|$ Labor Costs: $50-$120 per hour||$ $ Window Regulator: $40-$300 (parts only)||$ $ $ Professional Replacement: $110-$650+ (parts and labor)|
Power windows have a mechanical system that makes them function, but it’s the window regulator the part that’s in charge of making the window go up and down.
Each power window has its own window regulator located in the door panel, and to the surprise of some car owners, manual windows also have a window regulator, just that they are less advanced.
When one of the windows of a vehicle is not working, the window regulator could be at fault for that, but it’s important to differentiate it from the power window motor.
Table of Contents
How Does A Window Regulator Work?
Regardless of whether it’s a manual or power window, each of them has a window regulator that makes them go up and down, and the only difference between them is their power source.
In power windows, the window regulator is electrical and is connected to the window motor, which gives it the necessary energy to make windows go up and down.
On the other hand, the window regulator of a manual window is mechanical and is operated by turning a crank.
And, aside from differentiating manual and power window regulators, according to 1A Auto Parts, there exist two types of window regulators: the scissor-type and the cable-type window regulator.
What Are The Signs Of A Failing Window Motor?
As the window regulator is in charge of regulating the movement of the window, there are some specific signs that will tell you the window regulator is damaged, such as:
- The window falls inside the door (which could break the glass).
- You can hear weird noises when the window is moving up or down
- The window moves slowly.
- The window doesn’t close fully.
- The window goes up and down crocked.
- The window motor works when the switch is pressed, but the window doesn’t move.
If all windows are malfunctioning, the problem probably lies in a blown fuse or an electrical system’s problem, but if it’s just one window that’s having problems, the cause will surely lay between the window regulator and the window motor.
What Affects The Replacement Costs Of A Window Regulator?
Window regulators don’t get maintenance services, and usually, they don’t get repaired, being the principal option to replace it when a window regulator doesn’t work.
The costs for replacing a window regulator vary depending on factors like the make and model of your vehicle, its age, location, where the replacement is done, labor costs, and if the parts come from an OEM or an aftermarket shop.
Buying the window regulator replacement part can cost $40 to $300.
For labor costs of a professional installation, experts can charge around $50 to $120 per hour; replacing a window regulator usually takes 1 to 3 hours.
Then, the total costs for professionally installing a window regulator, including parts and labor costs, can be $110 to $650 or more.
You can get the window regulator professionally replaced at car dealerships, independent repair shops, automotive glass services like Safelite, car audio specialists, and national auto care chains like Midas, Pep Boys, and Sears.
And you can get just the window motor replacement part at online retailers like Advance Auto Parts, CarParts.com, and Amazon.
The following comparison shows examples of price differences between some online retailers:
|Company||Type of Work||Price Range|
|Midas||Parts and labor||$170 – $480|
|Mr. Tire||Parts and labor||$160 – $460|
|NAPA||Parts and labor||$160 – $450|
|Walmart||Parts||$60 – $260|
|Amazon||Parts||$40 – $265|
Things To Consider
- First, you have to make sure the window regulator is making the window malfunction by looking for the signs of a bad window regulator. If all the windows are malfunctioning at the same time, then it’s probably not the window regulator.
- Check for the shops or car dealerships near you specializing in window repairs to ask for a budget.
- To replace the window regulator, the door panel needs to be taken off, and the window needs to be removed to access the mechanism.
- Doing a DIY window regulator replacement is often the cheapest option to get the job done, and it has medium difficulty. Here’s a video by Scotty Kilmer that shows how to replace a window regulator.
- Sometimes, the window regulator and the window motor are assembled as a unit, having to change both simultaneously.
- In some cases, the window glass drops into the door when the window regulator breaks, especially in car accidents. If this happens, the glass could break, having to replace it.