Why Your Car Window Won’t Go Up

Window of car

What is a car window motor called?

It is a mechanism referred to has a window regulator. This is why makes the windows in cars move up and down. Chances are why  a car window won’t go up, is because it has a broken window regulator

However, we need to answer the question of, “How does a car window work?” first. Cars today are much more complicated than the cars of yesteryear. Today, they are powered by electricity, with the first power windows in cars being an add-on luxury in the 1940’s. 

Otherwise, your car had hand-cranked windows, but today, we just assume any car we purchase will have electric windows. There are generations that have never experienced manual windows, and probably never will.  While having electric powered windows in a car is extremely convenient, when they quit working, from a broken window regulator or any of the following reasons, it quickly becomes inconvenient! 

The four common problems of why car windows quit working: 

  • Blown Fuse: Because car windows today are electric, they have a fuse. If that fuse blows, the window will be stuck in whatever position it is currently. No, a blown fuse that stops your window from working is not the same fuse for the other electrically powered features of your car. A car has several fuses, typically the ones for the windows are for the windows only. 
  • Corroded Wiring: This is a common problem the older a car gets and will happen after water has entered into the car and rusted the wiring, then dirt coats the wiring. After a while, it is no longer able to make a good connection and, you guessed it, the windows won’t work. 
  • Broken Window Regulator: Often referred to as the window motor, this is what powers the window to move each time you press the up or down button. Each window will have its own motor, so it is easy to identify if you have a broken window regulator because all the other windows are still operating.  
  • Window Is Off Track: Car windows are on what is called ‘tracks’ and those tracks are what carries the window up and down when window regulator, aka motor, is activated. It isn’t as common today as it once was, as cars are built better, but going over bumps in the road can knock a car window off the ‘track’ and then the window regulator isn’t able to move the window up and down. 

Can you fix a broken window motor?

Maybe, sometimes a broken window regulator, aka motor, has to be replaced instead of repaired.  A car owner that has a DIY aptitude can often replace a broken window regulator themselves. However, a trained technician will know How to Repair a Window Motor, and they will have all the proper tools and equipment to do it according to the car manufacturer’s specifications. 

Before you attempt to repair a broken window regulator, you should know How to Test a Car Window Motor first just in case it is another issue.  Basic steps in testing to  see if you have a broken window regulator: 

  • Remove the inner door panel. 
  • With a pin probe, check the 12 VCD on the window regulator (the schematic is the map that will help you find where to check this). 
  • Once you find the 12 VCD, push the window button.
  • If there is voltage, then the motor is bad. 
  • If no voltage, check the wiring is connected at the button with the pin probe.
  • If voltage is there, then there is a problem with the wiring harness .
  • If no voltage there, you need to start tracing the problem. 

If your tracing determines there is a broken window regulator, you’ll need to replace the entire regulator. Today, most are made not to be repaired. 

What is the price of a car window motor?

As with anything, the cost to replace a broken window regulator has various factors. The make, model, and year of the car being the biggest three factors.  The pricing will also be determined by what the labor rate is where you take your car, which is in addition to the cost of the regulator.  Labor could cost up to $150 and the motor can cost upwards of $150 as well. 

window from the inside

Will car insurance cover a window?

If your car window simply quits working, no, your auto insurance is not going to cover repair or replacement costs. However, if the broken window regulator is results of a car accident, maybe it is covered.  Every auto policy is different, and it depends on the type of coverage you agreed to and pay for that will determine if your broken window regulator will be paid for by the insurance company. 

Okay, you pulled up YouTube videos in an attempt to fix your own broken window regulator. That was fun … and confusing, right?  So, while you’re still Finding Car Window Motor Repair by a trained technician with the equipment, tools, and training, “How can I temporarily cover my car window?”. 

Using a piece of clear plastic, and while sitting inside the car, place the plastic over the window with the broken window regulator. Start taping across the top and then down the sides with small pieces of masking tape. Don’t use anything other than masking or you risk damaging the paint on your car. Once you have the plastic in place, go over the small, taped areas with longer pieces and make sure they are firmly attached to the frame of the window. 

Repeat this process from the outside with a second piece of plastic and masking tape (painters’ tape will work as well!). Keep in mind, this is meant for a temporary fix only. You need to get your broken window regulator fixed as soon as possible for safety and convenience. Call 805-466-3236 today for your window regulator service in Atascadero, CA.