Power Windows Not Working? (10 Common Causes and How to Fix)

Nothing’s more annoying than getting into your car on a scorching hot day, hitting the button, and realizing your power windows won’t go down. Or even worse, it’s raining and you can’t get the windows to go back up!

Before you resort to additional mashing of the unresponsive buttons or forcefully muscling the window manually and potentially damaging the gears, read this first. We go over the 10 most common reasons your power windows fail and whether there’s a quick DIY fix or it’s time to go see a mechanic.

See Also: Easiest Way to Remove Window Tint

Common Causes of Power Windows Not Working

There are several reasons that your car’s windows might stop working. If you don’t hear or see any movement when you press the button, the problem is likely electrical rather than mechanical.

Here are some of the possible issues to check for in case it happens to you.

1) Window Lock Button Is Enabled

window lock button

One of the simplest reasons your power windows aren’t working is that the window lock button is enabled. This safety feature disables all passenger windows from working, preventing children from playing with them.

Check to see if the lock switch is pushed in on the driver’s door. This button may have accidentally been knocked to the locked setting without you realizing it.

How to Fix:  Resolving this takes only seconds – just push in the window lock button on your driver’s door to unlock the setting. Give your power windows another try and they should now work properly again. Doing regular lock button checks can prevent future power window issues.

2) Bad Window Regulator

bad window regulator

The mechanism that moves a power window up and down is called a window regulator. Each car door with a power window has a window regulator to move it. It’s connected via cables to a power window motor.

If the regulator goes bad, then pushing the up or down button will not make the window move. Excessive wear and tear can cause components of the regulator like plastic gears to slowly crack and break over time or the regulator could become misaligned.

How to Fix:  Replacing any worn-out window regulators. While regulators can be repaired by a mechanic, the cost of a professional fix may equal or exceed replacing it.

3) Bad Fuse

fuse box

If all four windows are stuck and won’t move, then the fuse for the window regulators is likely the culprit. In this case when you push any of the window switches nothing will happen – you won’t hear a motor at all and the glass won’t tremble like it’s trying hard to move.

How to Fix:  Check the owner’s manual to see which fuse supplies power to the windows, then replace it.

4) Bad Window Motor

Power windows require a motor to provide electrical energy to move the window up and down. At the end of the window motor is a gear that connects to the window regulator mechanism.

When you press the up/down buttons on your door, it activates the motor. This powers the regulator so it can move the window. If the motor is bad, the regulator won’t have power to move.

You may get warning that the motor is starting to fail if the window occasionally moves slower than normal when going up. This gradual change in performance can precede complete failure of the motor.

How to Fix:  The solution for a bad power window motor involves either repairing it or installing an entire replacement unit. Repairing involves taking the motor apart to service internal components, which takes some expertise. Replacing the motor completely is an easier fix and a fairly easy DIY task. 

5) Snow and Ice

driving in the snow

If you live in an area with frequent snowy and icy weather, this can impact the functionality of power windows. Windows can freeze shut as ice forms between the glass and window frame.

The regulators may not have enough strength to force the window open if frozen solid. Even if able to initially force it open, over time the regulator will wear out faster from the strain. Repeated cycles of the glass freezing and needing to be forced open puts more stress on the power window components.

How to Fix:  Avoid forcing frozen power windows open or shut. Instead, use a hair dryer or other warming device to gently melt the ice around the edges first.

Check for any remaining clumps of snow or ice jammed into the window seals that may still obstruct movement. Clear these out by hand, using a plastic tool if possible to avoid scratching. Apply lubricant to re-enable smooth operation. Keeping window seals clean and lubricated will help prevent snow and ice buildup.

6) Torn, Loose, or Dirty Window Gasket

The window gasket seals out wind and rain while helping to align the window properly. If the gasket becomes sticky from debris buildup or shifts out of position, it can create extra friction against the window. The regulator motor may struggle to overcome this and move the window.

It’s important to clean, lubricate, and replace window gaskets when needed. If gasket issues are ignored, water can leak into the car’s interior. Maintaining the gaskets and seals will allow the power windows to function optimally and prevent damage from water exposure inside the doors.

