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How to check and fix the problems with your car’s electric windows

Before deciding to bring your car to an auto shop or dealership, you can check and possibly fix the car’s electric window problems on your own to save yourself from hefty bills.

A car with electric windows is controlled by four main parts including: the window motor; the window regulator; the part that holds the window; and the control switch. Pressing the switch allows electrical current to be sent to the window motor; thus, forcing the window to either go up or down, depending on how you pressed the switch.

Since many problems tend to be simple ones that you can possibly troubleshoot on your own, rule out the possibility of dirty electrical contacts and loose fittings before assuming parts replacements and bringing the vehicle to your dealer or any of your preferred auto shop. Doing this can help save you money, especially if your windows just need a very simple repair.

Check the fuse box to see if the fuse is blown up. Most fuse boxes are found under the dashboard, just to the left of the steering wheel. A blown fuse would show a broken metallic strip from the center. If it looks fine, check if the fuse is fully functional. Turn the key to the “On” position, then check if the fuse gets powered.

Use a 12-volt test to check the power of the fuse. This tool can be bought at any auto parts store. If there is no power, track the wire back to the steering column. If you’re not very knowledgeable with car parts, consult your owner’s manual and check wiring diagrams to find the right parts when looking for any loose connections that need some tightening up. If the windows start to move, this means that the faulty connection would simply require some tightening using a small screwdriver.

Push the window switch on and off quickly for a number of times. If there are instances that the windows move even slightly, the switch’s connections may be simply gummed up. You may just need to clean the switches by squirting a few drops of rubbing alcohol or contact lens cleaner onto the switches.

Check the door switch by pulling the door switch out of the panel. If there is still no power even if the wires are still connected to the switch, you can try temporarily replacing a functional switch from another door (except the driver’s master switch). If the problem continues, look into the doorjamb to see if there is any damaged wire. This doorjamb has many wires running through it. These wires are needed to get power from the body to the door units. Sometimes, because of the many years of opening and closing the doors, the wires may get brittle and break, especially when they got kinked and straightened. This is actually a common problem with car doors, especially with the driver’s door.

Check the power window motor behind the door panel. To get access to it, you may have to remove the entire door panel. Carefully consult your owner’s manual for more specific instructions, especially if you’re not well adept with car parts and/or your car’s exact specifications and instructions for opening and repair of parts.

Check the motor’s plug, which has two wires coming from it. Connected to the motor, try back probing the plug as it sits. Start cycling the door switch back and forth. Observe the motor while switching it in the “Up” position. One wire should light when you do this. The other wire should light if you switch to the “Down” position. In the opposite direction where the power becomes a ground, attach the ground clip of the 12-volt test light to a power source and it should turn the probe end into a 12-volt ground tester accordingly. If the wires power up right on queue, the motor itself may be the problem. Check the window again. If it moves up and down freely with the motor unattached, check for loose connections and any other visible problems. Tighten any loose connections or replace the motor.

Replacing a motor would be a little complicated to non-experts as the replacement consists of removing an entire assembly of linkages, spring and motor. The spring assembly is extremely dangerous as its attached two scissor-like arms close at an extremely fast rate with enough force to cut off a finger or two. And so, when doing things on your own, if the spring were to be released accidentally, exercise utmost care. To safely dismount the motor from the carriage, place the linkage arms into a bench-mounted vice, then secure it very tightly. Since the lateral force of the spring on the motor is negated by the vice, this allows the arms to be kept in place so that the motor replacement becomes a much easier task.

If these do-it-youself steps do not solve the problem, it is best to contact your dealership or local mechanic and have your vehicle served accordingly.


If you have never worked with electrical motors or wiring yet, it is best to consult a mechanic, ask a help of an experienced friend when doing your own repairs and adjustments.

Unless you have previous experience, do not remove the door panel yourself. Consult a mechanic, as this could cause damage to your car.


Be careful when adjusting switches as miscalculations and unintentional adjustments may cause other problems. If you don’t have any experience in removing a door panel, it is better to bring your car to a mechanic to avoid causing serious damage to the vehicle.

If your vehicle has airbags, checking the fuse box near the steering wheel may not be a good idea. Check your owner’s manual or call your dealer to see if you can continue checking the fuse box on your own.

If you have never worked with electrical motors or wiring, consult a mechanic or take it to the repair shop to avoid any possible injuries.

Rianne Hill Soriano
Rianne is a director, writer, educator, and consultant in film and commercial productions. From mainstream essentials to independent flair, she knows the drill in making entertaining and well-meaning productions. She can lead a pack passionate about extreme action and technological edge; she can breathe an endearing and sentimental style for a team with a sweet disposition.

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