If you're the type of car owner who likes to tinker around with their cars, a broken electric car window would not be too difficult a problem to surmount. Before you dive into it, be ready with a screw driver and a multi-tester, as you'll be removing and checking electrical components.
- Check the fuse box. One of the more typical causes of a power window not working properly is a blown fuse. In most car models the fuse box is located under the dashboard. Check with your car owner's manual so you don't have to grope around and electrocute yourself. Power coming into the fuse box is activated by the ignition. You can turn the key halfway through to turn on the battery but not the engine. Through this you can confirm if an electric current is successfully passing through the fuse box to the malfunctioning window. You can also look at the fuses themselves. A blown fuse has its internal metal strip cut or broken. If you observe any of the fuses to be in this condition, bring it along with you to the nearest local hardware store so you can purchase a replacement of the exact same type.
- Check the electric car window switch. This is the next most common cause of power window malfunction. In some models the switch is screwed on to its housing on the door panel, in others it is simply secured by internal clips or barbs and can be popped out with a gentle nudge from a screw driver. In any case it would still be prudent to check your owner's manual for any proper procedures covering the removal of an electric car window switch. Pull out the switch and check if all the proper wires are connected and that none are loose. Use your car's wiring diagram (could be in the manual) as a reference. If you observe some dirt or grime, you can use some light alcohol-based cleaners to remove this.
- Check the window's motor. This would be the most difficult possible cause as the motor itself can be too complicated for simple home troubleshooting and may need to be brought in for repair or replacement. Getting at it will involve completely removing the door panel. Use a multi-tester to check the motor's operability by moving the switch through all three positions: window up, window down, and center/off. You should get a response on your multi-tester for every switch position.
- Check for obstructions on the window. The power window's motor is only strong enough to handle the weight of the glass window itself and the connected mechanical levers or springs. Sometimes dirt or debris slip into the door panel and obstruct the mechanism. Corrosion could also hinder any hinges or moving parts. A simple cleaning and judicious use of WD-40 might actually resolve the malfunction.
- Check for loose wires and connections. If all the other major components seem to work well or are in proper order, the problem might lie along the wires and connections. Check particularly the door jamb because this is where most of the wires pass through from the door to the main system. Thus this is also the most likely place to find any brittle and broken wires. Usually a simple splicing and reconnection would do the trick. Don't forget to cover the reconnection with electrical tape.
In most cases the causes of a broken electric car window are simple enough to be fixed through home repair. This can save you a lot of money from paying professional service costs as well as further educate you in the various aspects of maintaining your car.