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Your window regulator is the wonderful piece of equipment. It’s what makes your window roll up when you pull the button and roll down when you press it. If you’re someone who likes the windows down in summer, then it’s your best friend. If you don’t like the windows down in summer… What are you doing? Due to the amount of usage combined with the moisture and grime, your window regulators do wear out over time.
Your window regulator works in two ways, expanding and contracting. There are a variety of types of regulator. The two most common are the folding type and the extension type. The folding type of regulator is shaped like an ‘X’ and either stretches the ‘X’ upwards and lifts the window up. If it contracts the ‘X’ gets wider and lowers the window. The extension type is where a braided steel cable is run through a housing and then up to brace the window. It winds up and down, lifting or lowering the window.
Without it you wouldn’t be able to raise or lower your window. Seeing as this is fairly important for your vehicle's security and your comfort, you want it to work as it should.
Pretty obvious signs are that the window won’t go down, or won’t come back up. Other indicators are that the window struggles or stutters its way back to being closed. If you notice an audible whining as the window goes down or up, then that’s an indicator that the regulator is on its way out.
The mechanic will remove the door trim around the window and remove the inner lining to access the motor. They will then raise the window and disconnect it from the regulator. The regulator will then be disconnected from wiring and the mounting points. The inside of the door will most likely be cleaned as well as the seals. The new regulator will be fitted and connected to the wiring and then hooked up to the window. They will then test the system before refitting all the trim and returning the car to the customer.
Due to the labor intensive nature of the replacement, prices vary based around the difficulty of accessing the window and removing the trim. Expect prices to start around $350 but they can quickly climb to over $600 depending on the cost of the new motor and the labor time.
They do get a lot of usage and the mechanical windows generally last longer than the electric ones. They shouldn’t wear out under 120,000km and if they do, it's usually the drivers side.
Only if it means someone can reach inside or climb inside your car while you aren’t using it. It can be a pain if it rains while your windows are down or if someone steals your sunnies, so if you need a new regulator, get one fitted by a professional.
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