The pin/socket retainer is a piece of plastic that slides into the connector from the front. It wedges against all of the plastic locking barbs so they can't release. This piece makes it nearly impossible for the pins and sockets to work their way loose.
You may be lucky and just have a loose wire and banging just right on something might get it to fall back into place, but most times electrical problems are not that simple. Vehicles built in the 60s and 70s had very few electrically controlled devices as most things were controlled through a mechanical linkage. In the 80s and early 90s many automobile manufacturers started using vacuum controlled solenoids to operate small things like switches in the engine or the vents on your ventilation system. Since then, just about everything has become electronically controlled and regulated. Most of the electronics in your vehicle will last a very long time and never be changed, but when something does go wrong it can be difficult to pinpoint the problem.
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