There's nothing quite as disappointing as going out for a drive on a beautiful summer day only to be stuck with a window that won't roll down. Of course, that's not nearly as bad as finding yourself in a rainstorm with a window that won't roll back up. Your vehicle's windows may fail for a variety of reasons, and repairing them can range from straightforward to highly complex.
If your car's windows don't seem to be working as they should, here are three simple steps you can take to try to get to the root of the problem.
1. Check Fuses
Whenever you have a problem with an electrical component in your car, it's a good idea to start by checking the fuse. In the case of power windows, there should be a single fuse for all four window motors. If none of your windows work, then the fuse is a likely culprit. Check your owner's manual to locate your fusebox, but you should be able to find it either near the steering wheel or in the glovebox.
Most cars come with several spare fuses in the fusebox. If you aren't comfortable evaluating the condition of a fuse, pull the old fuse and replace it with a matching spare (they should be color-coded). Be sure to put the old fuse back if this doesn't solve the issue since your old fuse was likely fine in this case.
2. Listen for Noises
As with many automotive issues, your ears can be one of your best diagnostic tools for getting to the bottom of window problems. If your windows don't move at all, then listen for the sound of the motor. If you can hear the motor working but the window slips or won't stay up, then your window regulator may have failed. Depending on your vehicle, you may need to replace the motor and regulator together.
No sound at all can be indicative of a failed window motor, however. Before the motor fails, you might also experience slower motion as the window goes up and down. A dying window motor can produce a variety of sounds from clicking to whining, but these noises can also indicate a problem with the regulator.
3. Testing Further
At this point, you may need professional help to diagnose the problem. The best way to narrow down the issue is to remove the motor from the car and test it by applying voltage with a bench power source. A technician can also check the physical condition of the regulator with the door panel removed. Other possible (but less likely) culprits include the window switch itself or the wiring inside the door.
Dealing with a non-functional power window can be frustrating, but you may be able to determine the underlying problem with a few simple diagnostic steps. If you can't get to the root of the problem, then a professional can help to return your windows to perfect working order.
To learn more, contact a shop that offers auto services.