Power Windows Broken? How to Troubleshoot

Home / Power Windows Broken? How to Troubleshoot
September 15, 2021

*Your choice for speedy auto glass repair or installation service in St. Catharines!*

Power windows have become increasingly common on vehicles in the last ten years. They're a great innovation. But like anything mechanical, they can be confusing to figure out when something goes wrong.

Broken power windows compromise the security of your vehicle and leave the interior vulnerable to weather and temperature damage. Below we outline 3 steps to diagnose the problem with your broken power windows.

Power window mechanisms come in a few varieties, but they are all pretty standard and straightforward. Before you start removing your door trim and panels, though, read on!

Are all the windows jammed or just one?

Determining this will determine your next move, kind of a choose your adventure job. And, if none of your windows move, you may have a more straightforward car window repair job on your hands.

If you can't move any vehicle windows with the automatic controls, check your vehicle's fuse box.

If the fuse is blown, the window controls will not do anything. You won't hear the mechanism trying to work, and you won't see the window glass move at all. The reason for this is that your window control regulators are high-current devices. 

Most of the time, the size of the fuse is sufficient to open all four windows simultaneously, with no extra capacity. If your window channels are sticky at all, it's easy to blow a fuse.

How to test your automatic window control fuse

Insert the key and turn it to the Run position, but don't start the vehicle. Use the automatic window controls to try to move the windows up and down. Try each window control.

If you don't hear or see any movement, the chances are good that you have a blown fuse. On some vehicles, the fuses are labeled. Otherwise, refer to your owner's manual.

Don't simply pull out fuses one by one to look for a blown one; if you don't know what a  blown fuse looks like, it may not be obvious. Also, you might interrupt the power to your vehicle's engine management computer or wipe out your radio presets.

Once you have found the blown fuse, replacing it is a pretty straightforward job by inserting a new one. In some cases, you might get a replacement fuse from your mechanic or at your local auto parts store. 

Make sure to have your vehicle's VIN handy, so they can look up the precise model you need.

If you can operate some, but not all, of the windows, or if you can hear the motor or see the window glass quivering, then your fuse is not the issue. Instead, you're dealing with some electrical, mechanical problem.

Electrical and Mechanical Problems with your Vehicle Glass Controls

Diagnosing an electrical fault is more involved than diagnosing a blown fuse, but it isn't complicated. To perform this task, you will need a schematic of your vehicle's electrical system and either a voltmeter or a 12v test light. 

You are looking for a weak spot in the electrical system interrupting the voltage flow to the vehicle window regulator motor.

Starting at the fuse panel, follow the wiring to the switch. From there to the motor, all along the way, testing for 12 volts with your voltmeter or light. You will likely find a connector that has become loose or corroded, or it may be that the switch itself is faulty. 

Once you've isolated the problem, you may be able to fix it by simply restoring the connection or by replacing the broken switch.

Please don't force it!

Trying to force a stuck window up or down can permanently damage the regulator mechanism, leading to a more costly repair bill. It can also put an unnatural strain on the window itself, leading to damaged glass. 

For all your car window and windshield repairs in St. Catharines, call Surge Auto Glass. We can help you diagnose the damage and repair or replace your auto glass with satisfaction guaranteed.

Don't take a chance with your car's safety. Choose the experts at Surge Auto Glass. Call us now.

*Free Coupon*

(Fill out form to receive)

    envelopephone-handsetrocket linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram