Keeping Your Power Windows & Sunroof Working Properly

Oct 29, 2018

Read to get useful tips on caring for your power windows & sunroof so they always work smoothly.

Sometimes as passengers of a vehicle, we don’t always tend to rely on air conditioning. Although the air conditioning system of our car is our personal saving grace from the summer heat, it also feels good to get some fresh air from the outside – especially when you’re driving out of town.

open windows and sunroof

Getting a fresh breeze while driving along the countryside can give feelings of relief and freedom

Thank God for the invention of power windows and sunroof, which enable us to enjoy the fresh breeze while driving away from the city.

Ages ago, windows are not electronically powered. In order to open them, you need to manually turn the knob by the car’s door until the window opens wide enough to accommodate the air you want. 

roll the window down

This is how we "roll down the windows" in the good ol' days - using a knob!

So, it is kind of dangerous too especially while you’re driving and you desperately need some fresh air. Modern cars and car owners are lucky enough to have the feature of power windows where you can open them anytime you want with just a push of a buttonless danger and more air, in your own time, right at your fingertips.

power window

This is a new school way of opening car windows - power windows with just a press of a button

However, as we know all these electronic parts also experience their own wearing-out period. No matter how modern and high technology we are now, power windows and sunroof can also malfunction when not cared for properly. 

So, as responsible car owners, we need to know what causes these features to malfunction so we can be aware of our actions and avoid damaging our power windows. Let make it clear for you!

I. What Can Cause Power Windows to Malfunction?

Imagine driving for a to-go breakfast at a fast food drive through and when you are just about to get your order, the window on the driver’s side decided not to open or roll down. You don’t have a choice then but to exert more effort by opening the door just to get the food that is supposed to be handed through the window. Kind of a hassle, right? So let’s now see what could cause these kinds of malfunction.

1. Faulty window regulator

This could be the main cause of a power window failure. The power window regulator is the one responsible for rolling the windows up and down through the window motor that powers it. Usually, the main cause of this power window regulator to fail is through snow and ice – which is technically impossible to be present in the Philippines. 

So, in our setting, it could be a super low temperature that causes water to build up in the windows, which, if not cleaned regularly, could also cause a wear and tear.

faulty power window

A faulty power window regulator will not allow you to roll the windows up and down properly

So freezing up of the power window regulator causes malfunction to the power window itself.

2. Overheating power window motor

Extremes, but this is possible to happen in a tropical country like ours. The power window motor works hand in hand with the power window regulator to enable to power windows to go up and down. When, for some reason, the window motor starts to overheat, it won’t function properly and power the regulator, hence, the failure of power windows.

3. Faulty switch

If you have a habit of pressing things multiple times, like the power window switch, then it could possibly result in a damaged window switch. If your power window switch doesn’t work properly, or some of its wiring that connects it to the regulator have been broken or detached, then the switch won’t work properly. And if the switch is faulty, therefore your windows will not roll down nor up.

II. What Can We Do To Keep Our Power Windows Working Smoothly?

Now that we already know what causes the power windows in general to fail, it’s time to know what we can do to keep them healthy and working properly.

1. Proper lubrication

Although we don’t experience ice and snow in the Philippines, we are always exposed to the sun, dust, dirt and rain (or shall I say, acid rain)p. These elements can also take a toll on our power window seals, which may cause them to stick and would cause us to get wet when our power windows decide not to roll back up when it rains.

lubricate windows properly

Putting proper oil regularly on your car windows will ensure smooth up and down movement

To avoid the windows to get stuck, you need to regularly put proper lubrication like silicone lubricant or lithium grease that comes with straw nozzle extension. Just apply a generous amount to the entire power window sides to have them smooth sliding again.

2. Regularly check the sunroof too, as it is also part of your power window system

Power window system doesn’t only cover the (literal) windows of your vehicle, but also the sunroof of your car. As we know, the roof is the car part that is most exposed to extreme weather conditions like sun and rain. Hence, making the sunroof more prone to wear and tear.

cleaning sunroof

You also have to care for your car's sunroof as much as you care for the power windows - they are even more exposed to sun and rain

To take good care of the sunroof, check it regularly – check the mechanism if it needs cleaning or lubrication. You have to remove all the dirt and debris that were stuck in the sunroof and if you have one available, also try to apply grease as necessary. You can also wipe the sunroof with a detailer to ensure its cleanliness and that nothing hinders it from functioning properly.

3. Check for sounds coming from the inside of your door

If you hear unusual sounds or ticking sounds coming from the inside of your car door, it could possibly be the regulator. If there are no problems in the mechanism, then whenever you press the switch, you shouldn’t hear anything – it should be a silent, smooth window rolling up and down.

When this happens, have your mechanic check the power window regulator and the power window motor for any problem and replace them as necessary. Maybe quite pricey though, but sure worth it.

4. Avoid playing with the switch

Playing with the power window switch can cause it to wear out and get damaged. I know that pressing the power window switch can be distressing, but if you keep on doing it, you’ll always end up with a problem on your power window.

Taking care of your power windows and sunroof regularly can save you money and avoid any more hassles that involve the use of power windows and or sunroof on your power window.

>>> Click to get more helpful tips and advice for your car maintenance

Source: Ivy Kristia Padura