What is in a Power Window System?

Any way you shake it, each power window will have a power window switch, a power window motor and a power window regulator. We know that it seems logical to some people that they would all run on one system and they’re shocked when one doesn’t work and the other’s do, but they each have they’re own system and they can go out whenever they get good and ready. In fact, each part can and will fail at different times sometimes wreaking havoc on an average family auto repair budget. The window regulator continues to be the leading cause of power window failure, with motors coming in not far behind.

Besides the door harness, which carries various wires from the door frame through the doors, you have 3 power window parts in each door: A power window switch, a power window motor and a power window regulator.

In most vehicles you will find the master switch pack on the driver door, which will control 2 or more windows in a vehicle. This switch may also contain connections for window lock out, power door locks, mirrors, etc. There will also be a single switch on the passenger side door(s) in most cases. On rare occasions, switches are found in the center consoles or in the center of the dash.

Each button has 2 connections – an up switch and a down switch. This means that there are 2 different connections that can go bad. When failing, it may go up from one switch, but must be lowered by another, etc. It’s more difficult to diagnosis a switch problem on a driver door so be ready for a question and answer session.

The power window switch sends electrical power to the power window or window lift motor, which is powered forward and backward at the switches request. Just because a front left motor is on the left side does not necessarily mean that it will fit in the rear position. While some parts are interchangeable, most motors are specific to the regulator that they will be attached to, whether that be a scissor or cable action regulator.

The power window regulator is the one NON-power part of the power window system. It’s a pulley or lift system and it’s only use is to hold the glass in place, so that the power window motor can have something to push up the glass in a stable manner. The motor will either attach with a metal gear on a scissor action regulator or with a cable spool wheel on a cable action regulator. As the motor is turned, that pulley or lift system is activated raising the glass up or down as requested.

 

 

How Long Does it Take To Repair a Power Window?

Ask most mechanics and they’ll tell you 3-5hrs – better yet, it’s likely that they’ll tell you to drop it off and then in 3-5hrs they’ll call you with a quote. A quote that is likely to leave your budget sobbing and your wallet screaming for mercy! Lucky for you, there’s an alternative!

Our technicians can complete most repairs inside of 20-30 minutes. Because we carry most OEM rebuilt regulators in stock, it’s almost always a simple install for us in the field. In these cases, the heavy work is done in the shop and we can move more quickly in the field. Each of our technicians will perform a minimum of 1.200 per windows per year, so they’re skilled and getting in and out of your door professionally and in a timely manner.

What is a Power Window Switch?

Simply put, the power window switch is the device that carries and controls the electrical connection between your automobiles door harness and the power window motor inside your door. That electrical switch may control one or more windows or other features such as the power mirror, power locks, etc.

Symptoms of switch failure will include sponginess in place of the normal ‘click’ felt when a normal actuation is achieved. You can test this by comparing to the other window switches in the vehicle. Any funkiness, floppiness or loose fitting switches will likely lead to replacement. Some switches will work intermittently for a period of time tricking consumers into thinking that the power window motor is to blame. If you have intermittent issues that are not also associated with a window slow down, you may still be looking at a switch issue. You might find that touching the switch in a particular way or at a different angle may suddenly cause a connection to be made. WARNING! If you get your window up again, put a piece of tape over the button immediately and and make a phone call to us for a quote. It’s always better to have your window stuck up than to have it stuck down!

What is a Power Window Motor?

Also called a window lift motor, or automobile glass lift motor, the power window motor is the electrical motor that when attached to the power window regulator, raises the window glass up and down.

The electrical connection is carried via the power window switch, which when depressed or raised creates an actuation telling the window motor whether to move forward or backward. As the motor gear moves forward and backward, the regulator gear or cable spool wheel is also moved.

Symptoms of power window failure include slowing over time. Anything over than 7 seconds from top to bottom should be of concern, especially in a newer vehicle. The motor may also stop in the middle of travel on the way up and then after a period of time, may continue to the top of travel. Motors rarely have difficulty on the way down, as they have gravity on their side and the weight of the glass on their backs. It’s on the way up where a motors true strength is tested.

Noise is rarely associated with window motor failure with the exception of those with inherent inner gear issues such as Nissan and Mazda. In those vehicles, a crunching noise will be present similar to a failing regulator, however it is indeed the motor that’s causing your problem.

How do you fix a broken or slow power window? That’s a question we hear a lot!

IF YOU’RE ASKING THIS QUESTION, YOU PROBABLY HAVE THE POWER WINDOW BLUES

If you own a modern vehicle and you’ve ever needed a power window repair, you’ve probably already experienced the sticker shock of dealer and standard repair shop quotes! Wowza! Most shops quote between $300-1200 for a repair, depending on the vehicle and what’s wrong with the window system. What are they crazy? As I wondered who designed these things, it occurred to me that they were very bright engineers, indeed. These things give the term “wear and tear” new meaning.

