How to Test for Electric Power Window Problems in a Chevy Malibu

by Ron Sardisco

The power windows in your Chevy Malibu are part of a system with switches at each window, a motor and regulator at each window and a master control panel at the driver's position. There are also a number of fuses and relays to protect the main components from damage. Troubleshooting is a matter of trial and elimination.

Check that the ignition switch is on and the driver's panel lock-out switch is not engaged. Check the fuse panel to make sure the fuse is intact. If the window works from the driver's control panel, move to the door testing step. If neither rear window works, check the rear window lockout switch for continuity.

Use the 12v test light to verify that current is reaching the window operating switch by connecting the tester clip to a solid ground and touching the probe to the wire. Use the continuity tester to check the switch for an open circuit by connecting the leads across the switch terminals.

If the switch has power and is working properly, use the door panel removal tool to check the wiring inside the door panel and the current from the switch to the motor. If there is current to the motor, you should replace it.


  • You can use a multimeter in place of the test light and continuity tester.
  • Keep a supply of spare fuses on hand.


  • Because you must work on the system while charged, be sure to guard against accidentally shorting out the wires.

Items you will need


About the Author

After attending Pasadena City College as a business major, Ron Sardisco spent 35 years studying small business and organizational behavior. More than 20 years as a banker, 10 years as a small business owner and five years as a business adviser fuel his passion for writing and mentoring others. An award-winning photographer, he was also a contributing columnist to the "Antelope Valley Press."

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