Window Regulator and Window Lift Motor. What’s the difference?

Window Regulator and Window Lift Motor. What’s the difference?

The difference is how much money will be left in your wallet when you’ve paid for your repair!

We often hear them referred to as the window regulator and window lift motor assembly, but they are two different parts and have two different functions. Most repair facilities will install the window regulator and window lift motor assembly only because they either don’t know how to tension the regulator once the motor has been applied or they don’t want to deal with the hassle. This will cost you more money if you don’t know the difference.

window regulatorThe window regulator is the only non-power part of the power window system. There are many types of regulators depending on the vehicle you own. Those types include scissor action, cable action, and drive-shaft action. Some of the newer vehicles now have the regulator built into metal or plastic panels to make them harder for regular mechanics to get into, making it more likely that customers will be forced to go to the dealer for the repair. When a regulator breaks, the symptoms it displays are different depending on the type of regulator. Not all regulators are created equally.

When possible, Power Window Repair will separate these parts to save you money now and in the future. Most customers’ vehicles are suffering from regulator problems and that is our specialty. Our proprietary repair of stainless steel and custom-fabricated metal parts offers a more permanent OEM solution to the inferior replacement parts found in the automotive market today. We focus on the weakest points of the power window regulator, strengthening and fortifying them to prevent it from having to be replaced again down the road.
We’re not saying that we don’t install window regulator and window lift motor combinations when necessary, only that if it’s possible to separate and save you money, we will! The more you know, the more you can save on a power window repair. Call us today for a Free Diagnosis and Quote. Call (480)570-5116.

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 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.