How to diagnose your power window?
First check to see if the window is locked from the drivers door most cars have a master switch that will only allow the driver to roll the window up and down.
Can you hear the motor running?
Many use cable driven systems. The cables can break or jump of their guides. If cable failure occurs you will hear the cable crackling inside the door in most instances. Also, look at the interior dome light when the switch is touched….does the light dim while you touch the switch if it does you know the switch is working properly. This can indicate a mechanical issue rather then an electrical issue. An electric motor that has to work to hard draws more current which puts more load on the battery hence dimming the lights.
Can you move the window manually? If there is slack in the window that can indicate that there is a damaged regulator assembly. Once the initial inspection is completed. You will have to determine if the door modules are hard wired to the motor or are they a simple an input to an electronic control module. Different vehicles have different reset or recalibration procedures.
Remove the door panel, remove the sound proofing to access the door regulator. Once the trim panel is removed you can access the window motor electrical connector. Motor function wether hard wired or computer controlled is simple enough power is sent in one side and out the other for down and the path of current is reversed to put the window back up. Reversing the current flow is what changes the windows direction. Isolating the problem is not to difficult on systems where the switches are directly wired to the motor. You will need to know how to perform a voltage drop to properly diagnose if the problem lies within the switch or the regulator.
Mechanical contacts and switches that are wired directly are prone to failure do to the current arcing across them. Wiring harnesses can be broken where the wire leaves the door and enters the cabin. Most switches are input devices that go to a dedicated control module that activates the window. The module can be included in the switch assembly or a separate unit it can also be incorporated into an existing module like a body control module. To troubleshoot modules you have to have the proper equipment.
Window Regulators will malfunction and go out from time to time. When a person comes to us with a door problem the first thing we do is press the button. If we don’t hear anything then we assume that either the switch is bad or the motor is bad. But if we hear something then we suspect that it is the window regulator or the attachments or possibly something with the regulator mechanism. Sometimes guides, brackets or mounts can be the cause of the problem or even a bad cable. There are different types of regulators for every vehicle and some vehicles have different regulators depending on the model type. If you are needing a replacement regulator we would also want to know your VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) to ensure we have the correct replacement part because certain make, model vehicles can be manufactured or assembled in different countries for example a 2005 Honda Civic LX this vehicle can be made in Japan, Canada or the United States and that would tell us which part would be necessary to perform a replacement without bringing out the wrong replacement part.
In order to perform the regulator replacement it requires specific tools to remove the door panels. Most car dealerships can do regulator replacement however their cost will likely be around $100 an hour just for labor plus the part and tax making these window regulator replacements be very pricey in the $350-$450 range on average depending on the vehicle. We can source local aftermarket regulators and make your window work properly again for a lot less. Some regulators have to be ordered and can take a day to a few days to arrive. It typically takes about 1-2 hours to replace a door regulator.
Every Door Panel comes off differently for every car type and car manufacturer. There’s a lot of different screws that come out and some vehicles use rivets so you may have to have a rivet gun. You also have to be careful not to break the existing plastic hardware which can break while trying to do the regulator replacements.
Reinitializing the power window motor the newer vehicles like Lexus, Toyota’s, Nissan’s and Fords can be tricky and takes someone with experience. Some motors have a chip in them that counts the revolutions in the motor it counts how many revolutions it needs to get to the top. It will have sensors that need a reprogramming sequence performed after the replacement is done. If you are needing your regulator replaced give us a call and we can help you out. If you have had your window replaced and the company does not know how to reset or recalibrate your window so automatic up down and anti jam features are re enabled then contact us and we can reprogram them for you. Going to the dealership will be very expensive.