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Old 27th December 2012, 01:21   #16
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Default Re: Power Window Failure? How to manually roll your window up

Was reading through a lot of posts regarding frequent power window issues. My question is how difficult is it to design and engineer a switch which will last really long. Have our understanding of engineering principles, testing procedures, design been incorrect or is it just that case of companies cutting corners again. These companies may be OEM or after market. Is it that difficult, come on we put a man on moon forty years ago? Are there any means of drawing up protocols for this issue and submitting this to a competent authority who might then talk to the legislators? Probably the automotive companies need an incentive or a monitor to give them the standards.
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Old 27th December 2012, 02:27   #17
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Default Re: Power Window Failure? How to manually roll your window up

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Originally Posted by lsp View Post
In my case the problem was with the switch and I did not wish to mess up with the wires.

Can you please explain in detail what needs to be done to power the winder motor directly?
Swapping wires at the switch. The switch would have 4 terminals and 2 contacts. One contact was bad, the other contact was still fine. You can just swap the wires going into the switch so that the contact for spinning the motor one way would now spin the motor in the opposite direction. No need to cut wires either. Just remove the plug, depin the connectors from inside (a small screw driver is usually good enough) and swap them. Many ways to skin a cat, basically. The method you used isn't inherently safe. It's irrelevant now, since you solved the problem. However, since there will be many more who'd be stuck in your situation, it would be helpful to post a method that would work better. No offense intended to you or SS-Traveller; when feces hit the fan, you have to make the car work using whatever's available, and I understand that.

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Originally Posted by Doc Maanava View Post
Was reading through a lot of posts regarding frequent power window issues. My question is how difficult is it to design and engineer a switch which will last really long. Have our understanding of engineering principles, testing procedures, design been incorrect or is it just that case of companies cutting corners again. These companies may be OEM or after market. Is it that difficult, come on we put a man on moon forty years ago? Are there any means of drawing up protocols for this issue and submitting this to a competent authority who might then talk to the legislators? Probably the automotive companies need an incentive or a monitor to give them the standards.
Thank YOU!
Bean counters. Even the people responsible for putting the man on the moon had them; just that it was a much more critical situation and involved human lives and millions of Dollars. I'm sure a switch could be designed that would outlive 7 of your generations. The cost of that switch would be quite prohibitive though.

Last edited by pranavt : 27th December 2012 at 02:33.
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Old 27th December 2012, 09:31   #18
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Default Re: Power Window Failure? How to manually roll your window up

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Swapping wires at the switch.
Short circuit? Burnt motor? It's not always the switch...
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Old 27th December 2012, 11:40   #19
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Default Re: Power Window Failure? How to manually roll your window up

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Originally Posted by Doc Maanava View Post
Was reading through a lot of posts regarding frequent power window issues. My question is how difficult is it to design and engineer a switch which will last really long. Have our understanding of engineering principles, testing procedures, design been incorrect or is it just that case of companies cutting corners again.
It's cutting corners. Plus their barely-qualified mechanics in A.S.C.s should be able to fix it too, so keeping it simple has an advantage.

The problem is with sparking- the voltage and current involved corrodes the switch. A solution does exist- and it is not quite as expensive as you might think. Rather than making the switches switch power to the motors directly, you can hook them to a solid-state H-Bridge which will eliminate the sparking and corrosion completely. The concept is somewhat similar to using relays with tiny headlight switches for high wattage bulbs.

When this problem came up with my car, I simply removed the motor, pulled up the window, and fixed the motor again (there's a worm gear that should prevent you from doing this with the motor). I needed a couple of days to get a new motor (ended up refurbishing the motor myself- once I had time), and it was a rarely-used rear window anyway.
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Old 27th December 2012, 14:35   #20
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Default Re: Power Window Failure? How to manually roll your window up

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Short circuit? Burnt motor? It's not always the switch...
Just proposing an alternative in case people are stuck with a bad switch. I did say this:

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when feces hit the fan, you have to make the car work using whatever's available, and I understand that.

Last edited by GTO : 28th December 2012 at 10:43. Reason: Cleaning up
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Old 27th December 2012, 19:03   #21
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Default Re: Power Window Failure? How to manually roll your window up

Fiddling with wiring, without a circuit diagram or proper diagnosis of fault, is not what is recommended in general.

The rest is a choice the car's owner has to make.

Last edited by GTO : 28th December 2012 at 10:43. Reason: Cleaning up
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Old 27th December 2012, 19:19   #22
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Default Re: Power Window Failure? How to manually roll your window up

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Fiddling with wiring, without a circuit diagram or proper diagnosis of fault, is not what is recommended in general.

The rest is a choice the car's owner has to make.
I did assume a level of intimacy with wiring and electrical stuff in general, considering the OP explicitly told us twice that he had an IT background.

Last edited by GTO : 28th December 2012 at 10:44. Reason: Quoted post edited, hence...
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Old 31st December 2012, 17:11   #23
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Default Re: Power Window Failure? How to manually roll your window up

@Lalit

Thanks for sharing and visually documenting the jugaad solution! And thanks for SS-traveller for sharing the idea.

