Power Window Off Track Explained


Power Window Off Track?

power window switch regulator motor repair mobile service The Power Window Doctors - Specialists in Power Window Regulator Motor and Switch Repair - Mobile Servicepower window off track motor regulator and switch repair mobile service

The Lifting Mechanism / Assembly / Regulator – Off Track

The main component of the modern power window is the Regulator or Lifting Mechanism (Assembly).  It’s essentially at the heart of the power window system.  You’ve probably heard the saying “Oh, it’s just Off Track”.  That’s not going to be the case any longer. Modern power window regulators don’t go “off track”. There’s some pivot point or stress point that has broken. Click to Read More

Power Window Off Track Repair in Pasadena is best done by the specialists of The Power Window Doctors™. When your vehicles window has gone Off Track, trust it to the specialists. The Power Window Doctors™ can determine the right power window motor for your vehicle with installation.  We keep a vast inventory of power window motors available for timely installation.

At some point in the life of the vehicle, one or more of the components of the Power Window System, will fail.  The Power Window Motor is only one component of the system. What are the rest? Read on.

Power Windows have been an option in vehicles as early as 1940 in the Packard. It was a Hydro Electric system and Ford followed up in 1941 with a system of their own. Power Windows were an Option up till about the 80’s.  About this time they became a standard feature on most vehicles.  Manual Windows now have become the “Option”.

Have you wondered what’s inside your door? What actually makes the car power windows go up and down? Some vehicles have power windows that go Up and Down Automatically.  They also have an “anti-pinch” feature that stops raising if they are obstructed.  Maybe you’ve see videos where the window is opened by turning the key in the door lock.

We’ll explain what the components of the power windows are, AND explain what power window parts are replaced, repaired or rebuilt. Most of the time, rebuilding the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) part is stronger than replacing it.

Call for Estimate – Main Office: 626-788-0766

 The Lifting Mechanism / Assembly / Regulator

The main component of the modern power window is the Regulator or Lifting Mechanism (Assembly).  It’s essentially at the heart of the power window system.  You’ve probably heard the saying the Power Window Off Track, “Oh, it’s just Off Track”.  That’s not going to be the case any longer. Modern power window regulators don’t go “off track”. There’s some pivot point or stress point that has broken.

There are several styles of Window Regulators.  We’ll cover the primary styles that are used in the vehicles today.

  • Cable Regulators
  • Scissor Lifts
  • Flexible Shaft
  • Cantilever

 power window off track Regulator Examples

Essentially the Power Window Regulator job is to lift & lower the glass while keeping it level.  This is done by an Electric motor that is geared via spools or reduction gears.  Providing sufficient torque to lift and lower the window.

What’s important about Power Windows is they can’t be forced open.  The Cables and Gears take care of this.  Your vehicle is vulnerable to vandalism and theft when the power window regulator is broke. Duct Tape, Wedges or little pieces of cardboard broadcast that THIS WINDOW IS BROKEN.

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All Power Window Regulators have weak spots.  This is due to the plastic parts, or environmental strains that wear out or break. Power Window Repair - Pasadena / The Power Window Doctors use OEE (Original Equipment Equivalent) or stronger parts when repairing your power window regulator.

Manual window regulators are essentially the same, except, there are no wires, motors or switches.  They wear out similarly but are not as popular as they were.

How you benefit:

Specialization:

The Power Window Doctors™ specialize in power window off track repair.  From Acura to Audi, Buick to BMW,  Chevy to Cadillac, Ford to Ferrari and more.  We have the expertise for your vehicle. We also do 10-20 power window repairs per DAY.  Most shops and dealerships do that in a month or even a year.  What takes one person 3 hours to repair a window, takes our techs a lot less (Most repairs are done within an Hour).

 

Power Window Motor

Power Window Motors have evolved over the years. Prior to about 1995, power window motors were more universal. The same motor was used through out many vehicle models in Ford, Chrysler, GM (Chevrolet) and even imports Honda, Nissan (Datsun), Volkswagen, Mercedes and BMW. That is not the case today. Now most are designed for specific models, years and regulator design.  One particular motor may only fit 2-3 years of a specific vehicle.  Another may fit a wide range of vehicles (Ex: GM Trucks 2000 – 2006, or Ford Trucks (1995 – 2000).  Those are now the exceptions to the rule.

