Blog Car Care Advice All You Need to Know about Window Regulator Replacement
Car Care Advice

All You Need to Know about Window Regulator Replacement

Looking for a mechanic near you for maintenance or repair? AutoNation Mobile Service brings the shop to you. Get a free instant quote today.
Get a Quote

Is your car window stuck
If yes, then you might need a window regulator replacement.

The window regulator helps roll the car window up and down. When faulty, it can compromise your safety and expose your car to unwanted elements.

How can you go about replacing it?

Don’t worry!
We’ll provide a detailed overview of the window regulator replacement process, the costs, and more.

Let’s get started.

This Article Contains:

How to Replace a Faulty Window Regulator

A broken window regulator must be quickly replaced to avoid compromising the safety and integrity of your vehicle.

But before you can get started with the process, you need to have the right tools. 

A. Tools Needed for Window Regulator Replacement

Here’s what you’ll need to replace a faulty window regulator:

  1. Screwdrivers 
  2. Tools for interior trim panel removal
  3. Socket and box wrench
  4. Window crank handle removal tool (for manual windows)
  5. Lubricant
  6. Safety Glasses
  7. Repair manual (if needed)

Note: If you can’t find these tools or are unfamiliar with window car parts, get a professional to handle the job.

Next, follow these replacement steps for manual and power window repair.

B. Steps for Window Regulator Replacement

Here’s how you can replace your manual or power window regulator:

1. Remove the Faulty Window Regulator

If you have a manual window regulator, you’ll need to:

  1. Disconnect the battery cable as a safety precaution.
  2. Take out the screw (that connects the window crank handle to the door) and remove the crank.
  3. Use a screwdriver to remove the door panel.
  4. Remove the moisture barrier (if present).
  5. Remove the plastic clip or bolt with a wrench to detach the door glass from the broken regulator.
  6. Retrieve the regulator mechanism.

If you have a power window regulator, then:

  1. Disconnect the battery.
  2. Use a screwdriver to pry the window switch loose (by removing the screw) and unfasten the electrical connector.
  3. Remove any other power window fittings if available (by following the repair manual).
  4. Detach the door panel and remove the moisture barrier.
  5. Remove the connector between the window regulator and the window regulator motor.
  6. Unfasten the plastic clip and bolt between the regulator assembly and the window.
  7. Remove the broken regulator and retrieve the entire regulator assembly.

2. Install the New Window Regulator

Follow these steps to install a new manual window regulator:

  1. Start by inserting the new regulator assembly into the door.
  2. Carefully lower the glass inside the assembly.
  3. Fasten the window to the new regulator arm.
  4. Attach the window regulator with bolts to the door frame.
  5. Put the vapor barrier and the inner door panel in place.
  6. Reattach the crank and test the repaired window by rotating it.
  7. Reconnect the battery cable.

Here are the steps to install a new power window regulator:

  1. Connect the window regulator assembly to the window regulator motor (if you removed the motor earlier). If the power window motor is a component of the window regulator assembly, the new one will already have it in place.
  2. Insert the new regulator arm into the inner door space and bolt it in place.
  3. Lower the auto glass into the assembly and fasten it to the regulator.
  4. Restore the vapor barrier.
  5. Reattach the power window motor connector.
  6. Replace the window switch and the battery cable.
  7. Test the new window regulator.

Now, let’s determine how much a mechanic might charge you for a window regulator replacement.

How Much Does Window Regulator Replacement Cost?

You’ll likely shell out between $200 and $800 for a window regulator replacement. 

The auto repair cost can vary depending on your vehicle’s make and model, type of regulator, and mechanic’s labor rate

But is a faulty window regulator an urgent issue?
Read on to find out.

How Urgent Is a Window Regulator Replacement?

A failed window regulator isn’t dangerous, but it can lead to problems like:

  1. An inability to exit the vehicle in case of an emergency, like a collision that leads to a door malfunction or a broken door handle.
  2. Compromised car security, leaving it accessible for intruders.
  3. Exposure to rain and snow when driving in inclement weather with the window jammed open.
  4. Inconvenience while paying tolls, ordering at drive-throughs, etc.

Still have questions about window regulator repair and replacement?
Let’s address them.

5 FAQs about Window Regulator Replacements

Here are answers to general window regulator replacement queries:

1. What Is the Purpose of a Window Regulator?

A window regulator facilitates the upward and downward movement of a car window. 
Here’s how:

2. How Do I Know I Need a Window Regulator Replacement?

Apart from a stuck window, here are other signs of a damaged window regulator:

  1. Clicking or grinding sound when raising the window
  2. Crooked or off-center window glass panel
  3. Abrupt or sluggish operation (in power windows)
  4. The window doesn’t stay up
  5. The power window button doesn’t work immediately

If you notice any of these symptoms, contact a mechanic for window regulator repair before it gets completely jammed.

3. How Does a Window Regulator Get Damaged?

Your window regulator might get damaged due to:

  1. Regular wear and tear from everyday use.
  2. Electrical problems due to damaged switches, faulty motors, blown fuses, or wiring malfunctions.
  3. Forceful impacts on the door card (panel), like in an accident.
  4. Corrosion when the door card (panel) or regulator parts are exposed to atmospheric moisture.
  5. Frozen windows that may detach from the regulator when lowered.
  6. Pre-existing conditions like manufacturing defects or improper installations.

4. How Can I Prevent Window Regulator Damage?

Whether you drive a General Motors or Honda Motor Company vehicle, follow these practices to prevent window regulator malfunctions:

  1. Lubricate the regulator’s moving parts with silicone spray to reduce friction.
  1. Avoid exerting excessive strain on the window regulator by forcefully trying to move a stuck window or slamming the doors shut.
  1. Clean dirt or debris buildup from window tracks to minimize strain on the regulator.

5. Is a Window Regulator and Motor the Same Thing?

No. A window regulator and a motor are two different components.

  1. A window regulator helps control the direction in which the window glass moves. The regulator motor powers the motion and propels the auto glass in the direction held by the regulator.
  1. A window regulator operates without electrical current and is used for both power and manual windows. The regulator motor requires electrical energy and is found only in power windows.

Fix Window Regulator Woes with Autonation Mobile Service

A functional window regulator is essential for your car’s overall safety and comfort. While wear and tear is inevitable, routine service can significantly reduce the risk of an unexpected regulator malfunction.

However, if you have detected signs of a faulty window regulator, get it replaced by AutoNation Mobile Service.

We’re a mobile auto repair and car maintenance company offering upfront pricing, exceptional customer service, and a 12-month, 12,000-mile repair warranty on auto parts.

Contact us to get manual or power window repair done from your driveway.