Fixing a Window that Won't Roll Up

Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated February 17, 2012)


While there are any number of things that can go wrong with a car window, they all pretty much boil down to one of two problems. The first is that the glass of the window can actually break, and that is a can of worms that is completely different. The second most common problem is that a window won't roll up (or down). Fixing a window that won't roll up can be a fairly involved task, though it is one that most people can undertake if they are willing to follow a few simple instructions.

  1. Remove the paneling. Before you can actually begin fixing a window that won't roll up, you will need to disconnect and remove a couple of items. The very fist item that you will need to disconnect is the battery. This way will help to greatly reduce the possibility accidental electrocution. Once you have disconnected the battery, you need to begin removing the door panel so that you can take a look at the mechanical insides of the door. Typically this can be accomplished by unscrewing some of the screws that are right behind the door handle, and then removing the panel from the plastic rivets that hold it in place.
  2. Check the positioning. Take a look through the holes in the sheet metal that help protect the glass when the window is rolled down. What you are looking for is to see if the glass has somehow become dislodged or off kilter from the track in some way. If the glass is off track, realign it and do a quick test to see if it works. You may also need to take a look at the tracks themselves to see if they have become misaligned.
  3. Inspect crank operation. Manual windows are lowered and raised by turning a simple hand crank. Turn the crank a couple of times to see if the scissor shaped jack system it is attached to is operating properly. If the crank does not operate properly and move these arms, then the window will not raise. In cases like this the entire system will need to be replaced, and should be taken to a professional to get the work done.
  4. Inspect electronics. Powered windows have another step that you will need to do in addition to seeing if the crank and jack system work. Simply put, all you really need to do is check to see if the fuse and wiring circuit that runs to the motor are in good condition. If you don not have a voltmeter to test out the electrical current in the wiring, you may simply want to take the window into a professional to be worked on.
  5. Repair the problem. In the event that you notice that the problem is something that you can repair yourself, then go ahead and do it. For anything that you don't feel up to doing the work yourself then have a professional do it for you.
  6. Replace the paneling. Once you have repaired the problem, you still have one step left. That simple step is to put the door back together. As long as there wasn't all that much work to do, then all you need to do is replace the door paneling and reattach the screws that hold it in place.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...


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What is one more than 0?

2016-12-29 20:13:14

Moulana Abdool

Thank you for sharing such vital information to people like me. I am NOT a mechanic but through sites like yours we the novices can gain a great amount of knowledge and information so as to save us a great deal of money.

By the way I am from South Africa. Once again thank you for all your assistance. May GOD THE ALL MIGHTY BLESS you, your family, business and all those associated with you.


Moulana Abdool

2015-10-12 15:49:38

Rob Anastas

Hi there I have a 1998 Plymouth Neon, my manual window cranks goes around and around and the window doesn't move? What do I do?