How to Fix a Car Window

Power windows are great until they quit working. Here's how to fix one.

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Up next in How to Make Simple Car Repairs (13 videos)

Taking your car to the shop is expensive. Save a bundle by learning how to make some automobile fixes yourself with these tutorials..

You Will Need

  • Rubber gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • Fuse
  • Panel removal tool
  • Screwdriver
  • Contact cement
  • Car manual with wiring diagrams (optional)
  • Voltmeter (optional)

Steps

  1. Be careful not to smash fingers in the window gears, and wear rubber gloves and safety goggles for protection when disassembling and repairing a car window.

  2. Step 1

    Replace blown fuse

    If more than one window is on the fritz, try replacing the fuse first. Otherwise, leave the fuse disconnected for safety while you inspect the window's inner workings.

  3. If you hear the motor trying to work when you press the up or down window controls, it's probably not a blown fuse.

  4. Step 2

    Remove door panels

    Use a panel removal tool to pry off the panels on the inside of the car door and pull back the coverings to gain access to the mechanics inside. Use a screwdriver to remove any screws needed to get the coverings off.

  5. Make a note of where to put the screws back later.

  6. Step 3

    Check for jam

    Look at the gears inside to see if a jammed cable may be keeping your window off track so that it is stuck down or up. If so, set it back on track.

  7. Consult electrical wiring diagrams for your car in the manual to learn how the window functions.

  8. Step 4

    Follow the wiring

    Follow the wiring to search for any corroded connectors or switches that may be keeping your window's motor from working, and replace any bad ones.

  9. Use a voltmeter to test the voltage at each point along the wiring.

  10. Step 5

    Fix bad gaskets

    Replace or repair the seal on any loose or faulty gaskets if the window won't roll up or sticks in some places.

  11. Step 6

    Consider a new motor

    If your window needs a new motor, decide whether you can replace it yourself, which will depend on your mechanical experience, available tools, and the type of car.

  12. Step 7

    Reassemble

    Reassemble the window and door parts, using contact cement to hold the plastic insulating layer in place if necessary. Enjoy your working windows!

  13. Windshields were first added to vehicles in 1904. If the windshield became dirty or obstructed the view of the driver, it could be split in two, allowing the debris to fall off the top half of the glass.

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