How to Fix a Car Window That Won’t Stay Up

A car window that won’t stay up is a frustrating issue. But thankfully, you can fix it! How to fix a car window that won’t stay up?

Temporary fixes for a car window that won’t stay up are as follows:

  1. Wedge
  2. Vise-Grip
  3. Use Duct Tape
  4. Use Suction Cups
  5. Square Dowels
  6. Slam the Door

For fixing a broken power window, here are some of the steps to try:

  1. Press the Up/Down Switch of the Faulty Window
  2. Check the Driver’s Lock-out Switch
  3. Check the Relay or a Fuse
  4. Clean the Dirty Window Guide
  5. Get Your Car to a Car Repair Shop

For fixing a manual power window, here are some of the steps to try:

  1. Replace Plastic Gears
  2. Get a Screwdriver to Fix Misaligned Regulator
  3. Remove Door Panel and Check Regulator Track

The permanent fix to this problem can take several steps and will take time. A temporary fix will solve the issue until you can drive home or to a mechanic for further investigation.

Most car window problems are caused by a failing drive/lifting system. It doesn’t matter whether it is an electric or power car window or a manually operated car window. The solution for both power and manual car windows is almost the same.

Read on to learn more about the quick fix and permanent fix of car windows that won’t stay up and the common causes of this problem.

How to Fix a Car Window That Won’t Stay Up

how to fix a car window that won't stay up

There’s a quick fix and a permanent fix if a car window falls instead of staying up. Once you have performed this temporary fix, you have to get the car to a mechanic to permanently fix the window so that this problem won’t bother you anymore. Or, you can try fixing it yourself.

Knowledge of the quick fix will help you avoid running into an accident while driving your car. If you try to fix the window while your car is running, you might run into a vehicular accident.

The best way is to slow down, pull over on the shoulder of the road and stop your car. Then do the quick fix.

Once you’ve done the quick fix, drive your car to the nearest car repair shop and have the window mechanism examined by a qualified car technician. Or, once you are done with your business, drive your car home and perform the permanent fix. This article will show you how to do this.

Temporary Fix for Car Window That Won’t Stay Up

When the car window falls on its own, there are several ways you can fix it quickly.

A temporary fix for a car window that won’t stay in its place will not actually solve the problem, but at least the window will stay up as you drive your car:

1. Wedge

Look for something inside your car that can be used as a wedge. Put this wedge between the inside of the window sill of the car door and the glass window. Hopefully, this trick will help the window to stay up.

2. Vise-Grip

If you have a vise grip in your car toolset, you can use it to keep the car window up. Wedge the vice grip between the inside of the car door frame and the window. The vice grip will grab the top of the window up.

3. Duct Tape

Get some duct tape and use it to tape the car window’s edges to the car door’s window frame. The duct tape will keep the window up and seal it from moisture if it is raining outside.

You can also stick the duct tape all around the window frame and the window while the window is up. If the car window falls after applying duct tape, try a stronger adhesive tape.

4. Suction Cups

Get a couple of suction cups with pop handles or metal hooks. Stick these cups to the bottom part of the car window. The handles on the suction cups will prevent the window from going down.

5. Square Dowels

When your car window falls, buy a couple of square dowels from a hardware store. Jam them between the bottom of the inside of the car door and the bottom of the glass window.

If the dowels successfully hold the window up, dab silicone gel on the top and bottom ends of the window to keep it in place.

6. Slam the Door

  • Turn the ignition on the accessory position. The radio should turn on, and the other windows should roll up and down except the faulty window;
  • Press and hold the switch of the defective window in the up or close position. Make sure that it is the close position that you are depressing; and
  • Open and slam the door close. Test the window if it can be rolled up and down. If it still does not, do it again a couple of times more. If it works, keep the button depressed, and the window should now be working.

How Do Car Windows Work and Fail?

All car windows, whether manual or powered, have a part that is called a window regulator. This regulator raises and lowers the window through the inside channels attached to the door frame.

Working Principle

There are two kinds of regulators used in modern cars: power windows and another for manual windows. They both function on the same working principle.

Power Window

A power window uses a cable-driven system. This system uses an electric motor that moves a cable through a pulley system. This system lowers and raises the window. There are multiple parts in this system that can wear out.

Manually Operated Window

A manually operated window has a parallelogram type of mechanism, which basically looks like a pair of scissors. This system also has crank gears that rotate the angle on a regulator’s arm.

