How Do You Know if Your Window Regulator Is Bad


The window regulator is a mechanical device that controls the opening and closing of your vehicle’s windows. The regulator moves a large arm inside the door, which opens and closes the glass on vehicles with manual roll-up or tilt-up windows.

How Do You Know if Your Window Regulator Is Bad

Your cars’ automatic sliding doors also have regulators, but these are technically different devices than standard regulators, often requiring special tools to change out. This article will discuss “how do you know if your window regulator is bad”. So let us get started.

What Does A Window Regulator Do?

A car regulator does exactly that – regulate windows for your vehicle. More specifically, it helps make sure that the windows can go up and down smoothly without any hassles.

The components inside a car regulator mainly include gears, levers, and spindles which help operate the windows. So, obviously, when there are issues with these components, you will begin to notice problems in your windows.

If you encounter a problem with your regulator, then one of the first things that happen is that your window may get stuck as you try and roll it up or down. Sometimes, even after several attempts, the window may not budge.

But if this is happening for only one of your windows and the rest are working fine, chances are there could be something wrong with just that particular regulator instead of all of them. As a matter of fact, sometimes, when there are issues with regulators, the driver’s side window gets affected more than others because most people have their hands resting while driving.

Step-wise Guide on How Do You Know if Your Window Regulator Is Bad

The first thing you need to know is that a window regulator consists of three parts: the motor, the arm, and the frame. Therefore, the process of identifying a bad window regulator includes checking each of these parts on your car windows. These are listed below in step-wise fashion:

Arm :

If your car’s power window has an outside crank-handle type mechanism, this part is referred to as the arm. This will be connected to the motor, and it fits inside the door frame. If the arm feels loose or wobbly when you move it up and down, it may be possible that it is already damaged due to wear and tear over time or external force like hitting something while driving. In either case, you will need to replace the arm as soon as possible.

Pole :

If your power window uses an inside switch mechanism or remote control, this part is referred to as the pole. The arm and the pole are connected by a rod, and if there is any problem with either of these parts, that would be indicated by squeaking noises when moving them up and down.

Pole Window Regulator

This could also mean that the arm and pole both have worn out due to regular use, and in such scenarios, it’s best to get them replaced as soon as possible for the smooth functioning of your car windows.

Motor :

While checking how your motor works, look out for unusual sounds while using it. If you hear a strange humming or grinding sound, then it means that the motor is already malfunctioning and requires replacement soon.

Additionally, you can check if the motor operates smoothly or not by using a thin object like a pencil to move your car’s power windows up and down while checking out the mechanics of the arm. If there is any excessive wobbling or bumping, then it is possible that your window regulator has given out and needs replacement.

Other things you need to look for are whether motors make humming sounds when they are placed under load, which would indicate they may have gotten weak as time passed due to wear and tear; also, look out for smoke emanating from them while in use, indicating overheating which indicates repair/replacement will be necessary sooner than later.

The checklists mentioned above will help you determine if your car’s power window regulator is functioning well or not. If you find that even after performing all of these tests, it appears that the regulator may be bad, then you need to contact a professional mechanic and explain your problem to them about how do you know if your window regulator is bad.

The mechanic will tell you whether or not your motor needs replacement. If yes, they will also suggest a good brand that provides quality replacement parts at reasonable prices. This way, you can ensure the smoother functioning of your windows and drive safely without any problems!

How to Fix Window Regulators?

Repair Window Regulator

A window regulator is the main mechanism that makes windows go up and down. It’s a part of your car’s door assembly, and it essentially allows the driver to adjust how much air gets into the vehicle by raising or lowering a window.

Your car has two types of regulators. Temporary and permanent ones. A temporary regulator can function for about one year on average, while a permanent one can last for more than 15 years, depending on its quality and care. So what are they made of?

Sometimes, when going over bumps or potholes, you may notice that your window goes up or down partially only. In this case, you should check if you have an old type of regulator – if yes, get ready to replace it with a new one.

If your temporary window regulator broke, you could easily fix it by buying a new part at an auto parts store and installing it yourself.

How to Replace an Old Window Regulator?

You need to remove the old regulator, clean up a rubber gasket, replace metal parts with rusted zinc ones, if any, adjust the tension and lubricate everything from time to time for the replacement part not to break down early. Replacement of a defective window regulator won’t take more than 20 minutes if you want to do it yourself. Follow these instructions: 


Thank you for reading this post. I hope that this post will help all who are looking for answers on how do you know if your window regulator is bad. It’s sad but true, and many people don’t realize they have a problem with their windows until it’s too late, and the results can be hazardous. Don’t let yourself or anyone in your family become a victim of faulty/non-working power windows!

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