How to Replace a Window Regulator

Lead Image
  • 2-4 hours
  • Advanced
  • 250-500
What You'll Need
New window regulator
Adjustable wrench
Flat screwdriver
Philips screwdriver

Window regulator replacement may look like it would be an overwhelming job, but it is really something that can be done by any DIY mechanic. The window regulator is the actual frame of your power window in place while it is traveling up and down. If this is not working properly, then your window will not be moving. You can install this piece of your window fairly easily with some basic tools and a little bit of time. Here are the step by step instructions for completing this project.

Step 1 - Remove Battery Cable

Turn the car on and make sure the window is in the all the way up position. Once you have done this then you can turn the key to the off position. Go under the hood and remove the battery cables to make sure there are no accidents when working with the electrical components.

Step 2 - Remove Door Panel

Start with the trim panel on the door and loosen up the screws that are holding the various components on. Pry off the window and lock switches as well as the door handle bezel. They may need to be unscrewed or simply popped out their housing. Disconnect these components as you take them off. Remove all the screws that are holding on the door panel. Some of these may be hidden around the door. Make sure you do a thorough look before trying to pry off the door panel. Pop off the door panel by starting at one corner and prying the plastic rivets out of their housings.

Step 3 - Disconnect Window Harness

Peel away the inner door's water protector and disconnect the wires to the window harness. Loosen the screws that hold the window regulator starting with the ones that hold the glass to the regulator. Then remove the screws that hold the regulator to the door.

Step 4 - Remove Window Regulator

With the window held in place by the upper window frame, you can now remove the window regulator from the door. Fold both sides of the regulator in and then remove it from the door. Disconnect the power motor from the regulator by unscrewing the bolts. Wiggle the motor until the wiring comes loose. Make sure the cable does not come off of the spool during this process.

Step 5 - Replace Window Regulator

With the old piece out it is time to finish up your window regulator replacement. Install the new regulator inside the door and set it in place. Connect the motor to the regulator with the reverse process of disconnecting it. Bolt the regulator to the door and the glass to the top of the regulator. Reseal the water deflector and replace the door panel.

Step 6 - Secure Door Panel

Once the window regulator is installed inside the door panel you can secure the panel back to its original position. Start at the side of the panel and press the pop rivets back into position. Replace all the screws that you removed while also making the connections to the lights, switches and locks. Connect the battery cables and test out your new window regulator.