Tips from Used Car Advisor

Car Advisor Tamotsu Todoroki

Hi, this is Tamotsu Todoroki. I am a car advisor of
I write an online column every week to take care of your vehicle. My column is all about something useful and practical for your vehicle. Please have a look once to keep your car in good condition.


What You Can Do When Your Car's Electric Window Fails - Vol.381

Electric windows are not infallible
Just because electric windows have a similar mechanism to manual windows doesn't mean they are just as easy to maintain. Whenever wiring and electricity are involved instead of gears, systems become more susceptible to faults. More things can go wrong with an electronic device and sometimes, it can be harder to figure out why it stopped functioning.

When your electric window stops working there are a few things you can check to see where the problem originates. You can take a look at the wiring, check if the fuse is damaged, and investigate the window gaskets. Perhaps the window's motor is busted in which case more work will be necessary.

Let's look at some of the most common issues that stop electric windows from working, and how to address some of them on your own.

Consult the Manual and Search for the Cause
First of all, unless you have a degree in engineering and are knowledgeable on how a car works, you should always consult the manufacturer's manual and read up on where parts are located. You need to be sure which wire connects to the window and make sure you are not interfering with a potentially vital car part.

You should never attempt to fix your own car without guidance from the manual unless you are 100% sure about what you are doing. Any little doubt you might have about something could lead you to cause more unwanted damage. When checking for the root of the problem, start with the most obvious like the buttons and move on to the gaskets, wiring, motor, and regulator.

Changing the Fuse
Sometimes, fixing an electric window is as easy as changing a light bulb. Once a fuse has blown, it's obvious that replacing it will be the solution. The fuses should be located underneath the dashboard but just in case, check your manual.

Once you have located the one corresponding to the damaged window, carefully remove it and take it to a store so that you can replace it with one that has the same technical specifications.

Repair or Replace Your Window Gaskets
If your fuse is ok and your buttons are functioning but your window is still not moving, take a look at your window gaskets and check for tearing foreign objects. Also, see how well they fit. Sometimes, a loose window seal can keep the window stuck in the closed position.

You can try to clean a mess with acetone by putting small drops on a cloth and gently brushing it. Just make sure not to pour in too much, otherwise, it will get on the glass. If all else fails, remove the gaskets and try to operate the window again.

If this works, all you need to do is buy new gaskets and fit them carefully in the original position. If they are not the cause, keep moving onto the more complicated parts of the mechanism.

Check the Window Motor, Wiring or Regulator
This part can be tricky and unless you are sure you have a steady hand and good understanding of wiring and mechanics, you should just take the car to an auto service. Of course, you don't know that the motor or regulator are faulty until you've taken a look, so here is how you can do just that.

First, you need to unscrew and remove the door panel that covers the entire mechanism. Then you can follow the wire that connects to the window switch all the way down to the motor. Using a multi-meter and the owner's manual, you can check to see if the motor is getting enough power. If the readings are good but your window is not working either change the wiring or take the car to a specialist and tell him what the problem is.