Summer is here. For a lot of us, that means driving around with the windows open on a nice day. Sometimes, though, a nice day can quickly take a turn for the worse, in the form of a summer rain storm. That means the windows have to go back up, or you, and your car’s interior, are going to get wet. There’s nothing worse than trying to put the windows back up and have nothing happen. If that happens to you, it’s most likely time to replace your window regulator.

Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do in the way of maintaining your car’s window regulators. They’re pretty much a maintenance-free item, and when they break, they break. Thankfully, they’re not hard to replace. If you can’t get your hands on the part immediately, you can pop off the door panel and prop up the window glass with a block of wood until you can obtain a new window regulator.

If you have an older car with manual crank windows, you should have the easiest time making a repair. First, you disconnect the window crank and pop off the door panel. Then, you unbolt the window regulator and guide it out of the door. From there, you reverse the process to install the new one. If you’re unsure, use the door on the opposite side of the car as a guide for positioning the window crank on its splined shaft.

Cars with power windows are a bit more challenging, but not insurmountable. Aside from dealing with a window switch instead of a crank handle, removing the door panel should be the same process, as should removing the regulator. Depending on the make and model of your car, you may need to transfer the window motor from the old regulator to the new one.

There are a few other items to keep in mind. If your car has side airbags, pay particular attention to the manufacturer’s instructions for opening the door panel and resealing it properly. If this is the case, you’ll also likely want to disconnect your car’s battery and wait a few minutes before starting work. With modern power windows, you may need to pay attention to the manufacturer’s instructions for aligning the window glass with the door frame, as there may be some room for adjustment. Also, you may need to perform an adaptation after installing new window regulators. Once again, pay attention to the vehicle manufacturer’s instructions.

When you’re done, you should be able to raise and lower your car’s windows again, just as they came from the factory. You’ll be able to keep the weather out of the car, and you’ll no longer have an open window which can be a security risk.

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