Many car owners wishing to restore a failed window do not know how to replace a window regulator assembly. If you’re in such a situation, this last section will help you install a new mechanism. We will explain the window regulator replacement process in a way that you will find easy to grasp. The chapter also describes the process to change just the window motor and the cost if you take your car to a repair facility. Let’s get started.
How to Replace a Window Regulator on Your Car
A window regulator needs replacing when parts bend or break irreparably. Also, when the motor wears burns out but isn’t replaceable as a separate part. You should also consider installing a new window regulator if the mechanism is excessively worn due to age.
The procedure below describes how to replace a window regulator on many types of cars. The same process also applies when changing both manual and power window regulators. Note that some steps may not suit car make or model. In some cases it’s important that you check your manual to locate some components. Let’s dive right into the process.
Things You’ll Need
Wrench and socket set
Window regulator grease
Small cordless drill (optional)
New window regulator
Window Regulator Replacement Steps
Ensure that you have everything with you and that your car is parked safely on a flat ground then follow these steps to change your faulty window regulator.
Step 1 Remove Window Regulator
Cars use either manual or power windows, so we will look at how to remove both types. Here is the window regulator removal process when you have either mechanism.
- How to Remove a Manual Window Regulator
Start by disconnecting the battery. Next, remove the crank by taking out the screw that holds it to the door. After the crank is out, remove the door panel by prying it with a screwdriver. Many cars will have a moisture barrier. Remove it as well.
Detach the glass from the regulator mechanism by removing the clips or bolts that fasten it. Hold the glass up using painter’s tape or suction cups. You can now take out the bolts that secure the window regulator to the door. In some cars, you may need to remove rivets by drilling then out- as demonstrated in this video. Slide the mechanism out
- How to Remove a Power Window Regulator
Disconnect the battery. Using a screwdriver, pry loose and remove the window regulator switch and detach its electrical connector. Cars with power windows will have several other fittings in the way. Remove them before proceeding.
Next, remove the door panel and the weather barrier beneath it. Then, disconnect the window regulator motor connector. Remove the bolts or clips that fasten the window to the regulator assembly.
Lift the window all the way up and secure it away from the mechanism with tape (painter’s tape) or any other secure safe way. After that, remove the old window regulator by unfastening the bolts (or any other fasteners) that hold it to the door. Take the entire assembly out
Step 2 Install New Window Regulator
Once the old window mechanism is out, it’s time to install the new one. Grease the assembly first to ensure smooth operation and prevent rust or wear. Let’s now see how to replace a window regulator, both manual and powered.
- How to Install a Manual Window Regulator
Insert the new assembly into the door space. Position it inside the door and lower the glass that you had held with tape. Next, attach the window to the regulator by replacing the fasteners as before. Bolt the window regulator to the door frame. Replace the weather barrier and the door panel. Lastly, replace the crank and rotate it to test the new window. Replace the battery cable.
- How to Install an Electric Window Regulator
Start by attaching the window regulator mechanism to the motor if the motor was removed earlier. If the motor is part of the assembly, the new mechanism will have it in place. Next, push the window regulator into the door space and align it with the mounting holes. Insert and tighten the bolts to secure the regulator assembly.
Once the window regulator is in place, lower the glass and attach it using the fasteners that you had removed earlier. Replace the weather barrier. Reconnect the motor connector and replace the switch. Finish by replacing the battery cable and testing your new window regulator.
How to replace a Window Regulator Motor
In some window regulator types, the motor is replaceable and you do not need to change the entire assembly. It’s important therefore that you learn how to change the motor alone. Here is how to replace a window regulator motor in simple steps.
- Disconnect the battery cable. You will be working on a power window and you do not want the battery sending voltage while you go on with your work
- Next, remove the window regulator switch followed by the door panel. You can now detach the window motor connector
- Remove the moisture sheet barrier to access the window regulator and motor assembly
- Disconnect the window regulator by removing the fasters that hold it to the mechanism
- As explained earlier, secure the glass so it doesn’t fall into the door. You can use painters tape or suction cups
- Next, remove the window regulator and motor bolts or other fasteners to free the assembly, then slide it out of the door
- Unbolt and remove the motor from the mechanism and mount the new motor.
- Slide the window regulator with motor attached into the door and bolt it in place. Lower and Re-attach the glass
- Replace the weather barrier and the door panel. Attach the window motor connector, door panel, and switch in that order. Reconnect the battery to power the window and test it by pressing the button
Power windows regulators use sensors and complex electronics to function. When working on them, the working of these parts is disrupted and needs to be restored. Check out how to reset power windows here using a process that applies to most cars.
How much does a Window Regulator Cost to Replace?
Despite knowing how to replace a window regulator, there are situations which do not allow DIY tasks. These include time constraints and other reasons. Or if could be that you are not a DIY person. During such times, you want to seek professional repair services. So how much should you expect to pay to have a window regulator changed?
For most cars, the cost to replace window regulator mechanisms varies from $100 to around $450. The price includes both the cost to buy a new regulator assembly and the charges for the service. As already stated, some cars, such as luxury types, will have the service costing more than what we have indicated here.
Many factors dictate the window regulator replacement cost. One of them is the car type and model. There’s also the kind of window mechanism, which includes manual or electric mechanisms, window regulator with motor or without, and more.
If you decide to remove the component without help, you will only need between $50 and $100, which is the price to buy one. The price varies across window regulator suppliers, though, and may be out of this range. You may need to compare sellers, especially when changing more than one window mechanism.
Window regulators are convenient to use but only if they are functional. When you have a failed window, you want to know how to replace its mechanism. The procedure described here will prove useful during such times. Most window mechanisms are also easy to change. Using the steps explained here, you can easily save on replacement expenses. In addition to knowing how to replace a window regulator, you also now have an idea of the cost when you involve a mechanic. This should help you make the right choice based on your situation.