The windows of a vehicle are something that many drivers take for granted. But they play a much more critical role for you and your vehicle than you may realize. They protect you from the elements and provide necessary visibility while driving. The windows also help keep your vehicle structurally sound in the event of a rollover accident. This is true for not only the windshield but the side and rear windows as well.
As automotive technology has advanced over the years, one of the many conveniences that we now enjoy is power windows. For many, long gone are the days of having to manually roll the windows up and down.
Unfortunately, a part of vehicle ownership for some drivers is the need for power window repair at some point, whether it is due to an electrical issue or a mechanical component that has failed. And some may even encounter the need for a car window replacement due to a broken side or back window. If you find yourself in either of those scenarios, it is important to have this work done as quickly as possible. Not doing so can lead to further damage and more costly service needs.
In this guide, we will discuss in depth what you need to do if you find yourself in need of either power window repair or car window replacement, what to expect in the process for both of these cases, and how to select a good shop for car window repair or replacement.
What To Do When You Think You Need Power Window Repair
When you have power windows, if one or more of them are moving very slowly, it can be more than a simple annoyance. This could point to an issue that can worsen with time and possibly even result in the window getting stuck in either the up or down position.
So, when you need power window repair, it is important to have it addressed as quickly as possible. This means finding a local auto glass shop you can count on. Before we get into that though, to help you know what to expect, you should know the basics of how the power window system works and some common causes of a malfunction.
How the Power Window System Works
The way a vehicle’s power window system works is probably simpler than you may suspect. The wiring connected to your window system’s motor receives the necessary power to move it up and down. This electric power is regulated by a fuse.
So, when you press the power window button inside the vehicle, the electric power simultaneously tells the motor to produce rotation. At that point, the clutch’s regulator converts that rotation into the vertical movement of the window. When certain components within this power window system begin to wear, it can cause the window to rise and lower slower than it should.
Common Reasons That Power Window Movement Starts To Slow or Even Stop
There are a variety of things that can cause a power window to move much slower than normal and even totally stop. These include:
- Bad window motor: As they age, window motors tend to wear down and usually create a much slower rotation as they start to go out. The slow movement of the window up or down is the most common indication of this problem, but the motor may also make a labored, buzzing sound when it is in use.
- Failing window regulator: Another cause of a slow-moving window is when the window regulator starts to show signs of excess wear.
- Broken window track guides: A slower-than-normal window movement can also be caused by a broken window track guide. These guides keep the window properly in place as it moves up and down. When a guide breaks, it will cause added resistance on the window’s path, making the window move up and down much slower than normal. This is also sometimes accompanied by a grinding or rattling noise. Eventually, a broken guide can cause the window to fall inside the door.
What to Expect in a Power Window Repair Service
When you need power window repair, the first thing that a professional auto glass technician or mechanic will do is a thorough inspection to determine why the window is moving so slowly or not moving at all.
They will need to remove the door panel to take a closer look at the power window system’s components. This will allow them to accurately identify if it is an electrical issue (such as a bad regulator or motor) or a mechanical issue (such as an overly worn or broken track strip or window track guide).
For the inspection, to pinpoint the problem, the technician will look at the following:
- Main wiring circuit
- Electrical connections
- Window fuse
- Power relay
- Drive motor
- Window regulator
- Window guides
- Window mechanism
After the inspection, the mechanic will provide a detailed report that explains the cause of the power window problem, along with the specific repairs needed and the cost of the service.
The Process for Car Window Repair
The power window repair process, in most cases, simply involves the replacement of faulty electric or mechanical components. Your technician will remove the old component(s) and connect a direct replacement to restore the full functionality of your window.
It usually does not take a long time to get your window properly operational again once the technician locates the main problem. Most experienced auto glass technicians can complete a power window repair in an hour or less. If it is a more complicated issue or multiple components need to be addressed, the repair service may take a little longer. Even if multiple components need to be replaced, your technician will repeat the diagnostic process as needed and will fully rectify the problem before you leave in your vehicle.
Why Prompt Car Window Repair is Important
The repair of a slow-moving window can be tempting to keep putting off, especially since it doesn’t affect your vehicle’s driveability. But, if left unattended for too long, the failing component that is the root cause of the issue could potentially damage other parts of the system. This could ultimately lead to more costly repairs when you decide to address the problem.
Also, keep in mind that a failing component could, at any point, cause the window to suddenly stop working. And if it is stuck open, it creates a significant security and safety issue for you as well as a risk of internal vehicle damage from bad weather. So, it is important to get your window problem taken care of as soon as possible.
By contacting your local car window repair shop at the first sign of an issue, you can prevent full failure of your window(s). If you notice one (or more) of your windows is moving sluggishly, don’t ignore it. When you are proactive, the repairs can be scheduled on your own time rather than having to hope for walk-in service when the window movement totally fails.
