Trouble Shooting Power Windows

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New member
May 22, 2004
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North of NYC
This applies to the Driver and Passenger side doors

I have a hard time just buying parts to shotgun a problem, you can waste a lot of money that way. However, if you have to, buy the least expensive part. Myself, I prefer to do a little trouble shooting to find the exact cause of the problem.

You could just have a tired motor or a bind, lowering the window is easier than raising it sice you have gravity working for you going down and against you going up.

I would try jumpering the motor direct by disconnecting the plug and putting 12V directly on the pins to the motor, swapping the leads will change the direction of the motor. So if it is up and nothing happens, swap the leads and it should go down. Then swap the leads and see how well it works. If jumpering it direct still exhibits the same symptom, then:

First check for a bind in the track. A worn regulator mechanism often causes the window to bind when going up. It causes the window to shift and try to go up at an angle insted of strait. If that is OK then:

Second remove the motor and check the condition of the gear. If it looks good, then you probably have a tired motor.

However, if the motor works just fine when jumpering it then you have a wiring problem.

The problem could be the ground path which originates on the driver side and then goes to the passenger side. It goes thru two flex points where the wires transition from the door to the body and back again to the passenger side. Wires in those areas tend to break but they don't break all at once, they go strand by strand which gives a high resistance path for current to flow thru and causes the motor to be sluggish and first noticable in the up direction.

One assumption I have made for the above proceedure is that if the problem is with the Passeger side window and you have the same symptom from either door control. If not, then the +12V path is to that particular window is suspect. The 12 volts comes thru two different paths, one for the driver side control and one for the passenger side control. The flexing wire problem is the same in that the wire breaks strand by strand.


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