Car Door Rattles? How to Check for a Loose Window

If your car door rattles when closed, the window glass might have disconnected from the window regulator. Find out how to test and fix this problem yourself with steps from our expert mechanic.

How to Test and Fix Loose Window Glass That Causes Car Door Rattles

Mechanic inspecting rattling in a car door

Steps to fix a car door that rattles and check for a loose window

  1. Wear Hand and Eye Protection

    Wear hand and eye protection for safety since you’ll be dealing with glass

  2. Remove the Door Panel

    Take off the door panel and the water shield to access the window glass and window regulator

  3. Check the Window Clamps

    With the door panel removed, you’ll have a view of the window and window regulator. Check the condition of the clamps on the window regulator that connect to window. See if the window is connected to the window regulator and see if there is any damage to the clamps or if there’s loose bolts that may explain why the window disconnected.

  4. Test the Function of the Window Regulator

    Plug in the window switch and test window regulator to confirm that it’s working. Notice if the window glass is sitting inside the window channel. If the window is not in the window channel but attached to the window regulator, it will bind and the regulator will keep working. If the window stays stuck with the regulator working, eventually the glass will break free and separate, creating a rattling noise in your car door.

    There may be a problem with the window motor or window switch if the window regulator doesn’t work with the window switch connected.

    Read more to test if the problem is with the power window motor or the switch

  5. Inspect the Window Regulator for Damage

    Check the window regulator for bending or damage. Check the cables and make sure they’re not broken, frayed or twisted, which could cause problems like the window binding.

    Inspect the window channels for bending, damage, or debris that might lodge the window.

  6. Check the Window for Damage

    Wearing hand and eye protection, look at the bottom of window for damage, which can indicate where it disconnected and what is causing it to rattle in your car door. Also, look at the bottom of the door and parts of the window regulator for bits of glass that may have broken off.

  7. Clean the Window Tracks

    If the tracks on the window regulator are dirty, clean them with dry graphite spray.

  8. Re-Attach the Window to the Window Regulator

    See if you can mount window to regulator and check if you can get the window to function again.

    Put the key in “ON” position and bring the window regulator to access points in the door so you can clamp the window to the regulator. Put the glass down as far as possible into the clamp to secure it to the window regulator.

    Read more window regulator install tips

  9. From a Distance, See If the Window Works and Re-Adjust It If It Falls

    When testing, keep a distance from the door in case window glass breaks. If the window falls at an angle, it means something is off-track, so re-check the glass and window regulator and stabilize the window.

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Car Door Rattles - How to Check for a Loose Window - 1A Auto
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Car Door Rattles - How to Check for a Loose Window - 1A Auto
If your car door rattles, you might have loose window glass. Learn how to diagnose and fix this problem yourself with expert tips and advice in this article and video
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1A Auto
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