How to Install a Car Window Regulator

by Maggie O'Leary

A car window regulator is the device that makes it possible for your power windows to go up and down. Your window regulator may or may not need to be replaced often, depending upon the age of your vehicle. Window regulators in older vehicles are gear-operated, and should not need to be replaced often. In newer vehicles, window regulators are basically wire-driven, and may need to be replaced more frequently.

Replacing a car window regulator can be a very time-consuming task, but the process is fairly simple, and you don't need any specialized tools to complete the job.

First, remove the door panel. While door panels vary from vehicle to vehicle, it's usually as simple as removing a few screws and pulling the door panel off of the door. Your door panel may also be held on by clips. Gently pull the panel off of the door, so you don't break the clips. Hold onto the door panel and don't let it drop; this could damage some of the wiring inside the door. Gently unhook the wiring from the components inside the door. There will be wiring attached to your power window mechanism, your power lock controls, and your stereo speaker, if your car is equipped with these features. Lay the door panel to the side with the screws or clips, so you can find them later.

Next, remove your stereo speaker from inside the door. As car door panels vary, so do stereo speakers. Your speaker will most likely be held into the door by several screws; simply loosen them and remove the speaker. Gently disconnect the wiring from the back of the speaker, and place the speaker and screws to the side.

Next, remove the window glass from the inside of the door. As you do this, you'll want to make sure you are supporting the window glass from the bottom as you slide it up and out of the door, so it doesn't slip and break. You may want to have a friend help you with this.

Next, pull the window glass out of the door, and put it in a safe place. This will enable you to reach the window motor and regulator. Unplug the wires from the window motor. You'll need to remove the any screws or clips from the window motor and regulator. Then, remove the window motor and regulator to make way for the new parts.

Once you have removed all the components of your window, you can install the new window regulator. This is very simple. You'll just complete all the steps in reverse. First, place the new window motor and regulator in place, and replace any screws or clips that held them in place.

Next, replace the window glass, and connect it to the window motor and regulator assembly. Again, you may want to have a friend assist you in the process so you don't damage your window glass. Replace your stereo speaker and reconnect the wiring to the speaker. Reconnect the wiring for the power windows and locks, and replace the door panel, making sure to reinstall all clips and screws that hold the parts together.


  • check You may want to enlist the help of a friend to help hold onto the window glass as you remove it and re-install it later. This will save you a lot of headache, and possibly cash.

Items you will need

About the Author

Based in Oklahoma, Maggie O'Leary has been writing professionally since 2001. O'Leary has served in the United States military since 1997 and is a two-time OIF veteran. She has been published in several local military and civilian newspapers and national media outlets including "The Washington Post" and CNN. O'Leary has a Bachelor of Arts in history and legal studies.