The Difference Between Your Side/Rear Car Window Glass and the Windshield
It is not uncommon for some drivers to encounter a scenario where the glass of their side or rear window is damaged. Though it is all technically considered safety glass, the type of glass is different for these windows compared to your windshield. This significantly impacts the auto glass service that can be performed if damage occurs.
Unlike the windshield, which is laminated glass, the side and rear windows are tempered safety glass. This glass is heated to over 1100°F and then cooled rapidly, making the glass significantly stronger than untempered glass.
If a small object hits these windows, this tempered glass can chip or crack similarly to the windshield. If the damage is small enough, a repair can often be done. But, if this glass is hit hard enough, it will break into a ton of small pieces, and you will need a car window replacement. Typically, the pieces will be similar in look and size to rock salt, not much bigger than an inch. This safety feature prevents any large, jagged pieces that could cause serious injuries.
What To Do When You Need Car Window Replacement
As with power window repair, when the glass can’t be repaired and you need car window replacement, it is very important not to put it off.
Having it done as soon as possible will help to ensure your safety and protection as well as that of your passengers and your vehicle itself. Several things can happen if it’s not taken care of quickly:
- Weakened structural integrity of the vehicle: This is especially true if it is the rear window that is broken. The chances will be higher of the roof caving in during a rollover crash.
- Theft and vandalism: If the vehicle has a broken window, it is much more vulnerable, and the threat of theft and vandalism is increased significantly.
- Further damage from bad weather conditions: A broken window leaves the interior of the vehicle exposed to rain or extreme temperatures. Moisture inside the vehicle can severely damage the interior.
As you can see, it’s critical to replace a broken car window as soon as possible. In doing so, you will help maintain the safety and protection of you and your passengers while helping protect the vehicle’s structure and value. Contact a professional auto glass shop (like Max Auto Glass) as soon as your window is broken.
What To Expect for Window Replacement
Having a clearer idea of what the process looks like when you need car window replacement can be extremely helpful. Here is a breakdown of exactly what your glass technicians will do for side and back glass replacement:
The Replacement Process for a Side Window
In many cases of a damaged side window, the entire window will need to be replaced. This is because, as mentioned above, when this tempered glass is hit with enough force, it will completely shatter into a bunch of small pieces.
The professional side window replacement process is relatively straightforward:
- While being sure not to damage it, the technician carefully removes the door panel to allow access to the window regulator and any leftover glass debris that may still be in the window frame/door panel.
- The window regulator is then disconnected, and any loose glass that is present within the window frame, panel, and inside the vehicle is thoroughly vacuumed up. You can be confident that you won’t have to worry about any loose glass chunks still hanging around after the replacement service is done.
- Once there is no more loose glass from the old window and the area is clean, the technician will carefully fit the new window into the vehicle, and the window regulator will be properly reinstalled.
- The new window is then tested to ensure that there is no mechanical damage and it properly moves up and down.
- Once it is confirmed that the new window is properly moving up and down, the door panel will be carefully reinstalled.
- Your new window will then be thoroughly cleaned.
The entire process for a side window replacement normally takes less than an hour.
The Replacement Process for a Back Window
This glass, also referred to as the back windshield, is a high-heat tempered glass like you’ll find in the side windows of the vehicle. But, unlike the side windows, this back window often has lines of thin wire built into the glass that is used to defrost the window. Plus, in many newer vehicles, there will also be ADAS components attached to the back window.
So, the replacement process for a back window does look slightly different compared to the side windows:
- The rubber molding/trim around the outer edge of the window is removed using specialized tools.
- The electrical connection to the defrost wires is temporarily disconnected.
- Your technician will remove any remaining glass pieces within the frame of the window as well as the surrounding interior of the vehicle.
- The technician will then use a specialized suction device to carefully place the new back window into the frame.
- The glass is properly secured in place, and they will reinstall the trim around the outer edge.
- The connection for the window defrost is then reconnected and tested to ensure that it still works properly.
- The technician will carefully clean the surface of the new glass, leaving you with a crystal-clear window.
Similar to the above-mentioned window services, a back window replacement takes roughly 45 minutes to an hour to complete.
How to Choose a Good Auto Glass Shop
When you need an auto glass shop for power window repair or car window replacement, it’s important to choose carefully. Your goal is a professional company that you can trust. To do that, don’t be afraid to ask important questions like:
- Are the shop’s technicians properly certified? Usually, a good auto glass shop that follows strict training, quality, and service guidelines will be both Auto Glass Safety Council™ Certified (AGSC-Certified) and Dow-Certified.
- Do they have liability and workers’ compensation insurance? These coverages protect you in case anything happens while your vehicle is being serviced.
- Are high-quality products used? True auto glass professionals only use good resin and urethane adhesives. They know that cheap supplies don’t perform well and could endanger you and your passengers.
