How to Raise a Power Window Manually

Updated on January 24, 2019
Instructions for how to open or close the power window on your car manually.
Instructions for how to open or close the power window on your car manually.

A Quick Fix for a Power Window That Won't Go Up

What do you do when your power window dies with the window in the down position? What if you don't have the money to get it fixed by a mechanic? You obviously can't leave the window down and risk getting rained on or robbed. What next?

When you're on a budget—or you just shelled out big bucks recently for some other breakdown and repair—it might not even be possible to have the repair done right away.

This quick fix will help you buy some time until you have the resources to take the car to a mechanic or find a replacement part to fix it yourself.

This is what happened to my 2001 Mazda MPV and the steps I went through. I have not tried them on any other make of vehicle, but I would imagine that the principles are the same.

1. Remove the Door Panel

  1. There are five screws in my front driver's side door panel, two plastic and three metal. The two plastic screws are along the tail end of the panel. The three metal screws are located under plastic covers, one behind the door handle, one at the bottom of the door console grip, and one behind the courtesy light cover at the bottom right. Remove the plastic covers and take out all five screws.
  2. Next, lift the door console up and out of the panel. Pry it up using a flat screwdriver at the back, and then push the entire console towards the back. Lift it out.
  3. Under the console, disconnect the two plastic wire connectors. Push the tab at the back of the plastic connector using a flat screwdriver and pull the connector apart. Put the door console aside.
  4. Next, remove the black plastic panel at the front (leading) edge of the window opening. To do this, pry from the top with a flat screwdriver and pull it up and off.
  5. Using your hands or a flat prying tool, pry up along the sides and bottom of the panel to release the plastic snaps holding the panel to the door frame. There are approximately two on each side.
  6. Lift the entire door panel up and out of the track at the top. While holding the panel, twist the door handle and push it through the panel.
  7. Now remove the polyethylene cover. You could peel the cover straight away from the car, as I did, or you could simply cut it out along the inside of the car and avoid the mess (something I found out regrettably later).

2. Disconnect the Window From the Motor

  1. First, locate one or two short pieces of wood that you can use as braces to hold the window up from inside the door. They should be approximately one foot in length.
  2. There should be two screws anchoring the window to the regulator mechanism. Assuming the window is already in the down or halfway down position, the screws should be visible through the two largest ports in the door frame.
  3. Unscrew them, making sure to hold the window as you remove the screws. The window will not fall off the mechanism with the screws out, as it's sitting on the mechanism's ledge, but hold the window just to be sure.
  4. Holding the window with one hand from below, grab the top of the window with your other hand and pull the window up as high as it will go. Now place a wood piece inside the frame, bracing it up against the bottom of the window and the door frame structure below it.

3. Access and Disengage the Motor

  1. The motor in this door is located near the top right of the frame, just below the port. There are three bolts and nuts holding it in place. Remove the three nuts.
  2. Once the bolts are free, you will be able to move the motor into view behind the top right port in the door where you can work on it.
  3. Now you will need to remove the cover, but before you do, locate a wide elastic band large enough to wrap around the base of the motor. This is to prevent the two small nuts in the base from falling out and getting lost in the door frame below. Once you've got the elastic (or tape would work too) in place, unscrew the two bolts holding the cover.
  4. Next, remove the motor cover. Lift it straight up and off, overcoming the magnetic pull that wants to hold it in place.
  5. Now, you're going to remove the motor axle. This will be a little tricky because the two brushes on either side of the axle are spring loaded and pop out without the axle there. So, to keep the brushes in place, you will need two more narrow elastic bands.
  6. Once you've found your elastic bands, take the first and thread it through the copper wire leading to one of the brushes. Loop it back through the other end of the elastic, then over a bolt or other part of the motor/regulator.
  7. Do the same with the second elastic for the opposite brush.
  8. Once you have secured the brushes, then lift the motor axle straight up and out of the motor body. You can usually turn it out counter-clockwise.
  9. Set the motor axle aside.

4. Reconnect the Window With the Motor and Raise

In this step, you will reconnect the window to the mechanism, raise it by hand most of the way up, and then by re-engaging and turning the motor the last part of the way.

  1. Grab the window from above (and below), and remove the wooden brace holding it up. Replace the two screws holding the window to the regulator mechanism ledge. Secure the screws tight.
  2. Next, with one hand on the window above, and the other pushing up from below, lift the window up as far as you can. Give it a good push at the end to help seat it in the top of the window frame. Keep your hand on the window below to maintain it in the highest position.
  3. With your other hand, take the motor axle and lower it back into the motor body. Let it drop as far as it will go without forcing. When it has gone as far as it will go (remembering to maintain pressure on the window from below with your other hand), turn the axle clockwise to lower it the rest of the way into the motor body. The brushes should match up with where they were before you removed the axle—lined up with the commutator.
  4. As you turn the axle down, the window should be lifted up as far as it can go. Turn the axle as far as it will go gently, but not further. Now you can let go of the axle and the window.
  5. Now you can replace the motor cover. Be careful as you lower the cover not to dislodge the axle or you will have to repeat the window lifting again. You have to be careful to overcome the magnetic force without jarring the axle or pulling the axle out of position.
  6. When you have the motor cover back in place, put the bolts back in and tighten.
  7. Now you can secure the motor to the door frame again. Thread the bolts through their holes in the frame and replace the nuts.
  8. Also, tie off the wire connector to the door somehow. I wouldn't recommend reconnecting the motor wires. You won't be using the window for the time being anyway.

5. Replace the Door Panel

Now all that remains is to work backward and put everything back.

  1. Start by placing the polyethylene cover over the door frame.
  2. Next, put the door panel back in place. This can be a little tricky. First, you have to insert the door handle through the panel. Then you have to lower the rear top edge of the panel onto the top lip of the door frame.
  3. Once the panel is on, position the door console and reconnect the two plastic wire connectors to it. Snap the console back in place.
  4. Next, give a whack on the two sides and one bottom edge of the panel to snap the plastic connectors back into the frame.
  5. Finally, replace the two plastic and three metal screws and covers.

That's it.

How Do You Pull Up a Stuck Power Window?

Here are the steps to close your power window manually.
Here are the steps to close your power window manually.

What to Do When Your Power Window Won't Go Up

  1. Remove the door panel.
  2. Disconnect the window from the motor.
  3. Access and disengage the motor.
  4. Reconnect the window to the motor and raise.
  5. Replace the door panel.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

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      • profile image


        15 months ago

        What if its stuck closed

      • profile image

        Mike Kinner 

        17 months ago

        I have read several of your articles just for a general understanding of how things operate, are maintained, replaced etc.

        I have found your articles to be as informative or more than some of the repair manuals that I have bought over the years applying my DIY mentality. Your “working mans” approach is particularly appreciative since we all have lived from paycheck to paycheck at some time in our lives. I find your content relatable and the candid approach is spot on without clickbait to mislead.

        Each topic applies laymen knowledge to complete an otherwise arduous task without the high price skill of ASE mechanics involvement.. Keep up the excellent work!!

        Thank you!!

      • profile image


        2 years ago

        Thanks, this was the only explanation I could find to raise my 2004 MPV window before it rained! Hard to understand unless you just start in and do it step by step. My van's door attachment points are different (found these elsewhere), but the basic steps once the door panel was off worked perfectly.


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