My car window is grinding? What’s wrong?

Grinding, popping, scraping – all signs that you have a power window problem and should stop using the window immediately. Anytime a power window talks to you (makes noise), there’s something wrong and it needs to be addressed.

In most cases, it’s the power window regulator that has failed and is what’s causing all the noise you hear in the door. This means that something within that power window regulator mechanism has broken and the cable has come un-tensioned and is now loose to cause trouble. In many cases, when the window regulator breaks, the window will simply slide into the door, but we’ve seen them get hung up everywhere in-between, depending on where the regulator broke.

A failing or broken regulator will give you symptoms that can’t be denied. Just about the time it’s ready to break, the regulator will grind and screech all the way up and all the way down. You may even experience slowing on the way up AND on the way down. It will slide into the panel on it’s own. It will start to raise and then “pop and drop” into the panel. HINT: The cable and clips are part of the power window regulator mechanism. The cable doesn’t just come loose and the clips don’t just break, as some shops would have you believe. That cable is tensioned onto the regulator and motor and doesn’t just come loose or fall off a pulley wheel. Pulley wheels break, cables come un-tensioned and then the next time you hit the button that cable is ripped through the system breaking everything in it’s path. That’s the truth of the matter.

Power Window Repair employs a proprietary repair of stainless steel and custom-fabricated parts to strengthen and fortify OEM regulators, offering our customers a more permanent solution to the inferior replacement window regulators found on the market today.

With this being said, if you have Nissan or a Mazda and you’re experience grinding noises, you may have a different problem altogether. The power window motors are often to fail in these vehicles. The plastic gear inside these motors can breakdown and shatter causing all kinds of weird noises and slipping of the glass.

My car has manual windows. Can I convert them to power windows?

You can convert manual automobile windows to power automobile windows, but you should have a very good reason and have ALL the facts before making your decision.

It’s not cheap to have all those wires pulled and the mechanisms drilled into and retrofitted to fit the door – oh and then you have the switches – you’ll also need areas custom cut out to fit those.

Power Window Repair WILL be your most economical choice when converting from manual windows to power windows and we’ll do it in less than a day, but having all the facts is key is your satisfaction with your choice and end-result. We value your business and know that you can’t make intelligent decisions without the proper information.

Converted power windows don’t use the same OEM parts as were used when your vehicle came off the line. They are a set of 2 aftermarket conversion motors that come in a kit with cables that must be attached to the manual regulator. The harnesses, switches, surrounds and anything other needed parts come separately. In our experience, the strongest converted parts were the ones made 10yrs ago. To date, our team hasn’t found one particular part that performed stronger or longer than another.

The converted parts are designed to assist in raising and lowering the window. They aren’t designed to be used like you would if you had bought the vehicle with a power window system. For example, if you bought your truck with manual windows when you were healthy and your left shoulder was in good shape and then suddenly you were injured or couldn’t roll that window up and down anymore – you’d only use it when you had to. For this reason, we see most systems lasting 2-3yrs maximum! If you use it occasionally and only when absolutely needed, you could get 5yrs from a converted motor system.

For these reasons, we ask a lot of questions before quoting a you on this type of work. You may have already made up your mind that converting your manual windows to power is what you are going to do, but knowing that you may have to pay an additional $325 every 2yrs in parts and labor for motor replacement might change your mind. Then again, that may be all you need and it’s all this sounds just fine to you. If that’s the case, you know where you find us! Just keep in mind that any manual window to power window conversion must be done in the shop. We recommend that you drop it off on a Saturday morning and leave it with us until the afternoon.

What do I do when my automobile power window starts running slowly?

Is your power window running slow? Does it take longer than 8 seconds to get from the bottom to the top or does it stop in the middle when you are trying to roll it up? This could be the first indication that your power window motor is burning out and getting ready to die. When this happens the window will go down just fine and without trouble. Remember, on the way down, the regulator has the weight of the glass on it’s back and gravity on it’s side, so it won’t need the power of the motor to lower the glass. It’s on the upstroke where the window motor is really load tested and you’ll have trouble.

You may think that helping the glass along by lifting the glass and operating the window at the same time will help you get the most out of that motor, but you run the risk of breaking the regulator or glass carriers every time you put your hand on that glass and that would just mean more money out the window!

Power Window Repair recommends that you get the window up and leave it up until it can be repaired. A failing power window motor will draw more power through the power window switch and can cause additional problems there. Call for free quote and diagnosis and then you’ll know what you are looking at for repair cost. You can reach our diagnostic team at (480)570-5116.

 

Can I repair my power window on my own? DIY Power Window Regulator Repair

In many cases, it is absolutely possible to repair your power window on your own. Just remember that what looks easy, can quickly become a nightmare that could be avoided simply by calling Power Window Repair to do the job. Often times, we can repair the window, save your knuckles and still save you money!

If you still want to take this project on yourself, we have a few warnings for you and of course, we’ll be there for you if you run into trouble.

1. Have the tools necessary to remove your door panel properly

2. Purchase extra door panel clips from the dealer if possible ( you will break some )

3. Purchase the correct window regulator assembly for your vehicle and door. A quality OEM replacement is always preferable over an inferior aftermarket part – remember, if that OEM blows up down the road, we can repair it – if the aftermarket part fails, it’s going in the garbage and you’ll be doing this again.

4. Watch a YouTube video on the specifics of working on your vehicles door and be prepared before you take on a job like this.

5. If it’s a scissor action regulator with a spring-action hub, please DO NOT attempt this repair. Call us at (480)570-5116 for a free diagnosis & quote. It won’t be worth losing a finger to save a few bucks!

How do I know what type of window regulator is in my door?

That’s a question, we hear a lot. The manufacturer, model and model year of your vehicle, including the door position will determine which mechanism is in your vehicles door. Each regulator is designed to fit a certain number of vehicles over a period of year ranges.

The size and weight of the glass, as well as the space inside the door panel will sometimes dictate the type and size of the mechanism that is used for a particular design.

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.

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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