Power windows are a part of the car that most people take for granted. Once the initial excitement of manual windows being replaced by automatic ones wore off, people stopped thinking about power windows. Yet as soon as your power window starts making unusual noises when you try to use it, you become painfully aware of the power window’s presence. It’s always disconcerting when your vehicle makes noises, but unlike sounds coming from the engine or wheels, a noisy power window is nothing dangerous.
How this system works:
Relative to most aspects of a car, the power window system is very straightforward. On the inside of the vehicle, a power window switch is attached to the power window motor. The power window motor sends power to the power window regulator, which carries the window up or down along a track. Each automatically powered window in your vehicle has its own track, regulator, and motor. Because the power window system is a closed system, a noisy power window is almost always due to a malfunction in one of the system’s components.
Common reasons for this to happen:
The power windows switch and fuse are the only aspects of the power windows system that are unlikely to be the source of a noisy power window. Here are the common culprits:
Dying power window motor: The power window motor is a very basic motor that allows the entire system to operate. Like all motors, as the power window motor is subject to heavy use, it can begin to falter and die. As the power window motor loses life, it has to work harder to produce enough power to roll up or roll down the window. Because the motor is having to work harder, and is now under duress, it will begin to make a notable noise. This is the same as when your home air conditioning or computer motors begin to wear out and become noisy.
Faltering power window regulator: The power window regulator sits inside your door panel, and is responsible for rolling the windows up and down. The regulator is powered by the power window motor, and attaches directly to the window. Like the power window motor, the power window regulator is prone to malfunctioning because of the amount of use that it gets. When the power window regulator begins to die, it will start to make a whining noise.
Dry or dirty window tracks: Your car’s windows lay in the window tracks. These tracks keep the windows in place, and guide them as the power window regulator powers the windows up and down. Because the windows are tightly fit into the window tracks, they will come into close contact with any debris that gets stuck in the tracks. If the window tracks are dirty, the debris will cause friction against the window, which makes a large amount of noise. On the other hand, if the window tracks dry out, the windows can get stuck in them, resulting in an unfortunate noise when the regulator forces the window to move in the track. Imagine the noise your windshield wipers make when running across a dry windshield, and you’ll understand why a dry or dirty window track is so noisy.
What to expect:
A top-rated mobile mechanic will come to your home or office to determine the cause of the noisy power window, and will then provide a detailed inspection report that includes the scope and cost of the necessary repairs.
How it's done:
A mechanic will roll up and roll down your power windows so that they can hear the noise. Usually the noise will let a mechanic know exactly what the problem is. If the issue is a power window motor or regulator, then the piece will need to be replaced. If the issue is with the power window track, then a simple cleaning or lubricating will often do the trick.
How important is this service?
Unlike many issues in your car, a noisy power window is not particularly dangerous. However, if your power window is making a lot of noise, that likely means that it will soon stop working. If your power window stops working, then it will be stuck in one position. Furthermore, the power window regulator is what holds the window firmly closed; if a malfunctioning regulator is the problem, then potential thieves would likely be able to easily pull your window down with their hands.