A window that won’t move up or down at all is a security risk, as well as a safety and convenience issue when driving on the highway, or in bad weather. It is useful to get a grip on how the power window system works, to understand what could be causing it to malfunction.
How the Power Window system works:
Within each door of your car, is a motor that is responsible to move the window glass up or down. The system’s motor receives power through wiring and is regulated by a fuse. When you press the window switch, the power window motor produces rotation. A regulator inside the window converts that rotation into the up-and-down movement of your window.
In manual window systems, the mechanism is similar, except that the rotation is produced when you turn the window handle inside the vehicle by hand, instead of a motor.
When parts within either a power or manual window system begin to wear, it can cause your window to move improperly or not at all.
Possible Root Causes for why your Power Window might not be working:
- Faulty power window motor: If the power window motor is beginning to fail or has stopped working entirely, the system cannot function properly. This could cause your window to go up and down slowly or stop working entirely. When you press your window control switch, this problem may cause the motor to make a labored sound or no sound at all, depending on the motor’s condition.
- Faulty window regulator: Since the regulator is responsible for creating the vertical movement of your window, it can cause the system to malfunction when something goes wrong. If the regulator is faulty, you should be able to hear the motor running when you press the power window switch. There are times, however, when a faulty power window motor or window regulator manifest a problem in the same way, requiring the removal of the door panel for a closer look and testing with proper diagnostic tools.
- Faulty window track guides: Track guides inside the window keep the window pane in place as it moves up and down. If, however, the pane goes off the track, it won’t be able to move at all, causing your window to “fall” inside your door. If this has happened, you may hear a rattle when you attempt to operate your window. This can be an issue in vehicles with either power or manual windows.
- Blown fuse or faulty relay switch: If none of your windows will go up or down, a blown fuse or worn relay is the likely culprit. Although these are two different issues, the symptoms will often present themselves in a similar manner. Without the proper diagnostic equipment, however, tracing a faulty relay can be problematic, and you could interfere with other running systems if you remove and put back fuses to check them. Let a professional mechanic perform a thorough inspection.
- Faulty wiring or power window switch: Since the wiring provides the means for an electric window system to gain power, a faulty switch, a short, or other related issue can cause your windows to stop working altogether.