How to Fix:  Carefully inspect window gaskets for any cracking, missing pieces, loosening areas or signs of leaking. Replace any visibly deteriorated sections right away so the damage doesn’t spread. Make sure gaskets sit securely flush in their frames.

Clean dirty window and door seals using a gentle cleaner and microfiber cloth to prevent buildup. Lubricate gaskets and tracks periodically to avoid sticking issues.

7) Bad Power Window Switch

bad window switch

The power window switch on the door can fail over time. Each time you use the switch to raise or lower the window, it wears out a bit more. Frequent use or aggressively pressing the switch accelerates wear.

Eventually, the switch may stop working properly. This is the best case scenario for power window issues, since replacing a window switch is quite inexpensive compared to fixing other potential problems.

Troubleshooting is straightforward too. Compare the window response when using the individual door’s switch versus the master switch on the driver’s door (making sure the child lock is not on).

If only one switch fails to work, either that switch is defective or there may be a wiring fault between the switches.

How to Fix:  Remove the panel covering the switch and inspect connections for loose plugs or damage. Clean any dirt, corrosion, or foreign material present. If the power window switch terminals look functional, replace the entire switch assembly. Install an identical new OEM factory switch to restore window control functionality from that location.

8) Wiring Issues

car wiring low voltage

A set of wires connects the window switch to the motor. While uncommon, wiring issues in the door can occur.

For example, if power window components were recently repaired, a mechanic may have inadvertently damaged the wires. In that case, make another trip for the mechanic to fix it.

You can also open the door panel and follow the wires from the fuse box to the switch, checking for loose or corroded wires.

Before touching any wiring, always disconnect the battery first to prevent a shock. Inspecting the condition of the wires and connections along the path to the switch is wise to check for potential wiring faults impacting the power windows.

How to Fix:  This is usually best left to the pros. But if you’re feeling confident in your abilities:

Use a wiring diagram to methodically check every inch of wiring between switches, fuses, regulators and motors. Look for rubbing, bare wires, corrosion, breaks, melted areas indicating shorts, or other physical damage that could cause disruption.

Check connectors and terminals for looseness or resistance using a multimeter. Any suspect wires will need splicing or complete replacement. Properly reconnect wires and replace damaged insulation like electrical tape. Test window function before sealing everything back up.

9) Damaged Door

car accident to wheel area

For the power window to function properly, the window track alignment must be correct. Damage to the door from a collision or a loose bolt can throw off the alignment, causing issues like the window getting stuck or the door failing to fully close.

Maintaining proper alignment of the track allows the window regulator to smoothly raise and lower the glass. But if the track position shifts due to door damage or loose mounting hardware, the regulator will struggle to move the window, leading to sticking or failure to seal the door completely.

How to Fix:  Thoroughly inspect impacted doors and surrounding areas for any visible damage interfering with smooth window movement. Check the window glass for smooth up and down operation without any catching at the edges.

For minor alignment issues, adjust regulator and motor mounts to prevent binding and friction. Lubricate restricted areas. If warping prevents electrical or mechanical operation, door or frame replacement may be needed. A body shop can best assess and remedy this type of heavy damage for functioning windows.

10) Dirty Window Tracks

The power window glass slides along metal rails inside the door. These rails can become dirty over time from mud and road debris, or the lubricant keeping the window movement smooth may dry out.

How to Fix:  Carefully clean all window tracks, seals and window glass with a mild soap and microfiber cloth. Use a vacuum crevice tool to extract debris packed into hard-to-reach back portions of the window track.

Compressed air can also help dislodge built-up sediment. Lubricate now-clean track surfaces using silicone lube, graphite powder or other designated lubricants to prevent recurrence. Be careful not to get silicone on the car’s painted surfaces. Wipe any off immediately to prevent damage.


