Dashboard switches and connectors

The Volvo 240 has a very modular approach when it comes to dashboard switches. This system was introduced with the 1973 Volvo 140 facelift dashboard, which was partly was carried over to the 240.

Switches of the exact same size and type were also used in commercial vehicles and the Volvo 340/360. Jon-Erik has a list with the different types. A whole bunch of third party switches were also available, I remember back in the 80’s when all car parts stores had an assortment of 240 switches.

This post will cover the connectors of the switches and their background lighting (if any). It’s actually quite a mess with a mix of flat pins and round pins. Luckily they’re quite standard and easy to get hold of:

  • The flat pins are standard 6.3 mm/0.250″.
  • The round pins are actually the same type as used in the 4-pin Molex power connector that connects to IDE-drives in PC:s, 2.13 mm/0.84″

Depending of the application of the switch, the number of pins vary. Below is an example of on/off switches with the exact same functionality, however one has round pins and the other has flat pins.

Switches and connectors

To the left is a black funky looking connector, this is used by the hazard switch and therefore has six sockets. For obvious reasons, only two sockets will be used; the one with a white/green lead and the white lead. This type of connector is only (to my knowledge) available in black and I think it’s the only one available for switches with round pins. A tips is to source the from the hazard switches in the junk yard.

To the right is an L-shaped connector with flat sockets. This type is common and is available in black as well. Another usage of this connector is for the fasten seatbelt connections under the seats. Can be found behind rear demist and foglight switches.

Note that the lamp holders also differ – the left one has two flat pins, the right one has only one flat pin. More an that later.



Above is the connector connected to the switch with round pins. This connector is found  Power should be inputted on the upper round pin (marked “+”), and output will come from the lower round pin (marked “S”) when switched on. To make the button light up, you’ll in most cases have to create a small jumper cable between power output and one of the flat pins on the lamp holder. Then you’ll have to ground the other flat pin.


Above is the switch with flat pins. As on the one with round pins, the upper flat pin is power in (marked “+”), and the one below is power out (marked “S”). Now look at the lamp holder, it only has one flat pin that in most cases would be connected to ground. The jumper cable I mentioned for the other switch isn’t needed on this switch, since it has an internal connection.


The lamp holder was removed to show that there’s a metal part in the hole where the holder goes. It’s this part that is internally connected to the output pin (“S”).

IMG_9211The lamp holder it’s obvious how the lamp gets it power internally. By the way, I’ve seen lamp holders in black or white, of both types.

As a bonus, the power window switches that was used 1973-1980. I haven’t found seen what connector this switch officially ses, but I do know that the connector used by the hazard switch fits perfectly! I’m starting to believe that the “hazard connector” is used by all switches with round pins.

IMG_9213 IMG_9214