How much am I likely to pay to fix a power window?

Situation: 1994 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera, power windows. The window on the driver’s side has been very slow to go up for over a year and required a fairly long wait before it would move again, almost like something had to recharge. Thursday night, it died completely, in a partially open position, and between traveling for work training and going away this weekend, I haven’t had a chance to call around. I plan on doing that tomorrow.

So question 1: What might be wrong with it? From what (very) little I know about auto electrical systems, it sounds like a capacitor that’s been slowly dying and just gave up the ghost finally. Am I close?

Question 2: How much would it cost to fix? What’s the standard for power window repair that doesn’t involve new glass?


Motors tend to blow on car windows. The acutal part I believe is around $70 (depending on the car). As for the labor, I guess that will depend on where you go. If you can do it yourself, go for it, I did it once, I think it took about an hour or so. It’s not terribly hard to do, but it is a PITA. You have to get the door panel off, wrestle the window out, drill out the old rivits, remove old motor and then do it all in reverse. All in the small confines of the door with very little space to move things around.

J.J.-Could be either the motor inside the door,or the power switch,if you have’nt gotten the Haynes repair manual from your local autoparts store,get one.I would start there,it will show you almost anything you want to know on how to fix it your self.If someone has spilled some liquid and or rain has gotten to the switch on the interior on the arm rest,more than likely thats it.I’ve had it happen to me several times,easy to fix,and easy to get to.See if the switch is corroded or just gummed up,spray it with some WD 40,and work the switch back and forth about 20 times,then try it and see if that,ll get aleast your window closed for the time-being until you can get it fixed. “mitchythekid”

Airman has the exact same problem on his 2002 Chevy Cavalier. Apparently, the motor blew.

Our local Chevy dealership quoted a rough cost of about $250 for parts and labor.


It could also be the wiring. If the wires are damaged they won’t be able to pass enough electricity to make the motor move. I had this happen to a friend of mine. There was a rough spot on the body inside the door, and as the door opened and closed it slowly chewed through the wiring bundle. Not a lot of fun to fix.

After I did manage to repair the wiring, I found out that the switch had also gone bad. Since people have a tendency to want to push the switch harder when it doesn’t work, don’t be too surprised if you have a bad switch in addition to whatever other problem you have (which might just be a bad switch).

My guess is that if a shop were doing the work, they’d charge between $50 and $200 to fix it, depending on what they found.

Lucikly my 02 Cavalier was under warranty when that happened. My slightly older ('98 maybe) Grand Am, had the same problem, I fixed it myself on that one ugh. Both cars are knowen for having that problem. My cavalier window just wasn’t working for a while, and I pretty much knew what the problem was but didn’t feel like going to get it fixed until one day, when I paid the clerk and couldn’t get it back up as I headed towards the enterence of…carwash :eek: . STOP STOP STOP MY WINDOW WON’T GO UP STOP
I swear it’s like he (the attendent) was just pretending to be dumb, between my yelling, my body language, and my window still down, how he didn’t catch the drift of what I was saying I’ll never know. Eventually he did and all was well, went right up to the dealership after that.

Had to do both sides on my Ford van. I’ve pulled the motor assemblies off the gearboxes, cleaned and lubed the motors, but extended life is only a few months. Many of these use a worm and roller gearing arrangement, and I was lucky that on one side, just the delrin roller gear had worn out, and the Ford kit was <$20.
Compare dealer with salvage yard price-it’s probably 30¢ on the dollar used vs. new.

Note to the wise: if you’re replacing the motor yourself, secure the window in the up position with smooth wood wedges, duct tape or something-as soon as you pull the bull gear free of the regulator mechanism, she’s a’ comin’ down. :wink:

Airman’s went out after the warranty expired. Figures.

As soon as he gets his per diem check, we’re taking it in. I’m not going to put up with a half-open window during the winter.