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what can cause a power window to malfunction for the 1st time in 4 years?

Posted on 2012-04-02
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Last Modified: 2012-04-15
Please do not suggest seeking a professional.

I've owned this 1997 Mitsubishi Galant for 4 years.
All 4 power windows have worked, up and down, until today, April 2, 2012.

Yesterday I opened the left rear door to place an item in the car. I then locked the car.
Today, I notice the left rear window is all the way down.

I do not remember using that left rear window, when I was driving the car on Saturday.

The left rear door panel is still off from a power door lock repair. I'm thus able to see the window mechanism and check all the connectors.

There is a window lock button on the left front door. It does not seem to work. Whether pressed in, or not pressed in, the other 3 windows still go up and down.

What can cause one power window to fail to function for the first time ever, since owning the car?

Like I said, I do not remember using the left rear window the last time I drove the car. When I need some fresh air, the left rear window is the last one I consider, because air in that window heads around the back of the car toward the passenger side. When I want air on my side, I use the right rear window.

Is it mechanically possible for this window to have gone down with the doors closed, the key not in the ignition, and me, the owner, in my house?

Thanks.
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Question by:nickg5
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Accepted Solution

by:
Michael-Best earned 325 total points
ID: 37796592
It can be any electrical fautlt from the switch to the power window motor ....so just test each connection bit by bit to eliminate good connections & control cicuits.

Good Luck as it may be difficult to solve without a professional?
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Author Comment

by:nickg5
ID: 37796651
I repaired the power door lock issue with only $16.00 in parts and my time. And I am not a professional. People who can afford professionals ALWAYS go straight to professionals. It's in the mind set. Some of it due to convenience, and laziness.

A. Anyone have any ideas why the window would work one day and not the next, with no activity at all in-between?

B. Could this window have gone down by itself? (with the doors locked, the key out of the ignition, and the car owner in the house)
C .How could it have done that?
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Expert Comment

by:Michael-Best
ID: 37796763
As I commented an intermittent fault can be difficult to find.

Eliminate bad wires section by section.

Hpe ths hlps.
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Assisted Solution

by:IT-Monkey-Dave
IT-Monkey-Dave earned 175 total points
ID: 37796808
Without knowing how the computer & electrical systems interact with window mechanisms on your specific vehicle I don't see how anyone could give you an accurate answer.  Maybe you'll get lucky and a Mitsubishi-qualified professional reads this board and will donate his knowledge.  ;)

From your description, this window problem started around the time you repaired the lock.  That seems like an interesting coincidence.
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Expert Comment

by:Michael-Best
ID: 37796899
No further comments from me as I go away forever - soon?  good luck to other EE members.
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Expert Comment

by:IT-Monkey-Dave
ID: 37796947
@Michael-Best  I hope it wasn't something I said!  

@OP: If you have a family, is there any chance that your kids were curious about the inner workings of the door with the panel removed and played with the window to see it go up and down?  Just a thought.
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Author Comment

by:nickg5
ID: 37797126
IT-Monkey-Dave;
From your description, this window problem started around the time you repaired the lock.  That seems like an interesting coincidence.

.....................nope, you read it wrong.
The door panel was removed to fix a door LOCK issue.
Some recommended professional help but I fixed it myself for $16.00.

The power window problem started April 2nd (today) at 10am EST.
It worked fine YESTERDAY, and every day before that, since I bought the car in 2006.
The last time that window was used, it worked fine. Today it does not, and it is in the down position. I do not recall using that window or lowering it. With the doors locked overnight and only one person having the key, let me go ahead and eliminate friends or relatives, before someone suggest that maybe a family member lowered the window.

When I have something that needs repair from electronics to appliances or cars, the FIRST thing I think of is:
Can I find and fix the problem?
ONLY, when there are no other options, do I consider a mechanic.

Electrical problems can be very, very expensive, and the car is not worth but a few hundred dollars. Disclaimer, NO, it's value does not mean it is time for the left rear door window to stop working.

