How to Replace a Manual Window Regulator

by Jim Green

When you turn a crank arm to raise or lower a manual window in a vehicle, a component known as a regulator, located on the inside of the door panel, actually makes the glass go up or down. Over time, or as the result of damage to the door panel, a manual window regulator can stop working. Fortunately, changing a manual window regulator is one of the easier do-it-yourself fixes in the world of auto repair, and you can save money by replacing it yourself.

Disconnect the vehicle's battery. Even though the window regulator is manual, the inside of the door panel will have wires running through, and you must ensure no power runs through it while you perform the repairs.

Remove the vehicle's interior door panel. On most cars, you will perform this step by loosening the door handle mount screw with the appropriate screwdriver while turning the handle crank screw that holds the window in place. Always refer to your vehicle's owner's manual just to be on the safe side, however. Finally, remove any bolts or rivets securing the door panel in place using a socket wrench.

Remove the glass retainer bolts -- for most vehicles, by turning the bolts counterclockwise. At this point, the glass pane will be loose, allowing you to pull it up and take it out of the door panel. Be careful not to chip, scratch or damage the glass when you set it down.

Locate the manual window regulator, and remove it by loosening the mount bolts with a socket wrench.

Replace the damaged window regulator with a new one.

Reposition the glass pane in its original position so it aligns correctly with your new window regulator. Place it in the same position it was in when you took it out in Step 3.

Press the door panel back into place by realigning it with its rivets. Tighten all remaining screws and bolts to secure the door panel.

Items you will need

About the Author

Jim Green has been a professional freelance writer and copy editor for over six years. He holds a B.A. in English from the University of Guelph (Guelph, Ontario, Canada) and a M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Southern California. Green has special expertise in the areas of health, recreation, travel, home and garden, and personal finance.

Photo Credits

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