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Window Regulator

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What is a window regulator?

A window regulator is a mechanical part located behind the door panel that raises and lowers the window and can be manual or electric.  Electric windows, require an electric window regulator which connects to a motor. A manual window regulator operates utilizing a hand crank.

How do I know if my window regulator needs to be replaced?

Your window regulator may need to be replaced for a variety of reasons:

  • Damaged Window Track – A damaged window track is hard for your regulator to lift the window, will eventually fall in and stop working altogether.
  • Worn or Compromised Weatherstripping – Rain, snow, ice, dirt, and debris get inside your door and destroy the parts inside.
  • Misaligned Window – Regulators were designed to lift and lower windows in their appropriate spots! A misaligned window puts pressure on the regulator and prevents the window from moving.
  • Misplaced Window Stops – Window stops keep the window glass in place. If they’re misaligned, the window is bound to fall off the window track.
  • Obstructions in the Windows or Doors – Objects that don’t belong in the door can lead to an eventual malfunction if it interferes with the regulator.
  • Weakened Balance Springs – Your balance springs balance the weight of the window.  Door windows are surprisingly heavy; without springs, your window transfers that weight to the regulator, which isn’t good for your window motor.
  • Ground Wiring Fault – A ground wiring fault leads to a lack of energy needed to operate the power window regulator motor. If the ground is damaged, this can lead to it finding a path of least resistance, which might cause the window to work intermittingly.

Why is my car window closing crooked?

For manual window regulators, sometimes the wheels wear out, causing the window to slip over time.  For power window regulators, the motor has worn out, the window has fallen out of the brackets, or there’s a problem with the window track.

Why does my car window click and not go down?

If your car window clicks and will not go down, you likely have a relay issue.  Power from the switch to the motor relay can fail, creating a clicking sound.  Other times a blown fuse or a bad window motor.

Why won’t my car window roll down or up?

If your car window won’t roll up or down, the window crank could be spinning freely.  You can fix this problem with a new clip.  If not, checking for buildup in the window track and the cables.  You might have to remove the regulator. Check for wear on the wheels or if the pulley’s steel wires are tangled.

If you have power windows, diagnose the problem with a test light.  A test light will tell you if there’s electric current in the window motor or switch.   To do this, simply ground the test light, turn the vehicle on to accessory mode, and probe a piece of metal on the wiring harness.  If the test light illuminates, there is power to the switch; if not, check for gaps or rips in the wires, and, if that’s not the issue, you might have a blown fuse.  Trace the wires to the power window switch. P robe the wiring harness, and flick the window switch.  As you do this, the test light should turn on and off in coordination with the switch.  Lastly, probe the wire directly connected to the window motor.  If the test light illuminates, you’ll know that there’s power going into and out of the switch, and that, barring the cable wires are intact and the window is bolted to the regulator, the problem is with the window motor.

For both manual and power window regulators, sometimes the window has fallen off the window frame. In other cases, it could be from a defective window motor or switch, a snapped cable wire, a worn out regulator, or a faulty crank. There are ways to test for each, and this process usually requires the removal of the door panel, which is doable for the average DIYer. If your window is stuck, do not move it by hand.

How long do window regulators last?

Window regulators are some of the most actively used parts in any vehicle. They rarely last the life of a car, and their lifetime depends on how often you adjust your window. Signs of a window regulator slowing down include not rolling down all the way or rolling down slower than usual.  But, as with any mechanical item, there are things that you can do to extend its life before any dramatic failure happens.

Can I replace a window regulator myself?

In most cases, yes, the average DIYer can replace the window regulator. Power window regulators typically consist of removing the door panel, disconnecting the power window switch, disconnecting the window motor lead, removing the window, removing the regulator’s bolts, and pulling the regulator out of the door. When reinstalling, be sure to test the regulator by hooking up the wiring harness to the power window switch before reinstalling the door panel. For some regulators, you might have to reset the auto-pinch feature.

Manual window regulators typically consist of removing the window crank handle, removing the door panel, punching or drilling out the regulators, or loosening the bolts that attach it to the door and window track.

How much does it cost to replace a window regulator?

A new window regulator can cost up $100, and labor costs range from $200 to $400 depending on how many windows you’re fixing.  Places have quoted up to $500 or more with labor included for a single window.

Need a window regulator replacement?

1A Auto carries preassembled window regulators built to quality control standards, and have tested and rated for 10,000 cycles.

1A Auto Window Regulator Features:

  • Brand new
  • Pre-assembled
  • Direct bolt-on replacement
  • Built to quality control standards
  • Improved design for durability
  • Per item warranty included
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