How to diagnose a power window motor or window switch problem

Diagnosing a power window motor or window switch problem doesn’t have to be rocket science. If you understand the basic principles of how they work, and you know what particular style window regulator is in your automobile door, you can figure it out quickly.

power window motorIf your glass didn’t do the famous “pop & drop” and you don’t hear cracking, grinding or funky noises coming from the inside door panel, your power window regulator may be just fine. Move onto testing the power window motor or window switch.

You don’t always need to remove the panel to determine what is wrong with your power window motor or power window switch. Many times, a fluctuation in the strength of your power to your dorm or headlights, caused by the demand of current can tell you whether or not the motor is getting any juice, better known as electricity.

Testing at night with your engine off, but ignition and headlights on will be your best option. Depress the power window switch and if you see a slight dimming of your headlights or your dome or dash lights, you are getting an electrical connection to the switch and it is sending that power to the motor. If this happens and you aren’t hearing any noise, you can be relatively sure that it’s the power window lift motor that is to blame. Sometimes you hear a click-click-click-click when the motor is failing.

master power window switchIf you depress the switch button and you don’t experience a dimming, it’s likely to be the power window switch or an electrical break in the electrical harness. If the power window switch button feels spongy, loose or at all different from the other window switch buttons, you likely are in need of a window switch repair or replacement.
If you’re in the Phoenix area, we can make diagnosing a power window motor or window switch problem easy for you. Call Power Window Repair today for a free diagnosis and quote. Our friendly technicians will quickly determine what type of power window repair you need and get you a quote that you can count on. Call (480)570-5116 today!

How To Diagnose A Problem With Your Power Window

Before assuming that your car has a major problem, let’s take a few moments to diagnose your power window problem and see if we can shed some light on the situation.

First, verify that all other windows are in working order. If all four windows fail at the same time and you have checked your fuses, you could have an electrical break in the door harness that runs between the body of the car and your door. If only one is not working properly, and it’s in the rear, it could still be an electrical break, but it’s rare in most vehicles, and more often found in the rear of Cadillac Devilles.

In most modern cars, it’s usually the regulator that goes first, with a few exceptions. The regulator is generally a cable track pulley system that is made of cheap plastic parts. In hotter climates, these regulators fail quickly and fail often. Symptoms of this type of problem include the glass dropping into the door panel, crunching, grinding or other funky noises indicating that the motor is working, but the glass is not being raised.

Some older vehicles have what’s called a scissor action regulator in the door. These regulators are bulletproof for the most part, but they do fail from time to time. There are small teeth on the arm of the regulator that attaches to the window lift motor and those teeth are thin and can break away. Symptoms of this would generally include a slight drop of the window and inability to raise all the way to the top. You may hear a noise that sounds similar to a machine gun – de de de de. When this occurs, using the power window or helping the glass up, can put further stress on your power window motor, which can lessen the life of the motor and cause it to draw more power from your power window switch. Power window switches in modern cars are outrageously priced and are often “dealer only” parts.

If your power window problem is running slowly, it’s likely that it’s just the power window lift motor that is to blame. Symptoms include the window starting to come up at normal speed and then when it gets part way up, it slows down to turtle speed and you have to help it up to the top. Again, not recommended. In touching the glass, you are putting additional pressure on the power window regulator, which can break and cause you more money. Glass carriers on regulators can also break, which would cause the window to tilt forward or backward.

If you have a power window problem in a Mazda, Nissan, Infiniti, or older Chevy or Ford, it’s likely the motor that’s the problem, even if you hear funky noises or crunching sounds. The gears inside some of those motors are plastic and will break down over time. They can be rebuilt in some cases.

Power Window Repair can help you fix your power window problem at 40-70% less than traditional repair facilities and dealers. Your power window problem does not have to break your budget and it doesn’t have to be put off when you can find affordable prices at Power Window Repair. Our proprietary repair of stainless steel and custom metal parts provides a more permanent solution for our customers, so take a look at what we have to offer and then call today for a FREE diagnosis & quote at (480) 570-5116. If you are outside the Phoenix Metropolitan Area, please be advised that we do accept repairs by mail and can turn most repairs around in 24-36hrs.

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!