I'm asking the same question in other places, I'll post any results back here in case anyone wants to read them.
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:IT-Monkey-Dave
ID: 37797146
It sounded like the lock repair was very recent since the door panel is still off.  If you're sure the lock repair & window malfunction are unrelated, and no "third party" like kids could have possibly messed with it...  Good luck.
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Author Comment

by:nickg5
ID: 37798369
No third parties.

I am told that each window has it's own motor.
I pressed the button both ways, up, and then down, with the engine and radio off.
I hear a click in the left rear door.
It appears that power is getting to the motor-mechanism.

I heard a lower volume click on one direction of the switch, and a louder click on the other direction. Since the window is down, I'm guessing the lower volume click is trying to lower the window. And the louder click is the motor trying to raise the window.

I'm told to try to raise the window by hand, without excessive force. It should not raise up, because there are clips to hold it in the metal guide.

We have a You-Pull-It yard and I can get a left rear window motor for under $15.00.
If it fixes the problem then fine. If not, I have not invested anything.

Another possible idea is that the closing and opening of the door, over time, could cause a frayed wire near the door hinge.

So, frayed wire, bad motor, etc.

It was also advised to try to tap on the window motor with a hammer, light tap, while trying the power switch, to see if there is any attempt by the window, to go up.
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LVL 34

Expert Comment

by:Michael-Best
ID: 37798764
Sounds like the mechanism is jamming or the motor is bad.
Compare it with the other doors (remove door panels)

Hpe ths hlps.
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Author Comment

by:nickg5
ID: 37807413
I see a metal rod that extends, down, to the bottom on the frame-track-brace that holds the glass. This rod is not exactly perpendicular to level. When the switch is pressed this rod moves ever so slightly toward the steering wheel. If it was trying to raise the window, it seems that this rod would be trying to pull upward and become more rigid.

I guess it is trying to raise the rod, even though it looks like the rod is pushing down.

The door panel and all the plastic stuff glued around the edges has been removed. I'm not clearly seeing the plastic clips that have been mentioned.

So, it looks like the motor is trying to raise the window.
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Expert Comment

by:Michael-Best
ID: 37809008
Re: ID: 37796899
 
 I'll be back.
My doctors have finally found drugs that may sedate my Incurable disease.

Good Luck with the door.

If the motor & mechanism work via "a hot wire test" then it can only be the control switch or the wiring that is faulty.

Hpe ths hlps.
0
 
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Author Comment

by:nickg5
ID: 37848508
Here is the photo of the bad part. It will lower the window but won't raise it.

The part was $8.00 and gas to drive the 5 miles to the U-Pull-It yard.
Professional not needed.

When something breaks, my first thought is to see if I can fix it myself.
As well as to know as much about the repair needed as I can, so when I do have to go to a mechanic, I'm not 0% educated.

My Father was robbed of thousands of dollars in non needed repairs over the years.
Every profession has crooks.
hgyt-001.JPG
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Author Comment

by:nickg5
ID: 37848516
-
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LVL 25

Author Comment

by:nickg5
ID: 37848527
I've requested that this question be closed as follows:

Accepted answer: 0 points for nickg5's comment #37798369
Assisted answer: 325 points for Michael-Best's comment #37796592
Assisted answer: 175 points for IT-Monkey-Dave's comment #37796808

for the following reason:

Good Luck as it may be difficult to solve without a professional? <br />...................<br />nope, just $8.00 for the part.
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Author Comment

by:nickg5
ID: 37848524
I accidentally forgot to remove the dot from my comment.
I am not trying to close the question as described above.
I am not wanting my comment to be the solution. That is an error.
My intention was for this to be the best solution: #37796592
And the one by IT-Monkey-Dave to be the other solution.
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LVL 25

Author Comment

by:nickg5
ID: 37848528
I accidentally forgot to remove the dot from my comment.
I am not trying to close the question as described above.
I am not wanting my comment to be the solution. That is an error.
My intention was for this to be the best solution: #37796592
And the one by IT-Monkey-Dave to be the other solution.
0
 
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Author Closing Comment

by:nickg5
ID: 37848531
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