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Although a relatively new standard in passenger vehicles, power windows are a feature that is easy to take for granted. Without manual window handles in most cars, however, the power window regulator is an essential component in keeping your vehicle both comfortable and safe.



What is a Power Window Regulator?

  • Power windows run on a switch-activated motor inside the car door. The power window regulator feeds the window glass up through two channels on either side of the door, and the drive mechanism is designed to operate in a precise range of motion.

How Does a Power Window Regulator Work?

  • The command to raise or lower a window is made by depressing a switch mounted on the inside of the door and connected by wires to the window motor. When the circuit is activated, the motor drives a worm gear that is attached to an arm holding the glass-supporting bracket. The regulator also prevents the window from being forced down manually. Some regulators are also part of a system that automatically opens or closes the window whenever a door is opened.

How Is a Power Window Regulator Made?

  • The regulator relies on metal components affixed with bolts, clips, and screws to a gear assembly, a rotary drive, and a drive motor. These latter components are made independently and are also designed to be replaced independently if any part of the system were to fail.

How Does a Power Window Regulator Fail?

  • A cable can break.
  • The window can separate from the regulator in freezing conditions.
  • The motor can fail.

What Are the Symptoms of Failure?

  • The motor will make a strange noise.
  • The window will fail to open or close fully,or at all.
  • The window may fall into the door.

What Are the Consequences of Failure?

  • Inability to secure the car.
  • Inability to get out of the vehicle in an emergency, such as in the aftermath of a collision.

The window regulator itself is a very reliable component and failure is usually related to the switch, the drive unit, or the motor.

If you have questions or concerns about power window regulators or any of your vehicle's components, come into your local Pep Boys where we can answer any question, help you find any part, or perform any vehicle service you might need.