Automatic Windows

I’ve noticed in recent years, many lower and mid-range cars are equipped with an automatic/power window on the drivers door. What strikes me as odd is that at the press of a button, the window will go down, however the technology is not advanced enough to bring the window back up without holding the button. So my query is simply why do they make windows that can go down automatically but not up? Why would it be cost-prohibitive to add that feature to most cars?

There are of course higher end vehicles that have 4 fully automatic windows that do in fact go up and down, but I can understand why that would be more complex/expensive.

It’s a feature, not a bug.

It’s done deliberately so that people will not get their arms pinched or pieces of clothing trapped if they hit the button by mistake.

Correct. I don’t think there is any cost at all involved in making them go up and down the same way. However, common sense and the threat of lawsuits dictate that they shouldn’t be designed that way. I think the OP must not have ever been around rowdy and senseless kids.

Mine go up all the way if you double-tap them. 2002 VW.

And to minimize the chance that kids and dogs will get throttled. I didn’t think any vehicles had automatic-up windows. Which ones do?

Yes, I resemble that remark. I got my head stuck in one once.

Don’t ask.

Ditto. My car (Subaru Legacy Spec B) has a compromise of this feature on the sunroof; holding down the switch for a second will cause it to auto-open; doing the same to close will cause it stop at the half-way point, at which you have to hold it down again.

You could conceivably place a sensor on the motor to prevent it from clamping down on someone’s fingers/arm/head but that adds more cost and potential for component failure. (I think some cars do this, though; I seem to recall Audi does this on some of their recent models.) Car manufacturers currently deem this unnecessary, but eventually one of them will probably make it a new standard and everyone else will follow suit.


My inspiration for the thread was experience in a courtesy car I’m currently driving, an ‘07 Camry. Later this afternoon I’ll definitely attempt this ‘double-tap’ technique’ though I have my doubts.

I have a list of folks I’d like to submit for the “see if it squishes your head” test.

What cars really need is an “all windows down” button, so when you got in your car on a really hot day you could lower all your windows quickly and easily so as to flush out all of the hot air before turning on the A/C.

Mercedes definitely go all the way up with one touch, as do some Volvo’s and BMW’s. They also have a protection built in to go down if it feels something stuck in them (arms, heads, etc.).

My Pontiac has a button that shuts off the other window switches, so that if you are lucky enough to catch the bastard he can’t get loose.

If they went automatically in both directions, you couldn’t open your window half-way.

You press the window button again and it will stop it where you press it at.

I believe this is a feature of all newer VW and Audi vehicles. It is definitely the case with our '03 Golf.

The one downside of this I’ve experienced is that I tried to mount one of those sports team flags that hang on your windows, and I had a hell of a time getting it to stay because the window would keep rolling itself back down anytime I tried to get the flag clamped on. :smack:

My car (IS350) has this feature (1button opens all windows & sunroof), which can be controlled with the remote so you can flush out the hot air b4 entering. I think minis might even have it too.

Meanwhile, I tried the double-tapping strategy as mentioned above and it does not work on an '07 camry. I think I think the theory that while the mechanism to automatically close the window is trivial, the sensor to avoid squishing ppl is not ergo lower-end cars avoid the automatic closing while higher-end add the sensor.

I’m still not entirely convinced but that makes some sense.

They also make them so that you have to pull the switch up to make the window go down. That way little kids or dogs cannot stand on the switch and strangle themselves

My 2003 Rav-4 has an auto up option for the drivers side window. You have to pull up on the switch and hold it for a second or so. I haven’t checked to see if there is a sensor to prevent head squishing yet.

My '04 Prius is auto up and down. My 1990 Subaru was the same, my 1994 Subaru is auto down only. My folks 1989 Maxima was auto up and down.

The above mentioned Pontiac will open a window with a tap, but not close it.
Which means that when Mrs. Plant trapped my arm, she was holding it down.
Oh, fie.