Automobile windows today can easily be rolled up or down depending on the preference of the driver and passengers. Often, however, the windows are damaged and need repair or replacement. The driver's side window, in particular, needs attention more often than the others due to frequent use.
Repairing the Window
To prepare to replace a car window, gather any necessary materials such as a screwdriver, hex wrench, towel and a replacement window if required.
Preparation and Evaluation
Because most vehicles are equipped with power windows, first disconnect the negative cable attached to the battery of the vehicle to prevent personal injury and electrical damage to the vehicle. Wearing heavy-duty gloves can also reduce the risk of electrical shock. Remove the interior trim and door panel, then disconnect all controls that operate the window. This is easily accomplished by using a screwdriver. Once the panel and trim are removed, take a look at the track to determine whether there are any obvious signs of an obstruction or anything that may be hindering the window from sitting properly on its track. When working with a power window, be sure to check the motor for any damage that may be keeping it from working as designed.
Repair or Replace
Once a complete evaluation of the window and its mechanism has been performed, it is time to begin the repair process. If there are cracks or damage to the window glass, then replacement is the best choice. To do this, remove the water shield, plate and the regulator that controls the window. Carefully lift the glass out of the window. If the glass is in good shape and free of damage, remove the glass and set aside until needed.
Often, the cause of a window malfunction is either that the glass slips off its track or the motor fails. To place a window back on its track, clean the glass to remove the old adhesive and apply a new, urethane-based adhesive. After mounting the window back on its track, leave the window rolled up for a few days to ensure complete drying of the glue. If it turns out that the motor and/or regulator have stopped working, they will need to be removed and replaced. Because each vehicle has a slightly different method for doing this, it is best to check the owner's manual or a vehicle-specific repair guide.
Reconstruction and Testing
Once all necessary repairs and replacements are complete, it is time to put the window back together and test it. If the glass was replaced, reattach the window regulator and secure the panels and trim. Check the window and all screws to avoid possible breakage in the future. Finally, reconnect the battery cable.
Testing the window for full function is the last step to complete when repairing a driver side window. This can be done before replacing panels and trim if there is suspicion that more repair steps need to be taken inside the window. Be careful, however, when working around the uncovered motor and regulator to avoid shock. Turn on the vehicle and try the window controls. By following these few simple steps, the window should be back to its original condition and in proper working order.