How to remove your window regulator

Window regulators appear to be a common cause of problems for many different manufacturers. Whilst every model of car is slightly different, here we have created a general guide that will serve you well in locating and removing all of the necessary parts.

Safety first

Ensure the car is parked on a level surface, and that the handbrake is securely applied. It may also be worth placing the car in gear to avoid and injuries should the handbrake fail.

Check first

Electric windows can stop working for a variety of reasons. They can come off their runners in the door, making them jam. The motor can burn out meaning there is no power to raise or lower the window. By far the most common is the window regulator breaking. Before continuing check the fuses are all ok.

The job


The first step in replacing the window regulator is to remove the door trim. In order to do this you will need to remove all of the buttons, and ensure all screws are removed. The screws are usually located by the door handle, and in or around the door pocket. Occasionally there is also a screw by the latch.


Once all of the screws have been removed you can start to carefully pry the plastic retaining clips loose. The best way to do this is by starting at the bottom of the door, carefully using a flat tool to ease the clips out of their sockets. You should then be able to work your way around the door easing all clips out. The top of the door may have no clips, and is often hooked into place.


Once you have the door trim removed you should be able to clearly see all of the internal workings of the door. Now you can check the window is sitting correctly on its runners, and check all components are properly greased, and not becoming clogged. It is usually worthwhile to keep some WD-40 handy, so you can easily spray any sliders etc. whilst the door is dismantled.



The window regulator is nearly always located at the bottom of the door. Different manufacturers use different fixings. It is usually just a matter of a couple of bolts or screws. Some manufacturers (such as BMW) actually rivet the regulator into place. If this is the case with your window regulator you’ll need to drill the rivets out.



Once you have undone all of the fixings you should be able to ease the regulator out of the door cavity, paying careful attention to where everything sits. You can then install the new regulator in the same location.



It is a good idea to thoroughly test everything works, as it should before starting to replace the door trim.


Once you’re satisfied everything is working as it should be, you can replace the door trim and all the switches.