Why Does Power Window Works Intermittently?

The power window switch makes it easy to open and close the windows in your vehicle. Electric power makes window-rolling easy. If you suspect that your power window works intermittently. Let’s see some symptoms of it in this article.

What Is A Power Windows In The Car?

The power window was first introduced for automotive use by Packard in the 1940s, and it remained a high-end luxury feature for many years. Slowly they became a standard feature, and by the 2000s many vehicle manufacturers eliminated hand-cranked windows completely.

The distinguishing feature of a power window is the ease of operation; to raise or lower a window, all an occupant of the vehicle has to do is activate a switch. Electricity is sent to the motor by pressing the switch, it raises and lowers the window along a track. The motor turns several gears which causes a long arm to move up or down. One end of the arm travels along a groove in a bar at the base of the window. Some cars with many power feature first send the electricity to a device called a control module, which routes the power to the desired window motor.

How Does The Power Windows Work?

The system usually consists of a two-way control switch wired by two circuits to a motor in each door. One switch position and circuit drive the motor one way to wind the window up; the other switch position and circuit wind the window down. The switch works by closing and opening two different sets of wire circuits, and then the wires are redirected to the power windows motor. When you push the switch one way, one set closes and another opens. If you push the switch the other way the opposite sets open and close. This is necessary in determining which way the motor should run.

The majority of power windows work in the same way by having an automatic down feature on the driver side window; if you hold the switch down the window will lower until you release the switch, but if you just tap the switch, the window will open fully. Most power windows, however, don’t have an automatic up feature due to the danger of something or someone becoming trapped.

There is normally a circuit that determines the speed of the motor, if the motor slows down before the window is closed, it will stop and reverse the opposite way, therefore, opening the window again.

What Are The Reasons Behind The Power Window Works Intermittently?

Depending on the model and the options on your master power window switch panel, one of three or four parts will cause the issue.

1. Faulty Computer:-

Some vehicles have a slew of power options that send signals to the computer from the switch. Sometimes it’s just the faulty computer, intermittently sending signals to your motor. And leaving your windows only working part of the time. If you have problems with your computer. You’ll probably have to take your vehicle to a professional that can resolve this issue.

2. Bad Or Failing Power Window Switch Or Electrical Connector:-

Sometimes the problem is a defective switch and a defective connector. You need to pry the switch panel up from the armrest using a trim tool. Unplug the wiring connector and check the wiring harness for corrosion. You have to clean and replace it. If the connector is fine, it may be the switch. The Moisture is tricky and can sneak inside the switch and the connector if outside elements manage to get in the door panel. This will lead to cause the power window works intermittently.

Replacing a window switch is a pretty easy repair. You need to pry the switch panel up from the armrest by using a trim tool to unplug the wiring connector. Depending on your car and if the power window is not working on the driver side of the passenger side, you may have to replace the entire master switch panel as one piece, or you might be able to separate the failing switch from the switch panel and clip in a new one. If the issue is not on the driver’s side, you will likely only have to replace one switch. To reinstall, simply plug the switches back in, and press them back into the armrest.

3. Bad Or Failing Power Window Motor:-

If the motor is dying and is partially receptive to power or it has a bad ground. Your windows may only work some of the time. Fix the bad ground by cleaning the corrosion on the surfaces of the door and ground contact points. Replace the motor by disconnecting it from the window regulator or by installing a new one if it is burnt-out.

4. Damaged Electrical Wiring:-

Sometimes there can be a short circuit. Insulation on the wiring can break or tear over time, and this can expose the copper wiring/conductor. A weak connection can lead to a weak electric current or the wire can separate completely. This can lead to an intermittent connection, as it depends on how bad the corrosion is. You can fix the split by crimping the wire with a butt connector or by soldering it. Sometimes you’ll have to replace the wire entirely.

5. Failing Regulator:-

The window regulator is commonly referred to as the window track. It is powered by a motor inside of your door. Your window will temporarily experience issues in opening and closing if the motor overheats. The condition of your motor could become an issue again in the future, and you will likely want to have a professional check to make sure the wiring is intact.

6. Cable Pulley:-

Most regulators in power windows operate on a cable pulley system, and if there is a disconnect anywhere in the assembly, your window will stop working. If you are lucky, the issue with your pulley will be minor, and a little bit of lubrication will have your window working in no time. The cable or pulley can become damaged or broken, as this is typically the segment of the power window system that has to sustain the most weight. Replace the entire cable mechanism if it is at fault.

Hence, these are some common reasons for the issue of the power window works intermittently.

The average time to replace a power window motor is 2.1 hours. That averages out to roughly $120 to $150 in labor time plus the cost of the motor itself. This can usually bring the entire job to a total of anywhere from $200 to $300, depending on make and model.


We hope the above-mentioned information about the issue of the power window works intermittently will be helpful to all the readers. If anybody’s doubts persist feel free to comment in the comment section below.

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