84 thoughts on “Power Windows Not Working? (10 Common Causes and How to Fix)”

  1. I have a Nissan Terrano with a control box on the driver side door. The switch when pressed either up or down continues to full up or full down and it is impossible to stop the window only part open. All the other door windows operate only when you hold the button. In the winter it sometimes causes it to be too tight to move down – it is using too much force to close. I assume it is either a problem with the control box on the door or the motor load. There is a lock function which will close the windows completely. Any ideas? I am happy to strip the motor down to fiddle with it or change component s in the box. They use two wire motor types. Can I change the motor+ regulator and bypass the control box on the door – just wire from the switch to the incoming circuit?

    • I’m not sure, but some vehicles have a special reset step you have to do after the battery is reconnected or if the door card is removed. Check to see if performing this step resolves the issue, assuming your vehicle has one.

  2. Hi, an alarm system was put into my Nissan dualis 2011. Noticed when I got it back the driver control for passenger window works to put window down but not closing. Passenger control works for up and down. Took it back to auto electricians who installed alarm, they said they would charge to look for reason it doesn’t work. It was working fine b4 alarm system put in. What could cause thus?

    • I don’t know. Having no idea what alarm system was installed or how they wired it, there’s no specific advice I could give on this. Sometimes window switches need to be reset after the door cards are removed. Perhaps something was wired incorrectly. Can’t say for sure. Probably best to have them take a look at it.

  3. I have a 2015 VW Tiguan and my drivers side front, and rear windows do not work. The passenger side works just fine.

    I recently replaced the ABS speed sensor on the right back tire to get rid of warning lights, and the battery was disconnected for a little while during that time

    • Some vehicles have a reset procedure for the windows where you hold the switch up or down (or both) for a certain period of time. I would search “2015 VW Tiguan reset window switch” and see if that helps.

  4. I have a 2014 Buick Lacrosse, the radio doesn’t turn off when the car is off and drivers window doesn’t work. I’ve replaced the motor and switch and nothing… Fuses area good also.

  5. I have a 2015 dodge journey and windows don’t work I have changed the switch on my driver’s side door and still nothing buy my passenger side door window switch works great what could be the problem

  6. I have a range rover 03 and the drivers side door switches have all stopped including the mirrors and door lack safety on stays on all the time will not go out.I don’t know what it is looked at wiring and everything seems OK can you help me please.

  7. That’s what I referenced before. The only difference if that button is in the lock position or not is if (when it’s unlocked) I will hear a click (coming from whichever window/door that I’m trying to open) when I push down on the switch. If it’s in the lock position I won’t hear anything

  8. All my windows all went out except my driver side window, the morning they all went out they were working fine. I had checked all my fuses and they all look fine. What do you think could be the problem?

    • Many vehicles have a switch near the driver’s window controls that disable all windows except for the drivers. Has that button been pushed? Try toggling it and see if the other windows work.

      • 2008 Honda Oddessey, all windows were open during rain, theyball worked fine for the next 36 hours, but suddenly 3 passenger windows not working.
        Driver’s window works fine
        Other 3, theres a click when I press the button but windows won’t roll down. If i press the lock windows button on driver’s panel then no click sound. I also disconnected the wires from the switch on one of the doors and no click sound to that window. So I assume there is power, where’s the problem? is it rain related?

  9. My front 2012 GMC Acadia passenger window will only work if both (master driver and passenger) switches are pushed at the same time (either up and down), What could it be the issue?

  10. Trying to fix a 2007 Maxima for a friend. Driver window will not open. New regulator installed, nothing. Motor turns fine in both directions unattached, but will not budge the regulator when attached. Is this a thing? Could the motor be not strong enough to move the cables?

  11. Hi, thanks for article. My 2007 Matrix driver side window creeps down a few inches when left partially open. I have new ventshades so this window slippage makes them unusable. If window is closed tight, no slippage has occurred. Ideas?

      • Thanks Sean. No. Have no idea how to do. Was hoping to know what part to buy, then hire someone to install.

      • It’d be best to have a shop look at it then. They can get it squared away for you, end to end so you don’t have to worry about it.