I worked for an IT firm for a long while, and once had to re-write 'the help' for a product we built. I must say your documentation is very comprehensive and user friendly from the point of view of the user, quite unlike help stuff that we find and especially the illustrations and photographs were very useful.

I wrote a user manual for my home electricals (multiple trip switches et al.) and the multiple valve controls for the water sources for the family, but never thought of adding pictures which should make life very easy and idiot-proof I guess. Hmm, the unintended benefits of T-BHP
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Old 31st December 2012, 17:41   #24
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Default Re: Power Window Failure? How to manually roll your window up

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Originally Posted by pranavt View Post
Why not just power the winder motor directly to make the window roll up? From what I can see here, the motor was fine, it was just the switch that had an issue.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lsp View Post
In my case the problem was with the switch and I did not wish to mess up with the wires.

Can you please explain in detail what needs to be done to power the winder motor directly?
Quote:
Originally Posted by pranavt View Post
Swapping wires at the switch. The switch would have 4 terminals and 2 contacts. -----. You can just swap the wires going into the switch so that the contact for spinning the motor one way would now spin the motor in the opposite direction. -----------
Very informative post, thanks for sharing your experience.

I faced exactly the same problem last year in Ooty. The rear power window would go down but not up. I was in a real fix, it was cold and drizzling, there was no way I could drive around with the window open.

So I started searching for a mechanic and found the guy who fixed the problem and I was watching all along, it looked really simple.

All he used was one piece of wire and one screw driver.
Often the problem is due to the loss of contact inside the switch due to oxidation or wear and tear.

In my case swapping was not possible as there was a small notch in the plug which prevented anyone from turning the switch and inserting the same.

He just opened the fuse box below the steering and connected one end of the wire to the live contact inside the box.
Then he opened the power window switch and pulled out the wire socket and inserted the other end of the wire into the socket (corresponding to the socket to UP the window and presto! the window rolled up.
Just took him 5 minutes for the whole job.

So I just disabled the rear windows for the reminder of the journey so that it would not be rolled down again and I could continue with the trip.

Last edited by for_cars1 : 31st December 2012 at 17:47.
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Old 31st December 2012, 18:00   #25
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Default Re: Power Window Failure? How to manually roll your window up

I guess the mechanic in Ooty must've studied the circuit diagrams for your car's power window switch very thoroughly before embarking on the wire-swapping adventure
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Old 31st December 2012, 19:55   #26
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Default Re: Power Window Failure? How to manually roll your window up

Quote:
Originally Posted by pranavt View Post
I guess the mechanic in Ooty must've studied the circuit diagrams for your car's power window switch very thoroughly before embarking on the wire-swapping adventure

In fact he looked quite rustic and crude. After connecting one end of the wire to the fuse box, he brushed the other end to bare metal near the door and produced a big spark. I thought he is getting ready to fry up the wiring and was watching anxiously.

But when he finished, I realized that he did the best thing, bring the power directly where it is needed - to the power window motor.

Last edited by for_cars1 : 31st December 2012 at 19:58.
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Old 31st December 2012, 21:07   #27
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Default Re: Power Window Failure? How to manually roll your window up

Nicely Explained solution, however temporary.

What if one of the gears in the winding mechanism are rusted/broken and the glass refuses to go up/down because of that? I experienced a similar problem few months ago when one of the winding gears was rusted and the glass would go up only 2/3rd. Is there something similar we can do as result of which the glass is locked at the closed position till a replacement is done?
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Old 31st December 2012, 23:22   #28
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Default Re: Power Window Failure? How to manually roll your window up

WD40. However, rust build-up would be gradual, so you'd know in advance.
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Old 14th January 2013, 21:51   #29
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Default Re: Power Window Failure? How to manually roll your window up

Quote:
Originally Posted by for_cars1 View Post
...swapping was not possible as there was a small notch in the plug which prevented anyone from turning the switch and inserting the same.
He just opened the fuse box...
Quote:
Originally Posted by for_cars1 View Post
In fact he looked quite rustic and crude. After connecting one end of the wire to the fuse box, he brushed the other end to bare metal near the door and produced a big spark. I thought he is getting ready to fry up the wiring and was watching anxiously.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pranavt View Post
I guess the mechanic in Ooty must've studied the circuit diagrams for your car's power window switch very thoroughly before embarking on the wire-swapping adventure
Good of the mechanic to have studied the circuit diagrams (and knowing where the fuse box is) before embarking on the job. Not too many owners would know where such interesting things are located in their make and model of car...
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What if one of the gears in the winding mechanism are rusted/broken and the glass refuses to go up/down because of that?
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Originally Posted by pranavt View Post
WD40.
Sure, WD-40 (WD-40 / Zorrik : Uses, Restrictions, Limitations & Pitfalls) is a cure-all for broken gears?!
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Old 14th January 2013, 22:09   #30
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Default Re: Power Window Failure? How to manually roll your window up

Wow, thanks LSP, this can be a very handy tip indeed.
Do suggest what kind of string/ rope is preferable - Cloth based/ nylon based.
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