Most power windows operate about the same. Power is supplied through a fuse, which goes to the switch, which then directs the power to the window motor.
In the event of failure, the first thing is to check the fuse. If that’s okay, the next step is usually to determine whether it’s the switch or the motor that needs replacement.
The procedure for this varies from vehicle to vehicle. Sometimes it can be simple, and other times, it can take about an hour of diagnosis.
Costs of Power Window Motor and Regulator Replacement
The cost of replacement or repair for window motors and regulators will be different depending on the type of vehicle being serviced. The labor rate will also vary depending on location and the auto service shop doing the replacement.
On average, power window motor/regulator replacement costs will come to about $300.
To illustrate the variations in power windows repair cost for some common vehicles, the following estimates are presented using the labor rate of $100 per hour:
- 2005 Honda Civic
The labor time to replace a power window motor and regulator assembly on either of the front doors is estimated at 1.4 hours. A factory motor assembly costs about $422 for the left side. On the other hand, it costs about $324 for the right side and for aftermarket VDO parts, the cost is about $45 for the left side and $53 for the right side.
The total cost to complete the job would be about $562 for the driver side front using OE parts, or about $185 using aftermarket parts. For the passenger side front, the cost would be about $387 using OE parts, or about $193 using aftermarket parts.
- 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee
The power window motor and regulator can be replaced separately. The labor time to replace the motor is estimated at 1.3 hours. A factory window motor costs about $115, and an AVI part costs about $56.
This makes the total cost of power windows about $245 using factory parts, or about $186 using aftermarket parts. The labor time to replace a window regulator is also estimated at 1.3 hours.
A factory regulator costs about $120, and an AVI part costs about $85. The total cost to complete the job of replacing the regulator would be about $250 using OE parts, or about $215 using aftermarket parts.
- 2003 Chevrolet Silverado
The labor time to replace a front door window regulator assembly is estimated at 1.1 hours. A factory assembly costs about $235, and a VDO part costs about $55. The total cost to complete the job would be about $345 using factory parts, and about $165 using aftermarket parts. It’s also possible to replace the window motor and regulator separately.
The labor time is the same, and the individual components cost about $23 each (aftermarket); making the job cost about $133 to replace either the power window motor or the regulator.
Costs of Power Window Switch Replacement
There is a wide variety in the costs to replace a window switch, as there are significant differences in how switches are made (the driver door gets a large “master” switch, and other smaller switches), and in how they are serviced. Some are really simple to replace, others require some door disassembly.
For some estimates on costs to replace a power window switch on specific vehicles, using a $100 per hour labor rate:
- 2005 Civic
The labor time is estimated at 0.3 of an hour. A factory driver-door switch costs about $149, and a Standard part costs about $87. The window switch for any of the other doors costs about $23 for a factory part, and about $14 for a Standard part. The total cost to replace a driver’s door window switch would be about $179 using factory parts, or about $117 using aftermarket parts.
The other door switches cost about $23 each for factory part, and about $14 for Standard parts. Replacement would cost about $53 using factory parts, or about $44 using aftermarket parts.
- 2014 Grand Cherokee
The labor time is estimated at 0.3 of an hour for any of the four. A factory driver’s door switch costs about $195, and an AVI part costs about $132. The total cost to complete the job would be about $225 using factory parts, or about $162 using aftermarket parts.
The rear switches cost about $23 through either factory or aftermarket sources; making the job cost about $53 to replace a rear switch. The passenger front switch costs about $20 more.
- 2003 Silverado
The labor time is estimated at 0.3 of an hour. A factory driver’s door switch costs about $277, and a Standard replacement part costs about $118. The total cost to complete the job would be about $307 using OE parts, and about $148 using aftermarket parts.
The passenger side switch costs about $204 for a factory part, and about $110 for a Standard part. This makes the job cost to fix power windows about $234 using factory parts, and about $140 using aftermarket parts.
Power Window Repair Procedures
If the switch is the problem, replacement varies from vehicle to vehicle. Some vehicles require the removal of the door panel and access from inside. On other vehicles, the switch simply pops out without having to disassemble anything else.
There are a few models where a new switch will not be functional until it is programmed, or until the memory for an automatic open and close function is set.
If the window motor is the problem, most of those are replaced as a part of the window regulator. This is an assembly that includes the motor, the gear lift mechanism, and the window tracks.
Replacement requires removing the door panel, detaching the window glass from the regulator, and removal of the assembly. In some newer vehicles, the window motor bolts to a modular regulator assembly, and the two components can be replaced separately.
Other Possible Causes
It’s not always easy to rule out wiring issues without an extended diagnosis, and it does happen sometimes that a problem which seems to be a window switch or a window motor winds up being a wiring issue.
The most common wiring failure is in the door wiring harness where it bends in the door frame each time the door is opened and closed. The driver door is used much more than the other doors, so that is usually the first place to look.
The harness runs through a rubber boot, and broken wires are checked visually by pulling the boot back. If a wiring problem is found in the door jamb, that is a particularly difficult place to make a permanent repair due to how much it must flex. A conventional wiring splice should work for a while, but the most permanent fix is to replace the door harness.
On some vehicles, a door control module receives commands from the window switch and operates the window motors accordingly. In that arrangement, the diagnosis usually requires a scanner to access the module functions to rule that out as a possible cause.
Door modules are usually located inside the door panel. An example would be a 2006 Jeep Cherokee which uses a module in the door panel to control window, lock, and keyless entry functions.
A factory replacement costs about $257 and takes about an hour to replace. A typical estimate for that might be $357, and possibly more if there was a difficult diagnosis involved.
Yes, in the event that a window regulator fails and the window won’t stay up, it is possible to just secure the window in the “up” position. Usually that’s about an hour of labor.
Usually just wear and tear; the most common window to fail is the driver’s front window, as that is used the most.
Assuming parts are at hand, most repairs take between an hour and an hour and a half.