Sunday, August 28, 2011

Car Issues

Running scared from the hurricane yet? Me neither. What was supposed to be a fairly relaxing weekend turned out to be less than that due to a broken window regulator. What is that? It is a part of your and my car (that is if your car has power windows). I'm fairly sure that 95% of cars these days have them, so I figured maybe instead of paying someone I'd post some pictures so if you find yourself (as I did) with a broken window regulator, you too would look back and say "I can do that".

How did it wind up like this? That I have no clue about. It was a typical humid August morning and dew was fogging up my ride to work. I put the windows down so that I could see and whamo, the passenger side window would not go back up. I believe something slipped in the linkage but I can't be for sure.

The first part is getting the door panel off. Well this is done with hidden screws and pop off clips. You should look everywhere. And notice things may need to be disconnected (like speakers, the door lock or window switch) and look for screws in the door handle. Once all of that is taken care of... as it was for me, I couldn't get the part right away. I ordered a new regulator through Amazon (thanks internet) for about half price as the dealer and/or auto parts store. It pays to shop around. So I knew I would have to ride around at least a day, in my case 2 (because the overnight wouldn't help, I was busy the next day... second day would be fine and almost $15 cheaper) day delivery, I fashioned a wedge to go between the door and the glass (mine was a Crescent wrench wrapped in duct tape) yes if this ever happens to you, you'll find that what ever you have will have to do.

Now that isn't saying if you want to take your car in and have serviced by a professional, by all means if you can afford it, go ahead, I'm a processional amateur and I'm cheap and because I don't have money laying about. So I wedged a tape covered wrench in-between and kept on riding. You do want to make sure it is really tight and you may have to pull over/just leave it if it goes back down. Also doing this will make the window useless to you. It will also make it a bit more accessible by folks you may not want to have access... take valuables out of the car until you fix it. You need to take on a certain amount of responsibility, otherwise leave it to an auto mechanic (I am not nor do I ever want to be an auto mechanic). The main reason for wanting the window up was because I wanted to keep rain (if I got any) out and the cool A/C in. Plus it might deter the criminal element if they saw that it looks to be ok, if they were to really look, I'd be in trouble, but I live in a fairly nice neighborhood, so this should not be an issue.

Still driving around with a duct taped wrench is more than many can stand. It is a problem and I will combat that by driving our other car unless I am forced to drive my car (i.e. go to work). I really just want to keep the weather out until I get the new part installed.

Just an update, I drove with the wedged window, and I don't recommend it for the light of heart. For one thing padding and whatnot is in that door panel, I left mine off, because I didn't want to do more work than is needed. I also found this site for my car individually, however you may find some other for your make and model of car... the internet is a beautiful thing and google even more so. Now I don't feel like I have to get pictures as this guy has me covered. I will say what a strange world we live in when something as simple as a car window not operating properly interrupts us (me) so greatly. This happened to me on Thursday, Friday I'm going to the high school football game (Bluffton won 60-14), and Saturday my part arrives. If only the window would have gotten stuck closed...

All told it took me about 2 hours. And that's figuring in the time it took to make the wedge. Do I want to do it again? Not really, but I know I can if need be, and saved myself a $300-400 repair. I guess that is the main thing, I saved money and did it myself. I feel good about that...

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