My customers want to know why. Why do they fail? Why do they put plastic in power windows? Why do they use cheap plastic? Why isn’t there a recall? I have to giggle, but I’m just trying to lighten the mood. After all, they are about to shell out cash to have their window repaired, even if it is less than what they were quoted elsewhere

First of all, if the fault or design flaw, intended or not, doesn’t propel you into a river or off a bridge, cause the car to catch fire or operate improperly, it’s not getting recalled. Let’s be realistic here. These are covered by very few warranties for a reason. They are designed to break. The bottom-line is that they want them to fail. As consumers, we demanded better engines, better transmissions, better fuel economy, better safety features. We NEVER said anything about power windows, power door locks or window switches. Most modern power window regulators are cable action. There are usually 1 or 2 tracks that the glass carriers and glass attach to and then the cable is drawn by the power window motor across plastic pulley wheels and fairleads. Plastic. Okay, in a normal climate consumers have trouble with these things, but we live in Arizona. In Phoenix, we live on the face of the sun! We pray for rain for Pete’s sake! When it’s 110 degrees outside, you know it’s 180+ degrees inside those metal doors. If that plastic is rated for 86 degrees, what does that mean for us? The power window regulator “boomerang” effect!

Just to review, in most cases you have to pay a ridiculous amount money for the repair AND replacement parts stink! I know it’s not what you want to hear, but we found a solution. A repair so good that we can put a 1-year warranty on it. A repair so strong that it’s intention was to be a more permanent solution. Keep reading. If you live in Phoenix Arizona or you live in another state and have expensive parts that need replacing, you’re going to love this.

WindowReg1  BMW_Window_Regulator WindowReg2

We repair the OEM regulator so that it can’t break again and we do it for 40-70% of what other dealers and shops charge. The founder of our company engineered designed a stainless steel repair that strengthens and fortifies the regulator in the areas we know to be weak and most likely to break. We serviced 4,000 power windows a year over the last 2, so I can say with confidence that we know what’s up with these things. We’ve even gone so far as to engineer custom metal spring tensioners to replace the nasty plastic ones found in power window regulators today. If an engineer can design a window regulator so it can break, an engineer can design a repair that reverses that. Voila! Power Window Repair was born in 2009!

Power Window Repair grew by integrating with local dealers and wholesalers and then started reaching out the public shortly thereafter. While we still have wonderful relationships with the dealers here in town, we find ourselves enjoying the day to day connection with our personal customers even more. Shoot – by the time you’ve had 4 windows done, we know your kids names, your dogs names and have probably invited your to a customer appreciation BBQ! We send out a monthly savings email to VIP customers just to make sure that they catch a break when that window does the famous “pop and drop”.

BUYER BEWARE! Check references before you hire anyone to work on your car! We send people to Yelp all the time because we want them to have confidence in their decision to use our service and we know it’s important to do your research before spending your money. The only reason I bring this up is that we recently found that of our ex-employees has been trying to copy our repair and start his own business here in town. Not that we’re against free enterprise, but this guy helped Paul build Power Window Repair here in Phoenix and is now trying to compete with us in our own backyard. We knew he had gone to Portland, but all of a sudden his best friend was showing up as the owner of our newest competitor and worse yet, plagiarized our website, word for word!

GET THIS! We had a customer call for a quote and she chose the other company, even though we warned her about who she was dealing with. The next morning, we got a call that she needed help. She needed more than she knew. The panel was broken and everything was torn apart. He came out to do the repair and then left everything a mess when he couldn’t fix it. The repair took us 30 minutes and the panel repair took another 30 as the epoxy dried. That customer was thrilled that we were able to save the day, but what a waste of time for her to have to do it twice and because someone had already been in that door before us, we wanted it to come to the shop.

Don’t be fooled by imitations. Power Window Repair is Power Window Repair. If you haven’t been to PowerWindowRepair.com, you haven’t reached us. We back up our repairs and we’ll back you up if you find yourself in a mess too!

THANKS FOR READING OUR BLOG! Stay tuned! We’ll keep you updated on funny things we run into in the field and any other tips we may suggest for keeping those automobile power window systems running smoothly! ~ Jen

FUNNY, YET EFFECTIVE WAYS TO PROP YOUR POWER WINDOW

Okay, Power Window Repair services over 4,000 power windows a year in Phoenix, AZ and I have to say, I am shocked and surprised at some of the pictures my techs send in from the field and the descriptions of what customers have used to prop their power window glass temporarily. It’s downright hysterical and quite inventive!

