Car Window Won’t Go Up? How to Tell If It’s the Window Motor or Switch

Mechanic Advice to Diagnose & Fix

Car Window Won't Go Up?
Expert Advice to Diagnose & Fix

Trying to find out why your car window won’t go up? It’s one thing to have a stuck, jammed, or intermittent window; It’s another to not know what’s causing it. Watch the video below or read on to follow these steps from the 1A Auto mechanics that will help you diagnose if it’s the switch or the motor that’s causing your power window problems.

How to Diagnose Why Your Car Window Won’t Go Up

Steps to diagnose why your window won’t go up

  1. Test the Power Window Switch and Motor

    You can determine if the switch, motor, or an electrical connection or wire is bad with a test light. The steps include inserting the test light into the switch to test for a 12v electrical connection and working down to the motor if the window switch has continuity.

    Troubleshooting this issue can be easier with the door panel removed, but to save time and hassle, it’s easier to confirm there is no problem with the switch first.

  2. Remove the Window Switch

    Remove the window switch from the control panel with a trim tool and leave it connected to the electrical connector.

  3. Press the Test Light to the Wires Entering the Switch

    Turn the key to the ON position. Press the test light into switch’s electrical connector where the wires come in from the fuse panel. Incoming wires are usually larger gauge (thickness). If the test light activates, there is power going into the window switch. If there is no power at the switch, the problem is either a blown fuse at the fuse panel, or the incoming wires may be damaged in some way.

  4. Press the Test Light to the Wires Leaving the Switch

    Press the test light into the wires leaving the switch (that lead to the window motor). Next, activate the window switch. If there is power, the problem could be the window motor or its wires between the switch and the motor. Knowing there is continuity at the entrance and exit points of the switch confirms the problem is not with the switch.

  5. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 at the Electric Window Motor, or Test the Motor with a Working Power Window Regulator

    Testing for power in the electrical wiring at the motor’s electrical connector can confirm if there is a defective connection, or a defective motor.

    Another way to test the motor is to disconnect the electrical connector from the potentially defective window motor and connecting it to a working power window regulator. If the motor works on the working window regulator, you know the window motor is defective.

Fix a power window yourself with quality auto parts at

Replace the Window Motor or Window Switch Yourself

For a general idea on how to replace the window motor, check out the video below. Find videos specific to your year, make, and model in the 1A Auto Video Library.

Shop Parts Featured in This Article

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Car Window Won't Go Up? How to Tell If It's the Window Motor or Switch
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Car Window Won't Go Up? How to Tell If It's the Window Motor or Switch
If your car window won't go up, it could be the power window switch or the motor. Learn how to diagnose and fix it with 1A Auto's mechanics.
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1A Auto
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