Replacement Window Regulators


Window regulators are an extremely interesting part of a car that never receives any love or attention. From the day that the vehicle rolls off the assembly line, automotive door window regulators work endlessly moving the door glass up and down, giving the occupants of the vehicle the much beloved fresh air. Because of frequent window usage, window regulators and window motors are subject to intense wear. This often leads to breakage and inconvenience at the drive-up window.

There are two basic kinds of window regulators: manual and power.

Manual Window Regulators

Manual Window Regulators

A manual window regulator is the most basic of window lifting mechanisms. It always has some type of handle sticking through the door panel that regulates the up and down motion of the glass window. Humans are the "power" behind this type of regulator, as the window crank needs to be physically rotated to raise and lower the door glass. With so many vehicles coming with power windows these days, manual regulators are becoming scarce.

Power Window Regulators

Power Window Regulators

A power window regulator works exactly like it sounds. It is a device that regulates the up and down motion of the glass window with the magic of electricity. Power window regulators will always have some type of electric motor attached to them that is controlled by a power window switch on the door panel or console. In many cases, an inoperable window motor can be replaced separately from the window regulator itself. This allows the repair to be less work, and less costly overall.

Within each one of these types of regulators, you can have a "scissor-type" or "cable-type". Each style has its own benefits.

Scissor Type Window Regulators

Scissor Type Window Regulators

The scissor type window regulator is the design that has been around forever. They basically look like a giant pair of scissors inside your door. As they expand, the window goes up. When they contract, the window glass rolls down. Simple enough right? The downfall of this type of regulator is that the wheels on the ends of them wear out over time, and break off. This causes your door glass to tilt sideways, and eventually fall down into the door. They also wear out at the center of the scissor mechanism and become noisy, sloppy, and unpredictable.

Cable Type Window Regulators

Cable Type Window Regulators

The cable type window regulator is a more modern design that is used in a huge variety of vehicles. They use far less space inside the door, which is great when additional safety devices are needed. Unfortunately, no window regulators are immune to breakage. Being more complicated than the scissor-type, these window regulators have more opportunity to break. The pulleys and cables in these regulators typically wear out, and snap. When that happens, the glass almost always falls inside the door, leaving your interior open to nature's elements. That means that rain, snow, criminals, and cats will all have a full access pass to your stuff. Not cool!

Window Regulator Tips

With any mechanical item, there are things that you can do to extend the life of a window regulator before a dramatic failure happens. These are also items that should be double and triple checked whenever you install a new replacement window regulator or motor.

  • Lubricate all of the moving parts on the window regulator with spray grease. Spray grease comes in a can, and can be found at any local hardware store.
  • Check your exterior window sweeps (AKA window "felts") for damage. You don't want rain, snow, ice, dirt, debris getting inside your door and destroying your fancy bits.
  • Lubricate the window tracks on the front and rear of your side glass. Smooth moving glass is essential to long window regulator life. If the glass binds up, the window lifting mechanism will undoubtedly be broken shortly after.
  • This may go without saying, but don't force the window down or up with your hand. If either of those is necessary, your window regulator is likely already damaged. Forcing it will just make it worse. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

Need a Window Regulator Replacement?

By now you must be wondering how the window regulators that 1A Auto carries fit into all of this. Well, here at 1A Auto, we carry some of the most reliable and long-lasting replacement window regulators and motors. They are exact fit, so you won't need to use a chainsaw or a welder to install one. They come preassembled, and pre-greased. Many of our replacement window regulators are improved designs that correct known issues.

At 1A Auto, we're here to help you get the right window regulator replacement for your vehicle. You can browse our large selection of window regulators and shop right here on or, if you have any questions about the product, warranty, compatibility, or simply prefer to order via phone, you can call our customer service toll free at 888-844-3393.

Written By:

1A Auto Parts

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