 

Let’s be realistic, if you don’t know that Power Window Repair exists, you could miss a car payment trying to get that window working properly again. It’s no joke what some dealers and shops think is okay to charge for their repair. If you can’t afford that repair, you may try to get that glass up temporarily to keep the elements AND critters out of your vehicle.

 

And…. drumroll please….

The PWR Angel Awards go to:

The guy who’s wife stuck chop-sticks in the rubber trim of his BMW 7-Series! His wife didn’t want him spending $700 on a repair, but she didn’t want him driving around in a 50k car with duct tape on the window either!!! She was pleasantly pleased enough that she actually made a phone call to me and I was able to have a laugh with her over her ingenious idea! It turns out that she’s Japanese. Apparently, she keep old pairs of chopsticks in her junk drawer for all kinds of household purposes! Who knew?!?

The gal who used pliers and cardboard to lift her glass and then taped cans of baked beans stacked together to hold the glass in place! Kudos! Girl Power! Now that’s a Power Window Repair Angel!

And last, but not least….

The kid who used suction cups that he stole from his mother’s stained-glass ornaments, hanging in her kitchen window. She hadn’t noticed them missing yet, so he left early from work to come to the shop. It was the first time I had seen this technique used. He said the Audi was a gift for college from his grandfather and there was NO WAY he was putting duct tape on that paint. Now that’s using your noggin!

If you have a power window repair and you’re in the Phoenix Metro area, give Power Window Repair a call first. I guarantee you will save a bundle and you won’t ever be sorry you picked up the phone. As always, we encourage you to do your own research on any company you choose to work on your vehicle. Power Window Repair strives to provide the biggest bang for your buck on everything power windows and we are known for our excellent customer service, but don’t take our word for it. Take a moment to visit Yelp, Angie’s List and the BBB. It takes just a moment to give yourself a little peace of mind! Be smart about how you spend your money!

Call Power Window Repair for a Free Diagnosis & Quote! (480)570-5116

How Do You Fix A Twisted BMW Seat – The BMW seat twist nightmare is over!

Is your BMW seat moving one way, but not the other? Are you lop-sided, leaning in one direction, as your driving down the road? Is the vehicle stuck in the position of your wife or husband’s height? Your power seat isn’t just malfunctioning, it could be causing a safety hazard to you and the people you love!

If you’ve called BMW or any other repair shop for that matter, you looking at an entire new seat and that’s going to set you back a pretty penny. It’s not uncommon for customers to tell us that they’ve been quoted upward of $1200 for a replacement seat. A used seat from a junk yard will cost about $450 and then it has to be stripped, the old seat torn apart and everything put back together again. You lose your car for 4 days and if you’re lucky, it will be repaired correctly. The key phrase here being “if you’re lucky”.

A twisted seat repair doesn’t take a brain surgeon, but you do have to know what you’re doing and have the proper tools available to you. Paul’s video comes with personal support, so it’s not uncommon for him to hear from someone on the East Coast or in another country. This BMW problem is world-wide. the one thing common about all these people is that they wished they were in Phoenix, so they could have us do the repair. What really stinks is when they call from Florida for a quote stoked about what we do and then realize we’re in Arizona. What a bummer! Lucky for them, Paul is great at explaining how to fix these things.

Check out Paul Fixing Tony’s 5-Series!

Tony’s a great guy and has been stuck to us like glue since 2009. I think we’ve fixed 2 seats and 3 windows for that man and he always acts like we hung the moon. I think it’s time Paul started creating more videos with customers and connecting with his fans. Don’t you? He puts the fun back in driving your ride and makes reliable repairs, like this affordable. It’s customers like Tony that keep us focused on customer service and the highest quality BMW seat and window regulator repairs.

WE REPAIR OVER 100 BMW SEAT TWISTS A YEAR IN THE PHOENIX AREA!

Paul helps Steve Beat the Dealer…uh…..Stealership

Steve has an M5 and his passenger seat had been twisted for a long time, due to the high cost of repair. When the other seat went, this twisted seat syndrome really started to give him a headache. The dealer wanted to $800 per seat to repair them. Not replace them….REPAIR them. Paul charged him $149 a seat and called it a day! Today all of our techs are skilled in BMW seat twist repairs!

We didn’t achieve the highest ratings Yelp, Angie’s List and the BBB by being slackers! We do what we say, offer hassle-free, no surprise repairs and we do it with a smile each and every time!  With rates averaging 40-70 less than most dealers and shops, we’re definitely the biggest bang for your buck!

You can download Paul’s instructional videos on BMW twisted seat repairs for $39 but if you live in the Phoenix area, you’re going to want to just pick up the phone and call us at (480)570-5116. We can repair that BMW twisted seat for $149 and you can save your knuckles and your neck! We’ll have that twisted seat untwisted in a jiffy and have you back on the road. The average repair on a BMW seat twist will take less than 1 hour and it can be done at your home or office. The best part about it is that we give a 1-year warranty. You can’t go wrong. Our BMW customers aren’t shy and they are major Yelpers here in Phoenix. One look at our reviews on Yelp and you’ll have peace of mind that the technicians at Power Window Repair will provide you with the best repair, at the best possible price.