  12. The driver side window won’t do anything in my 2004 GMC envoy. I replaced the motor & regulator ..Now I can hear a click but still not moving. All other windows work. Fuses are good. What is going on?

  13. My passenger side power window goes down but not up. I was told by Firestone that it was not getting enough voltage to bring it back up. They were able to get it back up with a handheld generator. They could not fix it and told me to take it to the dealer. If it is not getting enough voltage, then what would be the problem that needs to be addressed?

    • Not sure. What is your make and model? Is this a common issue on that particular vehicle?

      Perhaps you have an electical issue somewhere between the window motor and the battery, like a short or a bad ground.

  14. Both windows on right side do not work. Today using main switch on driver door it allowed the passenger window to go down and up which did not before. But when replaced motor on driver door both were out again. Put old motor back on and still nothing. Checked fuses they were good. Not hearing any sounds when buttons are pressed. But all other buttons work..lock, unlock, mirrors on both sides and windows on left side of car. Could this be a short wire or regulators? Please help

    • It could be. Might help to look at a wiring diagram to see which circuit the right two windows share. Start testing things with a multimeter and follow that circuit to see if you find any problems.

  15. Three windows working okay but no sound or movement when pressing switch for rear left window. Replaced blown fuse for that window but nothing changed. What should be checked next?

  16. 2006 Acura. None of my power windows work (including moonroof) except the driver’s door window, which is fine. From what you’ve written, it sounds like it could be the switch on the driver’s door. Does it sound like it? Acura wants $150. just to diagnose.

    • Diagnosis is often the hardest part of the repair, so that is a fair charge for their services. Did you check your fuses? It could be a simple fuse or relay.

      Also make sure the window lock button isn’t pressed on the driver’s side.

  17. The power switch on the passenger door works to operate that window, however the switch on the driver side door to operate the passenger window does not work. What could this mean?

  18. hi!
    I have a 2010 golf and my back window seems like it isnt fitted properly? when i press the the switch i can hear everything working but the window just doesn’t move. if i pull the window up with my hands it just slides straight down

  19. 2015 Toy seiannia, pass window doesn’t operate,w/driver door switch, all other windows open &close, is there a fuse or some thing if expensive does car shield cover it?

  20. What about this: all 4 of my power windows are “automatic” (you don’t have to hold the button to get it all the way up or down) going both up and down. One window, of course the driver’s side front still works, but the auto feature only works in the down position. In other words, to get the window up, I have to hold the button until it closes. Seems strange to me. I would think the auto feature would stop working in both directions, but it’s only one. Is there a fuse for each direction, or is it something in the switch? It’s a 2017 Ford Fusion Titanium

    • There is probably not a fuse for each direction, but perhaps there is a setting in memory that needs to be changed or reset. Check the manual to see if it’s mentioned.

  21. I have a 2004 BMW x3, the old regulator in the front passenger side broke, and I replace it with a new regulator. The window now goes down fine, but it does not go up completely. The window now goes up about two-thirds of the way and then stops. What may be the likely problem?

  22. Hi,
    I have a 1985 Audi 90 for a year now, windows were intermittent now all have stopped.
    Thermal fuse is good
    Bypass switches and windows go up and down ok
    Tested switches on a bench with 12v DC supply to a bulb and worked fine both ways.
    Wiring diagram is a very basic circuit with nothing else that may cause issues.
    Any ideas?

    • That’s pretty old. Perhaps the motors just don’t have enough power to overcome the force it takes to move the window? This can happen if the rails aren’t lubricated regularly. I would start there.

  23. Clio mk3. Passenger window not getting power. Os there a relay for each side ot is it a short between relay and switch, motor?

  24. I have corsa c problem is when take out fuse and put back in windows start working and after some time i start hearing clicking noise when i press brakes and windows doesn’t work anymore except when i press a brake and button to roll down but when i press brake windows rolls back up by them self sorry for bad english but i really tired of this problem fuses are good checked no shorts i just cant find what is wrong with it pls help

    • It actually does sound like a short to me. Grab a wiring diagram for your vehicle and start checking to see where those two circuits might have something in common. In other words, what would cause the windows to move when you press the brakes.

