How to Fix a Car Window That Won’t Roll Up

How to Diagnose Your Power Window When It’s Stuck

Mechanic showing how to fix a car window that won't roll up

A car window that is stuck down can be one of the most stressful issues you will experience as a vehicle owner. Not only does it leave you exposed to harsh winds and external environmental conditions, but also makes keeping your belongings inside the car a risky affair.  Two of the most common causes if a car window won’t go up are a bad switch and a faulty motor. Fortunately, diagnosing a power window is a relatively easy and affordable process to undertake. We’ll take a look at what may be causing your car window to stay stuck down and the possible solutions to the problem. Watch the video below to learn how to fix a car window that won’t roll up.

How to Diagnose Your Power Window

To find out why the glass part of your window won’t go up, you’ll need to first remove the interior door panel. This will give you access to the parts that ensure the car window doesn’t stay stuck down and operates normally. You’ll also need to turn the ignition key to the ON position during the diagnosis. 

But, before going through the steps to diagnose and how to fix a car window that won’t roll up, here are some of the tools you’ll need. 

Tools Required

  1. Power probe
  2. Painter’s Tape
  3. Wires
  4. Safety glasses
  5. Wire cutters

Learn How to Fix a Car Window That Won’t Roll Up

1. Test the Window Motor for Power

Testing stuck window motor for power

The first step to finding out why your car window is stuck down is to test the power window motor. The motor is the part that drives the glass up and down. When diagnosing it, you’ll need to keep your hands from touching any of the metal lines located inside the door panel. 

Start by disconnecting the connector that sends power to the motor. Pick one of your wires and twist its end into a small circle. What you’ll want to do is go into the wiring connections on the inside of where the motor is. 

Checking window motor plug for damage.

You should find two prongs. Hook the circular end of the wire to the prong nearest to the window and let the other end touch a metallic part of the door panel. This is going to be your ground connection. Remember to stay away from the metal lines while doing this.

As you hold the ground connection with one hand, take your power probe with the other. Test it first by powering it up to ensure it works. If it does, touch it on the other prong found inside the motor connections. 

Showing how to fix a car window that won't roll up

You should hear a beep or see a light appear on the probe of the motor is working fine. You can even power up the window motor using the probe to see if it will go up. If it does, move over to the switch to check if it could be the problem. You’ll have confirmed that your motor is in good working condition. Remember to remove the wire you put on the ground connection and to reconnect the motor connector once you’re done. 

How do I know if my window motor is bad? 

While diagnosing your power window, you may find that the motor doesn’t work. This is especially if it fails to raise a car window that’s stuck down. The best solution to this problem is to replace the power motor. 

You’ll need to first ensure that the window is rolled all the way down. Near the motor, there are two window cables or cords that push and pull the glass when you try to raise or lower your window. You’ll need to first cut these cables using a pair of wire cutters. 

How to tell if your power window motor is bad.

This will leave the glass unsupported. What you’ll want to do is lift it with your hands to where you need it to be. You can raise it all the way until it closes the window. Take your painter’s tape and make good strips from the inside part of the glass, over the window, and onto the other side of the glass. You can make as many strips as you want with the tape to ensure the glass is adequately supported. 

The next step is to order yourself a new motor and power window regulator from 1A Auto to replace the old one. 

2. Test and Replace the power window switch

How to test and replace a power window switch on a stuck window.

If you found that your motor is in good condition while diagnosing your power window, you’ll need to test your switch. A bad power window switch is a common problem that many drivers experience when their car window is stuck down. 

You can simply figure this out by testing the current switch. If it allows the glass to go down but not up, you’ll need to replace it. Order your new switch from 1A Auto and plug it in. If the window works, you’ll have solved the problem. In some cases, you may have a working switch but a very slow car window. 

Why does my car window move up or down slowly?

Another common problem that people experience is having a car window that moves too slowly. This is despite having a motor and switch that are in perfect condition. Here are some of the causes behind this. 

a) Frayed window cables

If your window cables are frayed, they could be binding inside and jamming the motor whenever you try to raise or lower your window. To fix it, you’ll need to remove the regulator and motor assembly, take out the pulley mechanism, and replace the old cables. Remember to clean and apply grease on the moving parts. A more expensive solution would be to replace the entire regulator and motor assembly.  

b) Rust on the window track

 How to fix a car window that won't roll up | Cleaning rust from the tuck window's track

As you operate your power window, some of the parts driven by the motor move along a track. Rust, gunk, and debris can build up along these parts and interfere with the movement of the window mechanism. This then causes it to move up and down slowly. You’ll want to ensure the parts and tracks are greased and clean from any rust or dirt. 

c) Dust inside the window’s weather seals

Dust and gunk can also accumulate inside the rubber seals found around your window. This commonly happens if someone had sprayed something inside the weather stripping. To clean this off, use a cloth to remove all the debris and gunk. Ensure you cover both inside and outside the rubber sealing.  

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