Window Motor Examples

Power window motors are now getting smaller and more specific. They also are not user friendly when it comes to replacing just the motor.  A lot of time the power window regulator and motor come as a combination.

This is due to springs (that can cause injury when released) or how the cables are spooled and tension applied.

 Call for an Estimate – Main Office: 626-788-0766

The Power Window Switch

Power Windows may be wired in different ways, dependent upon the features. The Power Window Switch differs for each Vehicle and varies between the Year, Make and Model

The Basic System

This system is just that, Basic.  Power is fed to the front drivers door and comes back through to control the other doors.  They all feed through the same 20 Amp fuse. Most of the time (99.999%) there is no such thing as “just a blown fuse”.  Typically if there is a switch problem, it’s going to be worn contacts or diodes.

The switch is simple in design.  The button is pressed and it completes a circuit in the direction you want to window to go. The power goes towards the Up or the power goes towards the Down. When these contacts have a carbon build up, they stop working.

Power Window Switch Examples

An Advanced System

In these systems the power windows work in a completely different way. Some cars have what’s called a Body Controller (Body Control Module – BCM) that centralizes the electronic functions. The power for window motors doesn’t come directly from the switch. Instead it is connected to one of the many modules in the vehicle. (Average is 25 modules) Some have a module in each door.

Vehicles that have lots of controls are likely to have this. Some switches include the power mirror controls, power door locks and even power seat adjustments. This makes the switch more expensive to replace simply because one window doesn’t work. Most likely it’s the Drivers Power Window that stops working.

Note: On some vehicles like this, the dealer has to “Program” the switches.  The software isn’t available to the general public. (Chevrolet Trucks 2007 >, Chevrolet Trailblazer Master Switch etc.)

Call for a Quote: 626-788-0766

Additional Features

  • Automatic Up/Down – A fairly common feature on most cars with power windows is the Automatic-down feature. When the button is tapped and released the window goes completely down. The split second you hold the switch down is monitored by a circuit and stops when it hits the limit switch.  When the button is held down longer, it’ll stop when you release the button. Windows with the Automatic-up feature are less common. A concern with Automatic-up windows is if a child, or anything, gets in the way of the window it has to stop before hurting the child. (or breaking the glass) This is controlled by monitoring the motor speed via a circuit in the BCM (see above). If the window slows or binds, the circuit reverses the motor so the window goes back down halfway or all the way.
  • Window Control From Outside – Some vehicles you can roll the window down just by turning (and holding) the door key in the drivers door. You’ve probably seen this in commercials. Not very useful, in our opinion.
  • Courtesy Power-On – When you turn the ignition off, the power windows will continue to work until one of the doors are opened.  This is a convenience feature that saves from having to put the key in the ignition to just roll down the window. After a given amount of time, this feature is turned off by the BCM.

power window repair service locations - power window regulator and switch repair

Power Window Off Track Repair / Diagnosis

Diagnosing a Power Window Off Track is a simple process. What happened just before and after the window stopped working? Did you hear a SNAP – POP! and the window just sank in the door or dropped suddenly? When you pushed on the button nothing happens, it just didn’t go down? It went down and now when you pull the button, it doesn’t go Up? It works intermittently, at times it goes slow and other times it doesn’t do a thing?

Call for an Estimate – Main Office: 626-788-0766

Here’s some questions for diagnosing: Do you hear the motor?  If you hear the power window motor, then the motor is still working and the power window switch is still good.  Most likely the regulator is broke ( Power Window Off Track) and needs to be replaced or repaired.

  1. Did the window go down and just not come back up? If you don’t hear the motor and you didn’t hear a SNAP or POP!, then it’s most likely going to be a switch issue.
  2. Is the window stuck UP and not coming down?  The motor is most like the culprit.  When a motor is stuck UP, the carbon has built up enough to prevent current from flowing through the motor.
  3. Is your window cockeyed or going up at an angle? The Window Regulator is most like broke ( Power Window Off Track ).  One of the glass carriers has detached from the glass and the regulator is only lifting from the front or the back.

Call for a complete Diagnosis.  We’ll quote a fair price for repairing or replacing the component that’s failed.  Providing a 1 Yr Warranty on Parts and Labor.  Let Power Window Repair - Pasadena / The Power Window Doctors™ be your go to for Power Window Repair.