Power Windows Not Working at the Front? How to Diagnose & Fix

If the power windows are not working at the front but work at the rear, the window switch, window regulator, or window motor are the common causes and all are available at 1aauto.com. Find out how to troubleshoot a front power window that won’t roll up or down when the rear windows are working.

How to Fix Front Power Windows Not Working

1A Auto mechanic reviewing why power windows are not working at the front of the car

Steps to take if the front power windows are not working

  1. Turn the Key on and Check All the Windows

    Make sure key is in the “ON” position and use all the window switches to see what works and what doesn’t.

  2. Check the Fuse

    The front windows could be on a separate circuit from the rear but they’re most likely not. The reason why the rear power widows are working but not the front may not be obvious, so you might have to check the fuse panel. The fuse may have a different label depending on the vehicle. The one in this example is labeled “Power.”

    Remove the fuse and see if it’s blown. There is usually a cause for the blown fuse. For example, the window motor could draw too much current and create too much amperage, causing the window to bind up. There could also be a problem with the electrical wiring.

  3. Inspect the Window Switch

    If the fuse is good and the window switch isn’t working, sometimes moisture can leak in, like if the window is left open in the rain. You can try to work the switch back and forth and maybe bend it and see if it’s just sticking. This doesn’t mean the window is fixed if it works, but corrosion could be causing switch to fail, and if that happens, you’ll want to replace the window switch.

    With the key still in the “ON” position, make sure the window lock is in the right position and check the window switch. If it’s not working on one side, there is probably a window regulator or window motor problem. Listen for noise. If you hear the motor moving, then there is probably power and ground, and the regulator has a problem, like being bound up.

  4. Remove the Door Panel

    Remove the door panel. It’s a similar procedure for most vehicles. Remove any trim pieces, push-pins, screws, possibly the arm rest, and any fasteners around perimeter of the door panel. Disconnect the wiring and the cables from the panel once it’s off.

  5. Test the Window Switch

    Switch the Window Switch with One from the Rear
    You can potentially test the window switch by taking a working one from the rear. If the problem is with the passenger window, most of the time the rear and front switches of that side are the same. Compare the switches and see if the part numbers match. You could plug the switch in and check if the regulator works, and that will let you know if the switch is faulty.

    Test the Window Switch with a Test Light
    In the power window motor circuit, there are two wires going to motor. You can test if you have positive connection out of one of the wires by flipping switch up or down with a test light connected.

    Test the test light on the car’s battery before you start. Put the clamp to the ground and the tip to the positive terminal and make sure it lights up. You can attach the ground to a screwdriver and carefully enter screwdriver and test light into the switch’s electrical connector. You will need to test for power and ground in both directions.

    If you do have a working switch, you would need a new motor. If there’s no power or ground, it’s likely the master switch or passenger switch. You can test those the same way with a test light. To test the switch, put the probe to the connector and test for power and ground with the switch on. If you have power and ground at the switch, the switch is faulty. To test for ground, connect the screwdriver to the wire and a test light.

    Read more on how to tell if the problem is with the switch or the power window motor

  6. Check the Window Motor Electrical Connector for Corrosion

    Use a pick to remove the window motor electrical connector. Look at the connector for corrosion or if the wires in the connector are loose. Corrosion can also cause the connector to not work properly. If there’s corrosion, you might be able to put dialectic grease into the connector and have it working fine. If there’s extreme corrosion, you’ll have to replace the connector and probably replace the window motor.

  7. Inspect the Window Regulator

    Some vehicles have window tracks attached to the window regulator. Be careful of your fingers when replacing window regulators. There will be sharp edges and you don’t want an injury. Sometimes bolts loosen and fall out and the window can fall, so you may only have to reinstall some bolts. But if that caused damage and another way, you could have damage to window or regulator. Some window regulators have cables, which is more common. They still have a motor, but cables are used to move the window up and down. The slides can bind and the cables can break.

    If the regulator is a spring and gear, carefully put it in a vise and remove the bolts and swap motors. If the motor is not working, the regulator could be frozen and rusted.

    More window regulator installation tips

Fix front windows not working yourself with quality auto parts and tips at 1aauto.com

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Power Windows Not Working at the Front of Your Car? - 1A Auto
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Power Windows Not Working at the Front of Your Car? - 1A Auto
If your front power windows are not working, the cause is usually the window switch, motor, or regulator, but it could be something else. Find out how to troubleshoot this problem yourself with these expert tips
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1A Auto
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