What is a Power Window Regulator?

There are 3 main designs of the power window regulator mechanism. Each one has it’s own action and each manufacturer has it’s preference.

When you hit that window switch to lower or raise your window, it doesn’t happen like magic as our kids would like to think. Behind the curtain, door electricity is flowing and parts are moving. Today I’ll address each window regulator design and attempt to give you some explanation as to what’s happening behind that curtain and why in some cases, you may want to save your knuckles and fingers and leave a power window repair to the experts.

SCISSOR ACTION WINDOW REGULATORS

Let me begin by saying that some of these are downright dangerous. I can’t count the number of close calls Paul had in the early years of Power Window Repair, before he learned his lesson and smartened up. Widely used in older vehicles, they have somewhat faded from newer models 1997 to date. Honda was using a mix of styles from front to rear and Hyundai used mainly cable window regulators in the early to mid-1990’s, but European and automobiles made in the US were using the scissor action regulator. By the time everyone was switching to cable, Hyundai was testing scissor…..they went back cable. As their vehicles became more reliable and they increased their guarantees of reliable vehicles, I guess they needed something to fix that wasn’t under warranty.

Made of almost all metal, the scissor regulator has a main arm that connects to the track or glass tray, the other has teeth that mesh with gear on the power window motor. As the motor is driven forward and backward and window is raised and lowered.

The most common failure in this type of power window regulator is general found to at the weakest point, which is the plastic wheel at the end which allows the regulator to glide effortless up and down when in working condition. Over time, plastic deteriorates and breakage occurs. Under normal circumstances the entire mechanism would need to be replaced, however Power Window Repair has designed an OEM repair where we remove the broken wheel and replace it with a much more durable wheel, one that is rated for a higher degree of temperature and heavier load. The savings to our customers is notable. We also see failure in the glass carriers. Clips make of metal and plastic alike will break and in many cases, a text book repair will call for the glass to be repaired. If you’re in the Phoenix Area, Power Window Repair can almost always fix that for $149-179.

It is worth noting that we know what’s coming down the pipe. We’ve done the research. Some of the newer models in 2014 and 2015 have taken to heavier, anti-theft glass which calls for a heavier-duty scissor action regulator in order to stabilize and support the weight of that added security. Despite having to expand doors to make room for the addition safety features and redesign speaker locations, it looks like they were listening to their customers needs for added safety for the property.

CABLE ACTION WINDOW REGULATORS

Cable action regulators come in a variety of designs, but all are based on pulley system mechanics. Some are designed with a single metal track, some with a double metal track. Newer cable mechanisms are found to be built into a plastic panel, which becomes even more difficult to deal with. Some even require the outer panel or skin to be removed in order to reach the window regulator, which mean taping off painted areas, time intensive dismantling of most of the door panel and finding a safe place to protect the skin while working on the vehicle.

The weight and the size of the glass almost always dictate what will be found in a door, but door speakers and other mechanisms also come into the play when determining all the parts that will be placed inside a door panel.

The most common failures are found in in the weakest areas, including the pulley wheels, fairleads, plastic spring tensioners and glass carrier areas.

DRIVE-SHAFT WINDOW REGULATORS

We can begin by saying that this mechanism is found in the 2002-2007 Jeep Liberty. We consider this vehicle to the be the #1 source of power window problems across the nation, BY DOUBLE. It was no surprise to us to find this very same mechanism in a 1980 Ferrari. When we opened that box from Washington, all we could do was laugh. No wonder! It wasn’t long after that when we opened a Frieght-liner door to find the very same regulator mechanism and then again in the Kenworth trucks. The trick with the Kenworth is that similarly to the Audi window regulators, the entire cassette, including the glass attached, must be removed before the window regulator mechanism can be worked on.

The mechanism itself is a one track systems with a plastic drive shaft that carries the fuzzy cable that is driven up and down by the power window motor. It’s not uncommon to hear that a fuzzy monster is sticking up out of a customers window when the window regulator fails. Jeep Liberty window regulators fail in so many places that we make it look like Frankenstein before we put it back in our customers door. Forget the metal parts that everyone’s selling out there online – what they don’t tell you is that as soon as you install that new part, the regulator will break in an area you can’t fix. It’s a racket, we tell you! They even break in such a way in the rear doors that we sometimes have to remove the panel from the inside with the door closed. That’s fun!

What ever it is that’s in that door of yours, we’ll have a fix that won’t break your budget. Just give us a ring for a diagnosis and we’ll start from there!