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How Do You Pull Up a Stuck Power Car Window? (Quick And Easy Steps)

How Do You Pull Up a Stuck Power Car Window? (Quick And Easy Steps)

Motorized windows are one of the more controversial advancements in car technology. While they’re definitely easier to use (especially to control everything from the driver’s seat), a stuck power car window can be more difficult to diagnose.

Once you figure out what is wrong with your stuck car window, the repair process is easy. It usually involves realigning the window or replacing parts, but getting to this point is not as straightforward.

Keep reading as we explore how you can figure out why your powered car window is stuck and what to do in each scenario. We will also touch on how the electric design differs from traditional manual windows.

How Do You Pull Up a Stuck Power Car Window?

How Powered Car Windows Work

A basic understanding of a powered car window system will do wonders to help you determine the root of your issue. On a basic level, all car windows use a regulator to raise and lower them inside your window’s channels.

On a manual car window, these regulators are physically connected to cranks that you turn. This manual setup involves gears that can strip, lubricating grease that can run out, and a regulator that may bend, stick or break.

Electric power windows use the same principle design, but your regulators are attached to power window motors to open and close the window. This reduces issues like the regulator breaking, but opens the system to fail due to:

  • Switches, wiring, or the motor going bad
  • Regulator getting stuck
  • Fuse issues

While powered car windows usually operate perfectly fine, failing parts will compromise your car’s cabin. It’s important to deal with the issue as soon as possible to prevent it from getting worse.

Pulling Up a Stuck Powered Car Window

Pulling Up a Stuck Powered Car Window

Credit: Car Bibles

If you’re not in the position to fix your broken window mechanism, you still need to find a way to get your window up. This ensures no one has access to your car and minimizes the chance of elemental damage to the inside of the car.

Working Switch and Failing Motor

  • Turn the ignition key to the on or “accessory” position. This supplies electricity to certain components, including your power windows.
  • Press and hold the applicable window switch to close the stuck window. Make sure you hold the switch until the window is closed.
  • Open and slam your car door. This should jar the window enough to send it on its way.

If this doesn’t work, find where your door panel meets the sheet metal inside. Hold your switch, and strike this location with your fist or a blunt object (taking care not to damage yourself or your property).

Window Off Track or Regulator Issues

This is best done with a second person to hold the switch or deal with the window. The window must be exposed enough for you to get a hold of it.

  • With your car door open, turn your ignition key to the on/accessory position.
  • Sandwich the down window between your palms. If this is not possible, you can try grabbing the top of the window until enough is exposed.
  • Have your helper (or you) use the switch to raise the window, and physically pull it up to close. Take care not to catch your fingers as the window gets closer to the top.

Do not lower the window until you address the underlying issue. Not only will you need to do this again, but you risk furthering the damage to your window or your electrical system.

Reasons Why Power Car Window is Stuck and How to Fix

The most common reasons your powered car window gets stuck are:

  • Accidentally locking your window functions
  • Window going off track
  • Blown fuses
  • Stuck window regulator
  • Bad power window switch
  • Poor or no power to the window switch
  • Poor or no power to the window motor

While these issues have different symptoms and require different responses, this is one of the easier vehicle issues to diagnose.

In this section, we run through them in order of least to most involved.

1. Window Safety Lock Out Switch (Child Safety Locks)

Window Safety Lock Out Switch (Child Safety Locks)

Credit: GoMechanic

Before you go into a full-blown panic, make sure you did not accidentally lock out the window controls in your vehicle.

Your window safety lock out switch is a toggle button usually near your master switch panel on the driver’s side or near the console. This switch prevents switches in other areas from opening the windows, and it comes in handy when you have small children or pets in the car.

If you cannot locate the switch, search online or in your manual for its exact location. The safety window button is usually marked with a crossed out window icon, and switching it back should fix your problem.

2. Window Off Track

A window that is off track should be left alone (apart from raising it up to close it) until you can get it back on track. If this is the problem, you will notice a grinding noise and hear the motor running.

You must remove your door panel to get your window back on track. Once you have access to the glass pane inside of your door, realign the bottom edge to the base of the window frame.

It’s best to follow a video or other visual guide for your specific car make and model to understand when you have it properly realigned, as not all tracks are built the same.

This is also a great time to make sure your rollers and tracks are clean and well-lubricated and address any issues in these areas. These are common reasons your window comes off the tracks in the first place.

