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 a failure, the first thing to do 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 to diagnose.
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 labour 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 £260.
To illustrate the variations in power window repair costs for some common vehicles, the following estimates are presented, assuming labour rates of £70/hour for independent workshops and £100/hour for factory dealerships:
- 2005 Honda Civic
The labour 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 £370 for the left side. On the other hand, it costs about £285 for the right side, and for aftermarket parts, the cost is about £40 for the left side and £46 for the right side.
The total cost to complete the job would be about £470 for the left side front using OE parts, or about £140 using aftermarket parts. For the right side front, the cost would be about £385 using OE parts or about £144 using aftermarket parts.
- 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee
The power window motor and regulator can be replaced separately. The labour time to replace the motor is estimated at 1.3 hours. A factory window motor costs about £100, and a non-factory part costs about £50.
This makes the total cost of power windows about £190 using factory parts, or about £140 using aftermarket parts. The labour time to replace a window regulator is also estimated at 1.3 hours.
A factory regulator costs about £105, and an aftermarket part costs about £75. The total cost to complete the job of replacing the regulator would be about £195 using OE parts or about £165 using aftermarket parts.
- 2003 Chevrolet Silverado
The labour time to replace a front door window regulator assembly is estimated at 1.1 hours. A factory assembly costs about £205, and a non-OE part costs about £50. The total cost to complete the job would be about £280 using factory parts and about £130 using aftermarket parts. It’s also possible to replace the window motor and regulator separately.
The labour time is the same, and the individual components cost about £20 each (aftermarket); making the job cost about £100 to replace either the power window motor or the regulator.
Costs of Power Window Switch Replacement
There is a wide variety in the cost of replacing a window switch, as there are significant differences in how switches are made (the driver’s door gets a large “master” switch and other smaller switches), and how they are serviced. Some are really simple to replace, others require some disassembly.
For some estimates on the cost of replacing a power window switch on specific vehicles, using a £70 to £100 per hour labour rate:
- 2005 Civic
The labour time is estimated at 0.3 of an hour. A factory driver-door switch costs about £130, and a non-OE part costs about £75. The total cost to replace a driver’s door window switch would be about £150 using factory parts or about £96 using aftermarket parts.
The other door switches cost about £20 each for factory parts, and about £12 for non-OE parts. Replacement would cost about £40 using factory parts, or about £38 using aftermarket parts.
- 2014 Grand Cherokee
Labour time is estimated at 0.3 of an hour for any of the four. A factory driver’s door switch costs about £170, and an aftermarket part costs about £115. The total cost to complete the job would be about £190 using factory parts or about £135 using aftermarket parts.
The rear switches cost about £20 through either factory or aftermarket sources; making the job cost about £40 to replace a rear switch. The passenger front switch costs about £17 more.
- 2003 Silverado
The labour time is estimated at 0.3 of an hour. A factory driver’s door switch costs about £240, and a non-factory replacement part costs about £100. The total cost to complete the job would be about £260 using OE parts and about £120 using aftermarket parts.
The passenger side switch costs about £180 for a factory part and about £95 for a non-factory part. This makes the job cost to fix power windows about £210 using factory parts and about £115 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 removing the entire assembly. In some newer vehicles, the window motor is bolted 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 that 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’s door is used much more often 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 £225 and takes about an hour to replace. A typical estimate for this might be £310, 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 labour.
It is 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.