How to Replace a Power Window Motor in Vehicles

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

If the power window stops working in your Vehicles chances are you have either a bad power window switch or a bad power window motor. The window switch conveys an electronic signal to the window motor, which turns the motor on. When the motor is on, it spins a gear in the window regulator that moves the window itself. When the power window motor breaks in your Vehicles the window won't move until you install a new motor. Anyone with basic auto-repair skills can replace a power window motor in a Vehicles.

Under The Hood:

 How to Replace a Power Window Motor & Regulator

Remove the window switch. Each car is slightly different, so use care and consult your car repair manual if necessary. Pry the cover off the switch mount off using gentle, even pressure. It may be screwed in place, so don't force it. Locate any screws or bolts that hold the switch in place and remove them. Unplug the switch by pinching the plastic connector and wiggling it free.

Pry off the separate plastic panels on the door. You know they can be pried off if you can see the plastic all the way around with no mounting screws or screw covers. Look for circular plastic pieces that cover mounting screws or bolts. Remove all the mounting screws or bolts and lift off the door panel.

Pull out the door insulation. This can be laid on the door panel so you know how to reinstall it later. Be careful to not rip or damage the insulation during removal.

Tape the window in place with masking tape so that it doesn't slide down while you're working. Remove the mounting bolt for the motor and unplug the motor from the electrical system. Press the tabs on the plastic plug and wiggle the plug free to disconnect the motor.

Remove the mounting bolt for the regulator rail and remove the window regulator. Disconnect the motor cable from the window regulator. Note the position and orientation of the regulator so you can install the replacement correctly.

Mount the new regulator in the door. Tighten the bolt. Reconnect the motor cable. Mount the motor and tighten the mounting bolt. Remove the masking tape. Plug in the switch and turn the key in the ignition to the "On" position (do not turn the engine on). Test the motor with the switch. The window may have settled in the tracks, nudge the window as necessary to align it correctly as it moves up and down.

Remove the switch. Replace the insulation. Make sure you still have free access to the bolt-holes for mounting the door panel. Replace the door panel and tighten the bolts. Plug the switch back in and replace the plastic covers that you pried off. Use gentle, even pressure to pop the plastic pieces back in place.

Items you will need

  • Prying tool (putty knife or a small pry-bar)

  • Screw drivers (flat head and Phillips-head)

  • Socket set and driver

  • Masking tape

 How to Replace the Power Window Motor on a 1993 Oldsmobile Ciera

Start the process of replacing the power window motor by removing the door panel. To do this, you need to take out all the visible screws that hold the arm rest and everything in place first. With the use of a putty knife or a wide screwdriver, pry off the door panel carefully by pulling toward you. This will expose the whole power window mechanism that you are replacing.

Unscrew the power window control switch and the lock control rods next. With these out of the way, you can carefully lift off the plastic weather protection shield. Make sure that you do not tear it as you will need to replace this later with a good contact adhesive. Manipulate the motor and the lift mechanism freely. It is a good idea to take notes so that you can easily remember how things go back together.

Use a 4-inch grinder to knock out the two rivets that hold the motor and regulator assembly to the door. Do the same to the two rivets that hold the track and window guide in place. These rivets can be found closer to the rear of the door. Be careful not to grind through the metal of the door. Once the rivets are out of the way, you can safely remove the power supply from the motor.

Loosen the two cap screws that hold the lift bracket to the bottom glass channel with the use of a 10 mm socket. Do not unscrew all the way. Hold the window in the closed position by looping the piece of wire over one of the cap screws and fastening the other end through one of the holes at the top of the door. This will ensure that the glass window stays in place, in one piece.

Get the seat belt anchor out of the way. You can do this by flexing the V-shaped track guide little by little until it is free from the door panel. This will allow you to manipulate the motor assembly until it breaks free from the door panel. Mark the spot where it used to rest with a marker so that you are sure that the new motor will be aligned in the correct position when you put it in. Fit the new motor assembly into the spot that you marked. With the rivet gun, attach the motor assembly back into place.

Items you will need

  • New power window motor assembly

  • Wide screwdriver

  • Putty knife

  • Good contact adhesive

  • 4-inch grinder

  • 10 mm socket

  • 1-inch piece of wire

  • Black marker

  • Rivet gun

  • Drill

 How to Replace a Power Window Motor in a Chevy Pickup

Use a trim tool to pry the power window switch from the Chevy pickup's door panel, then pull it out the rest of the way by hand. Unplug the Chevy's wiring harness from the switch by hand.

Use your Phillips screwdriver to remove the retaining screws from the Chevy pickup's door panel. Depending on the year and make of your Chevy, you may encounter hex-head screws that require the socket set for removal.

Remove the door panel from the Chevy pickup's door. Depending on the year and model of your Chevy pickup, you may need to pry the panel loose from the door using the trim tool, as older Chevy pickups use trim pins to anchor the door panel to the door.

Push the Chevy pickup's window glass to the top of the door by hand. Tape the glass to the door with packing tape in order to hold it up.

Unplug the wiring connector from the Chevy Pickup's broken window motor by hand. Use the socket set to remove the window motor mounting bolts from the window regulator and door.

Pull the broken motor out of the Chevy pickup's door by hand. Replace it with the new motor. Use the socket set to bolt the Chevy pickup's new window motor to the window regulator and door.

Plug the wiring harness into the Chevy Pickup's new window motor by hand. Reinstall the door panel in reverse of how you removed it. Take the packing tape off the Chevy pickup's door and glass before use.

Items you will need

  • Trim tool

  • Phillips screwdriver

  • Packing tape

  • Socket set

 How to Replace a Power Window Motor on a Nissan Sentra

Remove the two Phillips screws in the armrest using the Phillips screwdriver. Remove any Phillips screws that may be around the circumference of the door panel (this is year dependent). Insert the common screwdriver between the door panel and door and pry out the trim fasteners on all three sides.

Pull the door panel away from the door a few inches and remove the plastic retainers on the door latch and lock rods where they are attached to the door panel. Use the common screwdriver to push the plastic retainer snaps off the rods freeing them from the door handle. Disconnect the electrical connector from the window switch.

Lift the door panel away from the door. Pull the moisture shield from the door, exposing the window motor. Disconnect the electrical connector on the window motor.

Remove the three bolts securing the window motor to the window regulator. Pull the motor straight off the regulator. Install the square shaft on the new window motor into the square opening in the regulator. If it does not align, rotate the window motor slightly until the shaft slides in; then while holding the motor in, rotate the motor back until the holes line up. Install the bolts and tighten.

Install the electrical connector in the window motor. Install the door panel and door rods in reverse order of removal.

Items you will need

  • Phillips screwdriver

  • Common screwdriver

  • ¼-inch drive ratchet

  • Set of ¼-inch drive sockets

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.