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Old 06-01-2006, 03:58 AM   #1 (permalink)
Car: 01 GM6, 02 GGA (sold), 97 GC4 (RIP)
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Default Power Window FAQ once and for all...

Ok everybody I just spent the last few hours reading gobs of posts on various boadrs about the power windows. The consensus is pretty much yes, the windows suck. So I want to start a kind of FAQ on the power windows ... as an owner with a borken driver's side window, I want to know how to fix it right and reduce the risk of the problem coming back.

Please check out the list below and post changes / suggestions, etc. and I'll edit them in.


The failure rate seems higher in the coupes, which are a "stretched" design. Basically the same mechanism is responsible for trying to move a much larger window than the sedans/wagons.


Keep the mechanism well lubricated and well adjusted. This is particularly important on older cars in rainy/dusty areas, since the mechanism is somewhat exposed to the elements. See the factory service manual for disassembly and adjustment procedures (but see the note about safety below).

However, despite all efforts to take care of your windows, it appears that the mechanism may be prone to falling out of adjustment and causing a failure.

Any other suggestions for preventing problems?


Slow windows may be caused by improperly adjusted stabilizers. See Al Gainey's writeup for more info:


There are several outboard stabilizers with felt surfaces that can trap grit. Fortunately, these are easy to service. Remove the door panel, lower the window completely, and unbolt the stabilizers. You can take them off, soak them in dish soap and water and brush gently with an old toothbrush, rinse and reinstall.

Or ... faux fur, baby!
DIY: Repair window pads

DIY - Wind noise, window gap seals


Check the window lock switch. An unbelievably large number of threads start with "failed power window" and end with "sorry guys, it was the switch."


The problems seem to be divided into three general areas:
  1. Motor
  2. Regulator
  3. Electrical (switches, etc.)

If your problem is a window that moves in only one direction, works intermittently, or all windows failed at once, your problem might be electrical. Aside from the usual suspects (fuse, wiring, connections), there are some reports of poor wiring in the switches that can be solved with a dab of solder.

If your window doesn't close right, sounds like it's "straining" to move, or you hear a clack-clack-clack sound from the gears not engaging, your problem might be mechanical. The regulator mechanism may require adjustment or replacement. See below for more info.

If you have a sudden failure during operation, "brownout", or other problem, you may have a blown motor. See below for more info.


A word about safety: there is a tensioned coil spring which acts to counterbalance the weight of the window. It is quite powerful and is fully compressed with the window in the "down" position. The force of the spring suddenly coming loose, and the scissorlike motion of the regulator mechanism, could easily shear off a fingertip or cause other injury. Be careful, and take a moment to assess how the mechanism might move before sticking your hand in there.

The factory service manual covers how to remove the door panels and everything. You may be wondering, if the manual says to position the window such that certain bolts are accessible through holes, and you have a window that doesn't move, how do you get it there? I don't have a good answer for this. Anybody have any suggestions?


You might need to replace the window motor. It is notoriously expensive ($150+ from the stealership). Coupe and sedan window motors rotate in opposite directions and are not interchangeable. You may be able to get away with a sedan's left motor in the right door of a coupe, I'm not sure -- can anyone confirm this?

I was able to rebuild my coupe's motor by interchanging the coils and brushes from a sedan, but its torque stopping point setting seems to be lower for the sedans, so my window wouldn't operate. I am ordering a new coupe motor -- your mileage may vary.

Safety note: Removing the window motor will release the counterbalance spring. Do so with extreme caution. I temporarily secured the mechanism with several wraps of duct tape before removing the motor.


OK that's all I can think of for the moment. The key question in my mind is:


or is there another cause??? Anybody have any ideas?

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Last edited by Necromancer; 06-01-2006 at 05:01 AM..
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Old 06-02-2006, 03:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Not a bad idea for a thread, but should probobly be in the DIY section, seeing as this helps out fixing most, if not all, window problems. I already benifited from the slow window link.
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Old 06-02-2006, 03:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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about scratches: dont roll your windows down with out the door panels in place. ask me how i know
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Old 06-02-2006, 03:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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My passenger window rattles like crazy especially when its all the way down, anyone got any ideas how to fix this?
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Old 07-25-2006, 07:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Part #s might be helpful in this faq I think.

I'm dealing with this right now.

I took off the panel (wish I would have know about the spring but nothing happened)

Anyway, mine started failing intermittently, then worked but wouldn't roll up/down smoothly and would make a horrific noise when it got to the bottom, and now it's just stuck (a couple inches from the top) So, how do I know if its switch/motor/or regulator? I see some 2.5rs coupes around town and I think I'll see if someone will let me use their switch. If not does that mean its a motor based on what I described above? Thanks
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Old 07-25-2006, 09:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Judging from your description it sounds like a mechanical, not electrical, problem -- regulator and/or motor. Good luck -- if you find the part numbers, post em!
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Old 03-25-2007, 11:22 AM   #7 (permalink)
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thank you for this thread! I'm having the exact same issue as sisenor... got the door panel off now but haven't been to successful in figuring out what exactly is going on.
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Old 03-25-2007, 04:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by AmdEmAll
My passenger window rattles like crazy especially when its all the way down, anyone got any ideas how to fix this?
There's no solution for this. Unless you want to try to fabricate something to hold the window still when it's in the down position.
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Old 06-08-2008, 09:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
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My window was stuck in the upright position, and it wouldn't go down. I bought a replacement motor from a Legacy, and I was planning on changing it, so I disconnected everything and took out every screw. It was getting dark, so I decided to wrap it up and close the door. Now, the door handle won't open the door and the window is down.

Can anyone help me figure out how to a) get the old motor out and b) get the new pieces in? Does the door come apart at all?
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Old 03-17-2009, 10:43 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Bumping this up

Has anyone had their window motors rebuilt? I cant seem to find a new coupe window motor for sale anywhere anymore

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