      Check your ground straps as well. Make sure none are loose or corroded. Remember that electricity likes to take the path of least resistance.

  25. Hi! I just bought a 2013 Dodge Dart and the rear driver’s side window does not work. I’ve tried the switch on the rear door and the master switch on the driver’s door. I do not hear any type of noise. Would that mean it’s the motor and/or regulator?

    Thanks for your help!

    • Check to make sure the switch is working before replacing the motor. Sometimes these will actually come unplugged or start to act up with age.

  26. In my 2006 Honda accord LX.
    Very rarely all 4 windows are working but mostly not working.
    And also same problem with the radio also.( it continuously working but both the speakers works randomly)

    • Do they all stop working at the same time? Sounds like a short in the electrical system. Grab a wiring diagram and find a common circuit between the radio and the windows. Next, grab a multimeter and start testing for continuity there.

      • I have a Citroen Xsara Picasso and overnight both rear windows stopped working. Fuse is OK but changed it anyway. When I press the buttons there’s no noise of motor, just dead.

  27. All of the buttons/controls on the drivers panel work properly except for the drivers window. I’m able to lock/unlock all doors/ windows on the drivers panel except for the driver window. Wondering what could be wrong?

    • The motor in the window regulator may have burned out. This can happen on older cars when the tracks aren’t lubricated, because the motor has to work harder to move the window. You’ll notice the window slow down over time, and this is an indicator the tracks may need some lubrication.

      • 2004 Toyota Highlander. Passenger front and rear windows roll down OK. But roll up slowly and stop. Then they have to “recharge” or I wait about 5 minutes then they roll up some more, etc… Does this sound like it is the motors in Therese two doors?

      • Have you tried lubricating the rails? Sometimes windows get gummed up after a lot of years and the motors have a hard time overcoming this resistance.

  28. Front and rear windows are not working, checked fuse for front and fuse for rear windows are still good. Replaced driver side window switch with a new one but to no luck still not working. Please help, im out here now looking for ideas. Thanks.

    • If it were me, I would bust out a wiring diagram for the power windows and start working backwards from the switch, testing with a multimeter along the way.

  29. I have 96 Cadillac elorado window works put brand new switch in & it gets power but nothing happens when I push buttons?

    • Hi Allison, check your fuses to make sure none are blown. Your owner’s manual should help you determine which fuse is used for the power windows. If this information cannot be found in the manual, you may try googling for “2008 buick enclave window fuse” to figure out which one. Good luck on your search.

  30. I have 84Trans Am my driver window stop working, Now my passenger window has stop to. I’ve pulled both switches to check them. Had power in passenger side.

  31. My drivers door + passenger doors windows won’t open ive been to garage but they say no electric problem or fuse problem.

    • If none of the windows work, it IS an electrical problem. My guess is the driver door window switch is bad. Since all the wiring for the other windows goes through it, it would cause them all to not work.

  32. Both my diver and passenger windows quit working within a week of each other. There is power to the switch and it seems like they want to work.

      • The driver’s side window motor may have gone out, or there should be a short or bad connection in the switch. You could try taking the door card off and inspecting the window switch connector. I’ve had luck in the past just unplugging and plugging it back in when my passenger window was working intermittently.

      • I have your solution. Just hold the button on the up psi toon
        for 8 seconds and bingo it’s Fixed. Good luck it worked for me on 9. Seconds. Mel

  33. what might cause two windows to go out at once? Both of my passenger side power windows went out at the same time on my 96 honda passport. I checked the 30A fuse, and it seems to be good, so I’m working on getting the relay now

    • Well, figured out a still-working but toward end of life battery was causing power windows not to work. Even car people who put in new battery did not find this out (all ready to order expensive module). I’m not 100% positive, but ever since new battery (3 days ago), no window problem. Luck? or was it the battery?

    • It is usually the wiring that feeds the door. If you open the door and find the rubber that the wiring goes through just pull it off of one side and check for damaged wires there. Many times you will get broken wires right there from opening and shutting your door.


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