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Common Problems with Power Windows

Your auto glass is designed to provide convenience, protect you from the elements and add a bit more safety to the vehicle in the event of an accident. When auto glass was first developed, it was rather dangerous in that it would shatter much like regular window pane; large shards could be created and this could turn otherwise small accidents into life-threatening events. As time wore on, additional safety measures and regulations helped make auto glass a much safer substance. An array of conveniences were also developed to make this type of glass even more accommodating.

One such convenience is the development of power windows, which have been standard fare in many automobiles for around two decades. Because power windows involve moving parts and a series of mechanical elements, it is likely that sooner or later, one of your car windows will malfunction. In some cases, this is an easy fix, but there can sometimes be an expensive repair job involved. If you have recently suffered from a malfunctioned car window and want to learn more about what can cause this, then continue reading to discover the most common problems that occur with power windows.

Blown Fuse

Before you do anything, you should first check to see is a fuse has went bad in your vehicle. The fuse responsible for your power windows, like all other fuses, needs to be replaced from time to time. Your vehicle will likely have a diagram or chart embedded on the cover of your fuse box, which will help you identify which fuse connects to your power windows. If the fuse appears to be burnt or charred in any way, then it is definitely time to replace it. It should be noted that in most vehicles, a blown fuse will prevent any of the windows from being rolled down; if it is just one window that is giving you trouble, then continue reading.

Other Electrical Issues

If more than one window is acting up but the replacement of a fuse does not solve the problem, then it is most likely an electrical issue that may pertain to the vehicle’s wiring. Wires can go bad over the years; particularly in older models, you may need a new set of wires installed in a section of the car after fifteen to twenty years. You can use a voltmeter to follow the path from the fuse box to the switch and onto the motor, looking for any area in which there isn’t approximately 12 volts detected. A gap in this voltage at some point along the wiring line suggests that the piece of wiring will need to be replaced.

Window Motor

This is perhaps one of the most common issues that people will face, and every car owner will ultimately have to deal with a window motor replacement if they own the vehicle long enough. This process can be done by anyone, but it takes a good deal of prior research and steady hands. For this reason, many people resort to an auto glass technician to perform the repairs. The Auto Glass Safety Council reports that technicians handle more than 80 percent of all window motor replacement jobs in the United States. If just one of your windows is not functioning properly and will not budge at all, then it is very likely a window motor issue.

Reels and Cable Window Regulators

The track upon which your car window moves up and down is more delicate than you may think. A series of sharp vibrations, an accident or simple wear and tear can ultimately cause this vital piece of automobile equipment to become non-functional. These parts are fairly simple and under the right circumstances, may begin to snag or give way. This can lead to your window suddenly falling out of place or refusing to raise beyond a certain point. Since there is still power to the assembly in this case, you may hear the window motor attempting to raise or lower the window. It is highly recommended that you call an auto glass technician for any repairs needed to this part of your car window.


There are several gaskets and seals on the interior of your car door that help keep precipitation, moisture and debris out of the inside of the housing. This prevents electrical shortages and premature malfunctions in these important components discussed earlier. These gaskets and seals, however, can ultimately go bad. If they do, you may have an issue where one or more begins to block the path of the window as it is rolled up or down. Weatherstripping adhesive can be a great way to remedy this issue, but you may need some assistance from a qualified technician to perform the repairs.


If one or more of your car windows suddenly ceases to work, do not panic. In nearly all cases, one of the problems mentioned above will be the cause. Depending on the situation, your insurance and any existing warranties on the vehicle, you may not have to pay anything to have the repairs performed. Likewise, it could be something as simple as a fuse, which requires virtually no time or cost to replace. If you believe it is a more serious problem, however, then you should contact a qualified auto glass technician who understands the mechanics of power windows. He or she will be able to provide you with the best diagnosis and repair/replacement solution.