Many drivers have had the frustrating experience of a car window that just won't roll up. Somehow, it seems to happen more often when running late, when there's a storm coming in, or when the car has something valuable in it. If a car window is stuck open, the first step to rolling it up is diagnosing the problem. This can help avoid doing unnecessary damage to the mechanism. When in doubt, though, there are fairly simple ways of getting a stuck window to roll up with a couple tools and a bit of physical strength.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- Door-panel tool
- Coat hanger
- Spray lubricant
- Allen key
Check your fuses or breakers, if you have power windows. Check your owner's manual to determine the location of the fuse. Replace the fuse that controls the window motor and try again to get the window to move.
Drag the window up by opening the door, placing one hand on either side of the window, and pulling up. If you can't grip enough of the glass to pull, slide a straightened a metal coat hanger with a hook at the end between the window gasket and the glass and fish for the bottom of the window glass. Pull up forcefully but smoothly. This may close your window, but will not repair whatever problem caused it to stick.
Grease the window mechanism using a can of a spray lubricant, such as WD-40. Insert the long straw into the space between the rubber window gasket and the window, and spray lubricant in. This may coat stuck rollers and allow your window to move again.
Remove the door panel carefully, using a door-panel tool and detaching the window handles, power-mirror controls and any cup holders. Then carefully remove the weather liner, which is a piece of heavy plastic sheeting caulked to the inside of the door. Check for slipped gaskets, damaged or obstructed rollers and gears and check the connection to the roller handle, if the windows are manual. Clean out grit and lubricate the components before trying to lift the window back in place.
Service the motor, if you have power windows. Your indoor motor may be broken, or its gears may be stuck. Hitting it with a hammer while running it can help dislodge jams. If that doesn't work, a motor specialist will have to rebuild it.
Replace switches or handles because electric window switches are often flimsy and break under repeated use. If the windows are not controlled electronically, take off the knob of the manual unit and replace it. With a well-greased mechanism, a functional motor, and a working fuse, your window should now roll up.
Tips and warnings
- Don't try to roll up power windows using the switch until you discover what is making them stuck. You could burn out the motor or blow the fuse otherwise.
- Pulling on the window, as described in Step 2, can damage the mechanism, so do this only if you need to close the window immediately.
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