How to Fix a Car Window That Falls Down Into the Doorby Eli Laurens
Automotive windows use a control arm and guide regulator to raise and lower a pane of glass into the door, either manually or with an electric motor. When the pane of glass works its way out of the regulator, it can fall into the door. The average backyard mechanic can repair fallen window glass in about an hour.
Remove the interior door panel to gain access to the window. Several screws will hold it in place, typically underneath the arm rest and in the door handle mount. Once it is unscrewed, it can be gently pulled away from the "pop rivets" that attach it to the door's metal. This exposes the window regulator and the window glass.
Remove the window glass pane by working it up through the door by hand. There are several holes in the door metal where the glass can be moved up and out slowly. Be sure not to take it out completely, as there are bolt holes that may not fit through the window opening.
Reattach the window to the regulator, or replace the window by uncoupling it from any bottom mounts and sliding it out completely. The mount will attach to the regulator with a clip that pinches the window, or more commonly a bolt run through a hole in the glass. When these clips or bolts become loose, the window can disconnect from the regulator and drop into the door. Hold the window in place and lightly tighten the bolts in a clockwise direction, or pinch the clips with pliers before the glass is in place.
Test the window before replacing the door panel, and watch the motion of the window regulator as it moves the glass. Any ineffective repairs will be obvious when the window is used repeatedly, and replacing the panel prematurely can waste time.
Replace the door panel by popping it back onto the pop rivets and securing its screws. Tap firmly on the areas of the panel that do not easily seat onto the rivets.
- Check for debris in the door and regulator while the panel is removed.
Things You'll Need
- Socket set
- Pliers or vice grips
- Do not over-tighten the window regulator bolts.
Eli Laurens is a ninth-grade physics teacher as well as a computer programmer and writer. He studied electrical engineering and architecture at Southern Polytechnic University in Marietta, Ga., and now lives in Colorado.