Power Window Not Working? How Power Windows Work

A power window can be a force to be reckoned with. It’s full of moving and electrical parts and one things always leads to another. A dozen things can go wrong that would cause a power window to stop working or to work in such a way that you know that something is wrong…very, very wrong.

In most modern cars, we look to the regulator to be the problem, although particular models have a predisposition toward motor failure. Many of the newer modern vehicles have cable power window regulators in they doors and they’re simply not made to last. Symptoms of a broken or failing window regulator include the glass popping and dropping into the panel or it slowly slipping down as you drive. You may hear the motor trying to work and may even hear metal scraping around, but there’s no movement in the glass – that’s a window regulator. When it’s beginning to fail, most of these power window regulators will talk to you, or in other words make noise. Cable window regulators, in general, carry the heaviest weight of the glass and the heaviest loads, on the weakest points of the part. That’s usually where you’re going to find those cheap plastic pulley-wheels, fairleads and glass anchors. That’s a problem for most consumers considering that replacement parts are far more inferior than the original, even if their OEM replacement window regulators. It’s a big inconvenience to come out in the morning to find your window down and you know it was up when you locked it the night before. What do you do? Take it to work and hope it doesn’t get broken into? Call into work? It’s a real hassle to work with most dealers and repair facilities that work on power windows. You’ll lose your ride for a day or more, I promise. If you’re interest in getting help with that problem you can call us at the shop (480)570-5116 and a diagnostic tech can walk you through our process and why we do it. Don’t worry about not being in Phoenix, we have regulators shipping from all over the country.

The next most probable problem when a power window fails is the motor. A good sign that a motor is failing is that it will generally slow down as your trying to power the glass up. You may even be tempted to help the glass from time to time to get it up all the way. Now if it’s slow on the way down, go back to thinking it’s the window regulator, because a regulator attached to a motor will whizz down whether it’s good or almost worn out. Remember, it has gravity on it’s side and a huge piece of glass on it’s back. It’s on the way back up that the power window motor is tested. Once you start experiencing a slow down, you’d better start looking to replace it. One day you will hit the button and it will just be dead. Let’s just hope the window is in the up position when that happens. If you’re experiencing a problem with the window bouncing up and down or falling out of the one-touch programming, you’re likely looking at a motor issues, but with BMW’s, VW’s and Audi’s it can sometimes be a warning of regulator failure. They’re German, what else can I tell you?

Finally, we can talk about the power window switch. If the failure is on one of the passenger doors, you need to test the switch from both the door with the problem AND the master power window switch on the driver’s door. If it works from one or the other, the other one needs to be repaired or replaced. Cars are often misdiagnosed as a motor when it’s actually the switch connection that has burned out in the up or down position. It’s unlikely to have a switch burn out in the middle, since the damage isn’t done until you actually let go of the switch. It’s much more difficult to diagnosis a switch on a drivers door window. There aren’t any other switches to try, so what you look for is that special click that you feel under you finger when the switch is raised or depressed. That click you feel or hear is the electrical actuation. If you are clearly getting that, go back to thinking it’s the motor.

If all 4 windows go at the same time or if you’re driving a Buick Century or Cadillac DeVille, there’s always that chance of an electrical break in the door wire harness. We run into it from time to time and we simply repair the broken wire and reduce the price we quoted you for the part, right on the spot. Most wire harnesses can be repaired for $149-$199, depending on how many wires have been damaged.

As always the experts at Power Window Repair will have the answers that you seek regarding you power window and our prices will knock your socks off! We’re known for beating dealer and shop rates by 40-70% off so call and compare. (480)570-5116.

BMW rear power window regulator

Weak areas on a power window regulator