After everything is situated, check to make sure the window works, then reattach your door panel and any accessories you may have removed.

3. Blown Fuses and/or Short Circuit

Because you can look at the fuse or test it with a voltmeter or test light, we suggest checking this early on.

Most cars have the fuse box under the dash, in the glove compartment, or in the engine compartment, and some have more than one. Check online or in your manual to locate yours.

Find the fuse related to your power window function, then unplug it and inspect the connection in the clear plastic housing. You should be able to see if the circuit is open, but you can also use a multimeter to check for continuity.

If the fuse is blown, make sure the replacement you use has the exact same amperage rating (anything larger may start a fire). If the fuse blows again, there is likely a short or a motor issue that is drawing too much amperage.

4. Stuck Window Regulator

You may suspect that your window is off track only to open up your door panel and find a stuck window regulator. This is the part that your window actually attaches to.

There are two main types: cable style and scissor style (you will need to verify the exact regulator for your car to fix or replace it).

Cable style regulators have plastic parts that usually break down when exposed to extreme temperatures or just generally over time. Their pulley wheels, cables, and spring tensioners are often the culprit, and you will either need to replace the broken part or the whole system.

Scissor regulators use welded metal bars that move in a scissor-like way to lift and lower your window. These are less likely to break, but you may find a dead window motor waiting for you.

5. Bad Switch

Suspect a bad switch if the window can be controlled with another switch in the vehicle (i.e. rolling down your passenger window from the driver’s side controls). You can also try swapping your switches if your car allows it.

To fix this issue, replace the old switch with a replacement part. The process differs depending on your car’s make and model, but basically requires disconnecting the battery, removing your old switch, and attaching the new one to your door lock cluster.

6. Poor or No Power to the Window Switch

Another issue is a poor switch connection or a lack of power. This may be the case if you swap with a working switch and it doesn’t fix the issue.

Most window switches have:

  • A single power terminal
  • Two ground terminals
  • Two terminals that connect to the window motor

Use a voltmeter to test the switch’s connection.

When the switch is neutral, you should have power at one terminal, two showing ground, and the last two showing neither.

When you turn the switch on either way, one of your last terminals will get power and the other will get ground. This swaps when you turn it the other way.

If you experience anything different, your switch may be bad. A switch that doesn’t have power or ground indicates a wiring problem, and you’ll then need to check for loose connections or damaged wires.

7. Poor or No Power to Window Motor

After you’ve made sure your switch is getting proper power, test the motor. Most cars require you to remove the door panel to do so.

Turn your ignition key to the accessory position, connect your voltmeter, and then press your window switch. If the motor gets voltage but doesn’t respond, it needs to be replaced.

If the motor doesn’t receive power, look over your connections.

Conclusion

If you end up with a stuck powered car window, make sure you check your safety lock first. If this isn’t the issue, pay attention to things like:

  • Any sounds made when you try to move it up or down
  • Signs of a loss of power
  • Erratic motion

These details will help you discover why your window is stuck and plan your next move.

Have you dealt with a stuck powered window before? How easy was it for you to fix, and how did you figure out what you needed to do?

Marcus Wong

Thursday 1st of September 2022

Window tint can help you avoid a costly repair after an accident. Thanks for sharing to all of us.

Ann

Monday 24th of January 2022

I know how you feel. I'm a 55 year old woman, with very little mechanical experience. I have the tools, I just don't understand the instructions. I need a beginners video to watch. Not to mention, I don't know what's what. A motor axle? Not only do I not know what I'm looking for, I can't see anything exposed enough to get to it. Wth! I have about 4 hours to figure something out, and it's 11:00pm. I'm at my wits end. I just want to pull the window up, and leave it there!

AlBdamned

Sunday 19th of December 2021

😂 LMAO,heck,I just want to get the passanger window up all the way, cuz it's getting pretty cold, and I can't even get it released all the way from the regulator; but dude,u literally have to take the whole damn door apart just to get to it,now I don't even have the tools to complete the job,so my doors all exposed& my whole door has plastic on it,just to try keeping out the elements/ I really miss manual windows,geesh😕

Ur Dumb

Thursday 16th of December 2021

Tweek method? If it's too hard for you, pay a mechanic to do it.

Justin

Wednesday 11th of November 2020

Jesus christ, is this the tweek method. I don't want to take the whole car apart