- Do they warranty their work? A high-quality shop proudly stands behind its work with good warranty coverage on its services.
Trust the Local Experts for Professional Car Window Service in Tucson
As you can see, whether you need a power window repair or a car window replacement, it is important not to put it off and have it taken care of as soon as possible.
Here at Max Auto Glass, we offer Tucson-area drivers professional, high-quality vehicle window services to get you back on the road quickly, safely, and properly protected. Plus, with our mobile service, we’ll even come to your home or workplace for convenient service.
As a true one-stop auto glass service shop, no matter which window needs repair or replacement, we can handle all of your auto glass needs. We are your trusted providers of a full range of services, including:
- Windshield repair and replacement
- Power window repair
- Car window repair (of the glass itself)
- Car window replacement
- Auto glass calibration for the vehicle’s integrated ADAS
Our highly-trained auto glass technicians are equipped with the knowledge, experience, and necessary specialized tools to ensure that the job is done right and that they are consistently offering top-quality customer service. Each one is also Dow-Certified and AGSC-Certified. With Max Auto Glass, we are proud to offer you the best in the business to meet all of your auto glass needs.
Whether you are searching for someone to fix your slow-moving power window or replace a side window, you can count on the professional team at Max Auto Glass.
Power Window Repair & Replacement FAQs
What causes the power window to stop working?
Power windows are an indispensable feature in modern cars since they allow drivers and passengers to raise and lower their windows by simply pressing a button. (In contrast, people had to manually turn a crank to open older car windows.) But while power windows are effectively ubiquitous in today’s vehicles, they’re still moving parts — which means there’s room for things to go wrong.
If your power window stops working, the culprit may be:
- A broken window regulator. Put simply, the window regulator is the auto part that moves your windows up and down. Each window has its own regulator; if one of these regulators breaks, it needs to be replaced so you can use that power window again.
- Local weather conditions. Admittedly, Tucson, Arizona, doesn’t see much ice and snow. Still, it’s good to know that these conditions can cause power windows to jam. When it gets cold, these windows tend to stick to their frames — making it all but impossible to move them.
- Window motor troubles. As you might expect, the window motor delivers power to the window regulator. If this component stops working correctly, the window regulator won’t have the energy it needs to function.
- Wiring issues. Your power window switches are connected to the window motor via electrical wiring. Of course, these wires can easily get damaged in the course of regular automotive work, especially during jobs related to your windows. You’ll need to get another car window repair to take care of this situation.
- Power switch usage. Finally, power switch issues are the single most common factor in power window problems. These problems can develop whether you aggressively push down on your switches or use them normally. The good news is that power window switch replacement is an inexpensive task.
Why would only one power window not work?
You might assume that your power windows are all running on the same system, and they should all either work or not work. However, that’s not truly the case. Due to the way that power windows are designed, it’s entirely possible for a single window to quit working even though every other window is functioning normally.
In today’s cars and trucks, every window has its own switch, and these switches often cause issues with power windows. Since each switch controls a single window, a switch-related problem would only take out a single power window.
As previously mentioned, each power window also has a dedicated window regulator. That means each one of these components serves as a potential point of failure. While replacing a window regulator is more expensive than fixing a switch, you’ll need to take care of this to get your power window back up and running.
These aren’t the only potential problems that could cause one of your power windows to malfunction. You could run into issues related to fuses, relays, or motors. No matter what your situation is, power window repair is a job that professionals should handle.
What do you do when your power window stops working?
If one or more of your power windows is on the fritz, it can be easy to panic. After all, these are intricate vehicular components, so you might think fixing them will take a great deal of time or money. But if you know where to turn in this situation, you’ll be able to get quick, affordable car window repair.
Do you need power window repair, car window replacement, or any other window-related service in the Tucson area? If you do, your best bet is Max Auto Glass. Since we’re a division of BRAKEmax Tire & Service Centers, taking advantage of our services is as easy as visiting your local auto shop. A few of the other benefits we deliver include:
- Qualified technicians and name-brand products. At Max Auto Glass, we don’t hire just anybody to fix your power windows. Every mechanic working for us has received both Auto Glass Safety Council™ and Dow Chemical Company. We also provide quality materials like dealer windshields and Dow urethane.
- Mobile window service. These days, no one wants to wait for hours while their vehicle is being worked on. But since you need a car to get from Point A to Point B in Tucson, scheduling auto service is often considered a necessary evil. Max Auto Glass can help by coming to you. No matter where you are in the Tucson area, we can stop by to fix your power windows before you know it!
- Money-saving opportunities. If your power window stops working, you’ll have to pay for car window repair, but that doesn’t mean you should have to overpay for this service. To cushion the blow, Max Auto Glass offers several financing options (including a BRAKEmax credit card). On top of that, you can save even more by checking out our service promotions.
Thanks to these benefits and countless other advantages, Max Auto Glass is your go-to provider of window services in Tucson.