up, then slide the harness connector off.


After cleaning both halves of the connector with compressed air or electric cleaner, apply some dielectric grease before reconnecting.

As a preventative measure, I also chose to clean and grease the individual wiring connectors to the door handles.

Removing the door handles:

Forcefully push the inside piece of the handle trim outwards to remove it.


Using a flat head screw driver or bone tool, pry upwards on the trim to released it from the door card. It may take a bit of force, be careful not to scratch or bend the trim.



Disconnect the wiring connector, clean it if necessary, and apply some dielectric grease before reassembling.

I have recently been struggling with these intermittent door control problems on my 2008 C30. This simple five minute fix corrected all of my issues. Now I finally have the peace of mind that my windows will not be stuck open in a rain storm.


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Written by :
Michael Hallock

Michael lives in Dahlonega, GA where he works full time as manager of an accounts receivable department. Despite a bachelors in New Media Arts, his true passion is in modifying and maintaining the cars that he and his wife own; Volvo for life. Many in the Volvo community might recognize his screen name, MyNameIdeasWereTaken.


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