Sometimes, when I need to take my mind off of other things, for one reason or another, I start finding miscellaneous projects to work on. This one was surprisingly simple, probably less than an hour from start to finish (assuming you already have the parts). My wife’s car has a built-in garage door opener button, but as mine is a little older, it didn’t have one. Using parts around the house and a switch which cost me $3.19 from Radio Shack, I was able to quickly install one this morning in my 2002 Nissan Frontier SC Crew Cab.
- Soldering Iron
- Spare Garage Door Opener Remote
- Pushbutton Switch (Momentary) – I used Radio Shack Part # 275-0644
- a few inches of wire (around #18-#22 gauge, it doesn’t really matter)
- Optional – crimp on connectors so that it can be disconnected without cutting wires
Prepare two wires (I suggest pre-tinning the ends with solder) and then attach one wire to each solder point which you located previously. This is the part where you should be careful not to connect anything on the circuit board which is not supposed to be connected via messy solder. You should solder quickly and efficiently so that you do not damage the circuit board.
You will need to drill a hole in the case to allow the wires to come out. This will vary depending on what model garage door opener remote you are using. Leaving the garage door opener remote within its existing case is strategic, otherwise you have to figure out a way to keep the battery connected to the circuit board.
Solder wires to switch (in my case, I added crimp-on connectors so that I can disconnect the switch, otherwise I would have been soldering directly in my dash, which I wouldn’t recommend unless you have a lot of skill – and I don’t). In my case, I had to feed the switch wires through the hole in the dash, and then connect them to the wires soldered to the garage door opener remote, so this is an additional reason to use some method to disconnect the switch from the remote without having to cut wires or solder.
Once this is completed, you should test the garage door opener remote to make sure it works (obviously – it needs to be programmed to your garage door opener). The remote should still operate the door, and the external switch should also open the door.
Once this is working, you should be able to install it in the dash and enjoy a finished project! Most vehicles have blank spots for accessories which are not used, I was able to utilize one of these spots to mount the remote button.