Power Windows Not Working Here's how to fix it

Once upon a time, all car windows needed to be rolled down manually, but that’s not the case today. Modern cars are equipped with power windows. Although this allows you to get fresher air quicker, there are potential problems with it if the window malfunctions. These are the most common reasons why your power windows don't work.

In most cases, something electronic has failed, but don’t underestimate the power of the weather either. In this guide, we touch on the top reasons the power windows aren’t working.

Broken window regulators or broken motors are the most frequent reasons why power windows don't work. It can also be caused by faulty wirings between your car’s body and the door, which is quite common place for them to break.

This is a detailed listing of most likely causes for power window failure.

Índice de Contenido
  1. There are 5 causes of power window failure
    1. 1. Broken Regulator
    2. 2. Motor with broken window
    3. 3. Poor Weather
    4. 4. Power Window Switch Malfunctioning
    5. 5. Electric Wiring Issues
  2. How to Troubleshoot Power Windows That Don’t Work
    1. 1. Get the window
    2. 2. Make use of a test light
    3. 3. Take a look at the motor
    4. 4. Check the Regulator
    5. 5. Check the rubber
  3. Power Windows Repairs: What is the Cost?

There are 5 causes of power window failure

1. Broken Regulator

Power Window Regulator

A regulator is required to move the power windows up or down. Every door with a power window has an appropriate regulator.

If the window regulator fails, there will be no response to pressing either the up/down button. It is necessary to replace the regulator in order to solve the problem. 

It is made from steel cables that can eventually rust or fail. These regulator cables can fail sometimes and cause the glass to become stuck at the bottom.

2. Motor with broken window

Power Window Motor

The motor powers each power window, in addition to its regulator. The motor's end has a gear which connects with the regulator to allow seamless movement.

The regulator will only be activated if you press the power button. This is the motor that activates the regulator. If the motor goes bad, there’s no power to make everything operate. 

3. Poor Weather

Cold Weather Car

The window's function can be affected by ice or snow. Because the glass adheres to the frame, the cold weather can severely affect the function of power windows. 

The regulator might still be strong enough to lift the window out of the frame in some instances, even though it may have frozen. However, trying to force the window to move in cold weather is going to cause the regulator to wear out as it isn’t meant for extreme conditions. Before you attempt to move the window, remove any snow or ice. Then allow them to warm up. 

4. Power Window Switch Malfunctioning

Power Window Switch

You expect the window to work when you push it on the door. This switch is susceptible to wear over time. Each push of the switch causes it to wear a little more, decreasing its lifespan by one operation. 

You might find that the switch wears faster than expected if you use it frequently or are rough with it. Thankfully, power window switches aren’t expensive to replace and are one of the easier problems to solve. 

5. Electric Wiring Issues

There are several wires connecting the window switch and the motor. While this is one of the least common reasons for power window failure, you can’t overlook the possibility that the wiring is damaged or broken.

Sometimes it could be because you were trying to repair another section of the power windows. It is possible that you accidentally damaged one wire in the process of replacing it. However, you don’t need to examine the wires until the more common possibilities are looked at first. 

There are control modules in your vehicle that can cause power window failures. This depends on what model you have. You might also need to inspect the fuses for your power windows before replacing any of them.

You should also check the wirings between the car’s body and the door, a common place where the wirings will break.

How to Troubleshoot Power Windows That Don’t Work

Repair Power Windows

1. Get the window

Access to every component of your window is necessary for a proper inspection. To do this, you will have to pull out the trim on the interior door which holds the broken window. 

Some panels can be held together with snap fasteners, others by screws or bolts. Use caution when removing the panel, ensuring you don’t break any delicate parts. 

2. Make use of a test light

Your test light can be used in place of your motor. You might also need a position sensor if the connector has more than 2 wires. In this case, it’s best to review the schematic to determine which wires are supplying power and which is the ground before you hook up the test light. 

After the test light is connected, switch your key to ON. You can operate the switch both ways. A functional circuit is one that produces a bright, visible light. A bad switch might be causing the light to only come on in one direction. 

3. Take a look at the motor

Test the motor again by connecting it. You may have circuit operation but motor not working, this could be an internal problem. 

In certain cases you may be able to lightly touch the motor and hold the switch in place while trying to turn it on. If that doesn’t work, replacement is necessary.

4. Check the Regulator

The guide wheels allow the train to turn on their tracks, but can be broken by mechanical regulators. Glass can be bonded if it has broken guide wheels. 

Because you can see kinked and detached cables, cable regulators are much easier to fix. If the motor is working and you don’t spot regulator damage, you could also check the gearing of the regulator. The gearing of some windows is made from plastic, which can be easily damaged or removed. 

5. Check the rubber

You can also test the rubber if everything is working properly. The regulator is still connected to the autoglass. You should move it in the channel. 

If you can move it smoothly in your hands without binding, there’s nothing wrong. The rubber channel could be worn, or may have become contaminated by dirt. If the problem persists, you can clean it and then lubricate your rubber. 

Power Windows Repairs: What is the Cost?

You will need to replace your power window switch. It is usually the most cost-effective repair. The cost of replacing your car's window regulator could run between $250-$400. Parts and labor can range from $180-$300. 

You will need to replace the power window motor. The labor costs for this job are around $100 to $150 and the cost of the parts is $70 to $200. If you don't have the motor replaced, the total cost of the job will be $170-$350.

If it is a lucky issue, the cause will be either a faulty relay or a broken fuse. These are often very affordable to fix. 

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