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




Are You Open On Weekends?

Yes, we do! We do not provide mobile service on Saturdays, however we are available in the shop at 2439 E McDowell Road by appointment from 9am to 3pm. We are closed on Sundays. All calls left outside of normal business hours will be returned first thing in the morning.

What If I Have The Part Or Want To Buy The Part And Have You Install It?

We are happy to do that for you, however we will not be able to warranty that part for you in the event that it fails during your part warranty period. Our warranty will only cover the workmanship installation of the part into your vehicle and will not cover the removal and re-installation of a part under warranty.

YOU MUST VERIFY YOU HAVE THE RIGHT PART! If we come out to your location to install a part that you have purchased and you’ve purchased the wrong part, there is a minimum service charge of $99. Take care in making sure that you have ordered and purchased the correct part for your vehicle model.

You other option is to allow us to attempt to repair your part. If it’s necessary to purchase a part to complete your repair, we will warranty the part and the labor for a full 12 months, but it’s important to remember that when it comes to window regulators, we recommend rebuilding the OEM window regulator over a new replacement window regulator.

This business was founded because whether it’s an OEM or aftermarket window regulator replacement part, it was designed to break. There are weak points in the mechanism that are actually designed and engineered to carry the heaviest load of the glass and the most pressure. This is why this part is considered as ‘wear and tear’.

Many times, we can repair the OEM for less than you can buy the part and have it installed. It’s important for you to have all the information about your options BEFORE making a decision on your repair. You don’t want to be doing this again 18 months down the road. Do you?


Why Is My Older Vehicle More Expensive?

As a vehicle gets older, it actually becomes more difficult to work on. The plastic has begun to deteriorate, parts have become brittle and it will take our technicians longer to to get in and out of. Additionally, many older vehicles contain what we call scissor-action regulators that are riveted to the panel. That alone means that additional time and care must be taken for safety reasons.

There are vehicles that are just too old for our team to work on. When that happens, we will try to give you some ideas for alternatives. Parts for some of these older vehicles are difficult to find and often the basic window trim is at fault, which is almost impossible to find on most older vehicles. Our primary business model is made of repairs on vehicles 1997 and newer.

What If I Take The Panel Off? Do I Get A Discount For Doing Half The Work?

It seems like that would be half the work, but it actually takes our techs just a few minutes to get in and out of most vehicles professionally. We would ACTUALLY prefer that our customers NOT take the chance and leave the work to us.

We’re the experts and we know that it’s too easy to break things in those doors. We know because we are often asked to fix them. When our technician arrives to see a panel off a door, they actually have to take extra time to inspect the panel and clips, before they can start the repair. You’d be surprised what will interfere with a window regulator and the way it operates and we certainly don’t want you to be driving down the road when your panel rattles off.

Can I Purchase A Rebuilt Regulator Directly From You?

At this time, the answer to that question is no. That could change in the future, but at this time we aren’t selling our rebuilt OEM regulators.

There are too many factors involved when an installation isn’t done by our technicians and if we are going to warranty the part and labor for 1 year, we want to make sure the installation is done properly and that there is nothing else causing difficulty with the system that could cause this new part to fail. We want your repair to be strong and to give you years of worry free use.


If I Remove My Own Regulators, Will You Rebuild Them?

It’s a rare occasion when the answer to that question is yes.

We never know what we’re going to run into with these things. If there was a reason that the regulator broke that had nothing to do with the regulator itself, we won’t see it and the new rebuilt regulator will just fail again. It’s important that we install the rebuilt regulator whenever possible to prevent any issues in the future. We try to make our prices affordable enough that it’s worth saving your knuckles and trouble to have us to the repair from start to finish professionally.

What Does It Mean When You Say You’re Going To Rebuild My Regulator In The Field?

It means just that. We will be rebuilding your OEM power window regulator onsite, at your location or in our shop. If we do not currently have an OEM rebuilt regulator for your vehicle in stock, the repair will be applied directly to your OEM window regulator.

The repair is exactly the same, it’s on the location where the repair is applied that changes!

Why Isn’t My Repair $99? I Thought You Did Everything For $99.

All of our repairs start at $99 and then go up based on the cost and difficulty of the repair. Some of our regulator repairs in the shop are $99, but then some could be $129, $149, etc. Of course, European and speciality vehicles will cost more due to the time. Our most expensive repair is $599 and that applies to a dealer only repair that would normally cost $1800.00. That tells you that we keep it real!

You will also find that many of our labor prices on repairs are $99. On vehicles with certain types of window regulator mechanisms you may see that rate go up to $129 or $149 simply because of the risk and difficulty of dealing with that particular window regulator.

Our rates are based on what it costs Power Window Repair to provide your repair and are not based on a book with standard hours that  dictate that standard hours that it takes to repair a vehicle. Our build and install technicians are experts in their field, therefore there is nothing standard about what we do. Our rates cannot be compared directly to the rates of another shop or dealer, nor can our warranty. We offer a solid 1-year warranty on parts and labor! Who does that anymore? NOBODY!

Power Window Repair strives to provide the absolute best repair at the most affordable price, but we want to make sure that we’re in business the next time that you need us. It may be necessary to raise prices from time to time based on our costs, but don’t panic! We’ve had two increases in 4 years and we weren’t happy about it either. In fact, we’ve lowered more prices than we’ve raised in the past 12 months. Who does that? POWER WINDOW REPAIR DOES!

Why Does My Repair Need To Come To The Shop Instead Of Being Done Mobile?

While most vehicles can be done by mobile service, there are vehicles and repairs that fall outside that mobile service model and must be done in the shop. This can be required for a variety of reasons including the vehicle type, difficulty of the repair, age of the vehicle or if we do not have an OEM replacement window regulator in stock.

We make repairs in the shop pretty painless, by making you comfortable inside our shop or out on the back patio. Repairs in the shop can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours depending on your vehicle. Speak to your diagnostic technician about dropping your car off if waiting will not be convenient.