There are 3 main designs of the power window regulator mechanism. Each one has it’s own action and each manufacturer has it’s preference.
When you hit that window switch to lower or raise your window, it doesn’t happen like magic as our kids would like to think. Behind the curtain, door electricity is flowing and parts are moving. Today I’ll address each window regulator design and attempt to give you some explanation as to what’s happening behind that curtain and why in some cases, you may want to save your knuckles and fingers and leave a power window repair to the experts.
SCISSOR ACTION WINDOW REGULATORS
Let me begin by saying that some of these are downright dangerous. I can’t count the number of close calls Paul had in the early years of Power Window Repair, before he learned his lesson and smartened up. Widely used in older vehicles, they have somewhat faded from newer models 1997 to date. Honda was using a mix of styles from front to rear and Hyundai used mainly cable window regulators in the early to mid-1990’s, but European and automobiles made in the US were using the scissor action regulator. By the time everyone was switching to cable, Hyundai was testing scissor…..they went back cable. As their vehicles became more reliable and they increased their guarantees of reliable vehicles, I guess they needed something to fix that wasn’t under warranty.
Made of almost all metal, the scissor regulator has a main arm that connects to the track or glass tray, the other has teeth that mesh with gear on the power window motor. As the motor is driven forward and backward and window is raised and lowered.
The most common failure in this type of power window regulator is general found to at the weakest point, which is the plastic wheel at the end which allows the regulator to glide effortless up and down when in working condition. Over time, plastic deteriorates and breakage occurs. Under normal circumstances the entire mechanism would need to be replaced, however Power Window Repair has designed an OEM repair where we remove the broken wheel and replace it with a much more durable wheel, one that is rated for a higher degree of temperature and heavier load. The savings to our customers is notable. We also see failure in the glass carriers. Clips make of metal and plastic alike will break and in many cases, a text book repair will call for the glass to be repaired. If you’re in the Phoenix Area, Power Window Repair can almost always fix that for $149-179.
It is worth noting that we know what’s coming down the pipe. We’ve done the research. Some of the newer models in 2014 and 2015 have taken to heavier, anti-theft glass which calls for a heavier-duty scissor action regulator in order to stabilize and support the weight of that added security. Despite having to expand doors to make room for the addition safety features and redesign speaker locations, it looks like they were listening to their customers needs for added safety for the property.
CABLE ACTION WINDOW REGULATORS
Cable action regulators come in a variety of designs, but all are based on pulley system mechanics. Some are designed with a single metal track, some with a double metal track. Newer cable mechanisms are found to be built into a plastic panel, which becomes even more difficult to deal with. Some even require the outer panel or skin to be removed in order to reach the window regulator, which mean taping off painted areas, time intensive dismantling of most of the door panel and finding a safe place to protect the skin while working on the vehicle.
The weight and the size of the glass almost always dictate what will be found in a door, but door speakers and other mechanisms also come into the play when determining all the parts that will be placed inside a door panel.
The most common failures are found in in the weakest areas, including the pulley wheels, fairleads, plastic spring tensioners and glass carrier areas.
DRIVE-SHAFT WINDOW REGULATORS
We can begin by saying that this mechanism is found in the 2002-2007 Jeep Liberty. We consider this vehicle to the be the #1 source of power window problems across the nation, BY DOUBLE. It was no surprise to us to find this very same mechanism in a 1980 Ferrari. When we opened that box from Washington, all we could do was laugh. No wonder! It wasn’t long after that when we opened a Frieght-liner door to find the very same regulator mechanism and then again in the Kenworth trucks. The trick with the Kenworth is that similarly to the Audi window regulators, the entire cassette, including the glass attached, must be removed before the window regulator mechanism can be worked on.
The mechanism itself is a one track systems with a plastic drive shaft that carries the fuzzy cable that is driven up and down by the power window motor. It’s not uncommon to hear that a fuzzy monster is sticking up out of a customers window when the window regulator fails. Jeep Liberty window regulators fail in so many places that we make it look like Frankenstein before we put it back in our customers door. Forget the metal parts that everyone’s selling out there online – what they don’t tell you is that as soon as you install that new part, the regulator will break in an area you can’t fix. It’s a racket, we tell you! They even break in such a way in the rear doors that we sometimes have to remove the panel from the inside with the door closed. That’s fun!
What ever it is that’s in that door of yours, we’ll have a fix that won’t break your budget. Just give us a ring for a diagnosis and we’ll start from there!