What Causes the Power Window to Stop Working

Car with power windows

The convenience of pushing a button to pick up your fast food or cash at the ATM can’t be understated. You don’t think much about the power windows in your car, right? And the last thing you want to think about is power window repairs.

Many drivers on the road today grew up using power windows to take care of multiple small tasks every day. However, crank windows in vehicles only became a thing of the past in 2008. Before then, drivers had to use a firm grip and a certain amount of strength to crank windows open or closed, and the use of cell phones wouldn’t have been possible at the same time.

Power windows have proven to be an invaluable convenience in cars today.

Until they don’t work. What then?

What Causes One Power Window To Stop Working?

Crank windows in cars did have one advantage over power windows—they didn’t rely on a power source other than someone’s arm. If your power window doesn’t operate when you push the button, you need professionals like our Max Auto Glass mechanics to diagnose the problem and make the repair.

Here are some possible reasons why a power window might stop working:

1. The Motor in the Window Is Defective or Worn Out

As the motor ages, the window may start going up and down more slowly. Eventually, it will stop working completely. You might hear an unusual sound or grinding as the motor strains to work, or there might not be any sound at all.

If a power window is operated for an “average” number of uses, the motor will probably last at least two years. A failure before that, under normal usage, may be covered under a warranty.

2. A Fuse Might Be Blown, or There Might Be a Bad Relay Switch

This is especially true if none of the power windows are working. It’s tricky to determine if it is a fuse, or which fuse it might be. Plus, other systems could be affected if it turns out to be a bad relay switch and you’ve been pulling out fuses. It’s best to make an appointment with Max Auto Glass so we can run a thorough diagnostic inspection.

3. The Window Regulator Has Gone Bad

The regulator is inside the door and controls the up-and-down movement of the power window. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to tell which is bad, the motor or the regulator. Or neither. They often make the same grinding noise when they have to work harder than normal. It isn’t common for the regulator to go bad, but there is only one way to find out.

Our ASE-certified mechanics will probably have to remove the door panel and use high-tech diagnostic tools to pinpoint the worn or defective part.

View our current promotions so that you can save money at Max Auto Glass!

4. The Window Track Guides May Be Faulty

These guides keep the window in place as it moves up and down. Once off the track, the window can’t move. It can also fall inside the door and will cause a rattle if you push the power window switch afterward.

5. The Power Window Switch Is BadWindow lifter button in a luxury car

If there is only one window that won’t operate, the switch for that window could be defective or worn out due to voltage problems or poor construction. Let us take a look and diagnose the problem.

6. The Wiring for the Power Window Needs Attention

It could be a short or related wiring issue that causes a power window to stop working completely. Or it might be rain, corrosion, or rodents severing or exposing the wires enough to ground them out when the door closes.

On older model cars, there is sometimes a pinched or misplaced wire in the extendable conduit between the door and the door jamb. Newer cars have contact connections instead of wiring conduits, so this problem has been largely eliminated. Most drivers can’t tell the difference, however, so rely on Max Auto Glass to provide experienced, honest service on any age car.

7. The Window Might Be Frozen

Literally, if you live in a cold climate. If the temperature has dropped below freezing and a power window won’t operate, it may simply be frozen shut. You can attempt to free the window by running an ice scraper around the weather stripping, or you can just let it thaw out after a few minutes of running the heater.

8. The Window Lock Is On

The simplest answer to a power window that won’t work is that the lock-out button is engaged on the driver’s door. The window lock-out switch prevents anyone else in the car from operating a power window. This is a safety feature, especially if there are children in the car. The switch is located on the driver’s door panel below the four window switches.

9. A Window Gasket Is Torn, Loose, or Dirty

The window gasket helps keep wind and rain out of the car. It also assists in aligning the window properly. Dirt and debris can make it sticky over time, and it may be dislodged. Before long, the regulator motor won’t be strong enough to move the window.

The gaskets and seals can be cleaned, lubricated, and replaced by our window specialists. Otherwise, you will have a window that won’t close properly, allowing water to leak into the car.

10. A Damaged Door May Be Affecting the Power Window Function

The window track can have unseen damage after a collision. The result can be a window that is stuck, or there may simply be a loose bolt. In order for the window to work properly again, the track must be realigned and any other damage fixed.

A malfunctioning power window is difficult to diagnose. Some of the issues initially look (or sound) alike. The input of a professional, like those at Max Auto Glass, is invaluable and can save you time and money.

Get a Quick Quote Here.

The Max Auto Glass Difference

  • High-Quality Products
  • Technicians Certified By The Auto Glass Safety Council™
  • Excellent Customer Service
Contact Us