How to Replace Rear Window

by Chris Moore

Replacing rear windows is not much different than replacing front ones. It also might not happen as often since most damage often occurs to the front windows. More than anything, make sure that any replacement window glass is not just for your make and model vehicle but also designed for the rear door and not the front. The two major causes for window replacement lie in the glass itself and the regulator holding it within the door.

Access the Window

Roll the window glass all the way down and then disconnect the negative battery cable. This might not be as needed as with a front door, especially if the car has manual windows, but it's still a good precaution in case there are any electrical connectors behind the door panel.

Remove all switches and handles in the door. For switches, pry off their trim bezels with a trim stick and disconnect their electrical connectors. For a window crank, insert a hooked tool behind the handle to disengage its clip. If you can't get such a tool, try rubbing a cloth in between the handle and door panel.

Detach the door trim panel by removing its screws and lifting the door off of its clips. On a lot of cars, the screws are behind trim panels like the door handle and pull handle; pry these panels off with the trim stick. You might also need to pry the panel off its fasteners by inserting the trim stick behind it.

Peel back the plastic watershield that is stuck onto the door, taking care not to damage it.

Pull the weatherstripping off the top of the door.

Replace the Window

Disconnect the bolts attaching the window glass to its regulator using a wrench. You may be able to use a standard wrench on some bolts, but other models may require something special like a Torx wrench.

Lift the glass up and out the door through the slot in the top. If the window is cracked or broken, be especially careful removing it; wearing gloves and long sleeves can help. Set the glass aside if it is not damaged and you're only replacing the regulator.

Remove the bolts for the window regulator and remove it from the window by folding it up and pulling it out through the main hole in the side of the door. This is only needed if you are replacing the regulator.

Install the new regulator in place within the door and secure it with the bolts.

Lower the glass--either the old glass if it's still in good shape or new glass--through the upper door slot, position it within the regulator and bolt it in place within the regulator.

Replace the door panel and all components, switches, handles and cables in the reverse order that they were removed.

Items you will need


About the Author

Chris Moore has been contributing to eHow since 2007 and is a member of the DFW Writers' Workshop. He received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Texas-Arlington.