Why is My Car Window Stuck Down: How to Fix It
Having your car window stuck down can be annoying if you're driving in the cold, the rain, the snow, or at high speed, but the bigger issue comes from the lack of security that arises when you have to leave your vehicle in a busy car park while you head into the store. Your car window may be broken at the moment, but I'm sure you'd rather deal with that than have it stolen, and have no car at all.
The good news is that it's probably an easy fix, and you don't need to have years of mechanical experience to pull it off. Here is a step by step on what you need to do first.
If You Have Powered Windows
- Check that the fuse hasn't blown - Using your car's manual, determine which of the fuses are for the powered windows system, pull the fuse and examine it, and replace it if necessary.
- If the fuse seems to be okay, check the manual to see if you can reset the system, which may correct the problem.
- If the issue persists, the next step is to open up the interior of the door, check that the electric motor is functioning correctly, that it's receiving power, and that the glass is seated in its frame. This will be covered fully in section 4.
- If you have an older model car, you may see a corrugated rubber hose between the hinges of the car door. This is where the wiring specific to the powered windows splits off from the rest of the harness and goes into the door. Over time, as the door is opened and closed, this rubber hose may become brittle and cracked, as might the coating on the copper wires inside, which may become broken, or wet, causing a short in the circuit.
A quick visual inspection of the hose and the wires (by pulling back the hose), will show their condition, and tell you whether or not these wires are the source of the problem. The problem can be easily fixed, as in the video below, just make sure that your car's battery is disconnected first.
If You Have Manual Windows
Turn the handle, if you feel it turn more easily than is normal, the chances are that the handle has slipped off of the crank. To correct this, you will have to buy a new crank clip, and install it behind the handle, against the door panel.
This video gives a great tutorial on how to do this:
When you turn the handle, you feel the normal amount of resistance, as though the handle and crank are still connected, then the glass will likely have loosened from the frame, which is a more difficult problem to repair, requiring you, or the staff at a garage, to remove the door's interior panel, to gain access to the inner workings of the window winder, and re-seat in its frame, or replace the glass, which may have broken inside the door.
If you are suffering from a window stuck down, rather than closed, and don't have the time or money to fix it, there are a couple of ways that you can force the window closed, ensuring that your car is secure for the moment.
- By pressing your open hands together from either side of the glass, and pushing upward, you should be able to apply enough force to move the glass up and into the closed position, allowing you to allay the need to repair the fault, for the moment.
- If you have powered windows, open the door, hold down the "Close Window" button, which will normally have on it a graphic of a car side window with an upward pointing arrow, and then, still holding down the button, slam the door closed as hard as you can. This works if there is a short in the motor, and you need to force a temporary connection.
For a video tutorial on how to do this:
If You Have To Open The Interior Of The Door
Interior panels are generally easy to remove, with a few clips being the only thing that hold them in. You should be able to pull them off by hand, but make sure not to put too much force on only one side, as this will bend the panel and potentially break some of the clips, keep it nice, and even.
Some models will have armrests that are fixed to the inner skin of the door ( the metal behind the interior panel), and will need to be taken off before you can remove the panel, so you may need to have a screwdriver handy.
Once done, your door should look similar to this:
Checking That The Window Glass Is Seated
The appearance of the seat (or regulator carriage) will vary greatly from car to car, but will normally be bolted to the glass. The likelihood that the glass has come away from the seat is low, in most cases the glass will have cracked, and broken inside the door, leaving the majority of the window stationary, while a small piece, still bolted to the seat, moves up and down on the track.
If this is the case, you will need to replace the glass, which you can have done for you at a garage, or you can do it yourself.
Checking The Motor
With the engine off, press down the window button while looking at the voltmeter on your gauge cluster. If there is a slight movement in the meter, then you can be sure that the window motor is the issue.
If you have confirmed that the window motor is the issue, your next step is to replace it. Before attempting this, consult your vehicle's manual for instructions, or try to find a make and model specific video tutorial on the internet, like this one:
If your window is stuck open in the middle of winter or stuck closed in the middle of summer, or when you're trying to get food from a drive through, you will experience how frustrating this problem can be. That said, it isn't a difficult issue to fix, nor is it expensive (if you do it yourself), so now that you know what to do, you don't have to suffer to irritation anymore.
Feel free to let me know in the comments, if this article helped you, or if you have any questions. If you liked the article, please give it a share, so that it can help as many people as possible.
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