This triggers the pivot point and moves another arm connected to the window track, which results in moving the window either up or down.

Causes of a Car Window That Falls Down

As you can see, power and manual windows, although working on the same principle, have different components. Thus, there are different reasons why they fail.

temporary fix for car window that won't stay up

Manually Operated Windows

Manually operated windows have hand cranks and mechanical regulators that lower and raise the glass window. The regulator’s gears can get stripped, the regulator can get stuck because of dried lubricant or lack of lubrication, and the regulator can bend or get deformed.

Power Windows

Power windows use reversible electric motors. These motors are connected to electric regulators that lower and raise the glass window. Some wirings connect the whole system and switches that let in and cut off electricity.

Regulators can get stuck, electric motors and switches can go bad or fail.

Troubleshooting Power Windows That Fail

If your power windows fail, it could be one of three primary things: a burned-out motor, a bad switch, or a blown fuse. The window regulator could get stuck, bend or wear out.

But this is not very common. So, how do you troubleshoot your failing power window?

1. Check If There Is Power Going to the Motor

If the motor’s power is grounded, but the windows won’t go up or down, the motor is bad.

2. Check the Fuses

If the windows can’t roll down or up, check the fuses for continuity. If a fuse doesn’t have continuity, replace it. Push the switch and see if the windows are operating. If they work, you have solved the problem. Continue testing the fuses if the windows are still not working.

3. Check Power to the Switch

If there is power and ground, the electrical wiring or the motor can be bad.

4. Check the Safety Lock-out Switch

If this switch is activated, you won’t be able to roll the window up or down.

5. Try the Main Switch

If a passenger-side car window won’t stay up or is not working, try to operate it through the main switch at the driver’s side of the center console. If the window rolls up or down, then the passenger side window switch is at fault.

6. Push the Switch and Check the Volt Gauge on the Dashboard

If the volt gauge moves when you hit the switch, the culprit could be the electric motor.

7. Listen as You Push the Switch up and Down

If there is a sound inside the door, the switch is good. The regulator could be stuck, or the electric motor is failing. 

8. Swap Switches If You Can

If your car has identical car window switches, swap a switch from a window that moves to the window switch that does not move. If the window starts working, then the switch in that window is bad.

Again, how to fix a car window that won’t stay up? There is a temporary and permanent remedy for a car window that won’t stay up. You can apply a temporary fix, then get it permanently fixed once you arrive home or get to a repair shop.

How to Fix a Power Car Window?

Here are some ways to fix a faulty power window permanently:

1. Press the Up/Down Switch of the Faulty Window

Press the up/down switch off the faulty window and listen for a whirring sound. If there is no sound, the culprit could be the switch or the motor. It is easier to replace the switch so check it first.

2. Check the Driver’s Lock-out Switch

If it is only the rear windows that don’t work, check the driver’s lock-out switch. It may have been accidentally pressed, causing the rear windows to close automatically.

3. Check the Relay or a Fuse

car window won't stay up

If all the windows are not working properly, the problem could be a relay or a fuse. In modern cars, a computer module connected to the motor counts the gear revolutions of the regulator.

It keeps track of the position of the window and when to stop raising the window. If this module was disconnected or has lost power, it can’t determine if the window is down or up.

This module needs to be restarted. Perhaps you don’t know how to do this, so it is best to let a car shop or a car dealer fix it.

4. Dirty Window Guide

If there is some hesitation as the window goes up or down, a dirty window guide likely causes the problem. For fully-framed windows, the frame’s right and left sides serve as guides for the glass.

To clean the guides, spray some silicone lube on them. Then lower and raise the window a couple of times to see if it solves the problem.

5. Get Your Car to a Car Repair Shop

Some of these fixes are beyond the capability of the typical car owner. If you find that you can’t perform the fix, get your car to a car repair shop and have them fix your car window problems.

How to Fix a Manual Car Window?

It is frustrating if your car window won’t stay up. But there are solutions. Fixing a manually operated car window is the simplest. Manual car windows are made of simple parts built solidly to last for the car’s lifetime, provided they are used sensibly and maintained regularly.

But if your car is already old and not regularly maintained, window issues can crop up. If you crank the handle up or down and nothing happens, either the regulator is already off its track, or the crank’s gears are already worn out.

1. Replace Plastic Gears

There are crank gears that are made of plastic. Plastic gears don’t fare too well compared to those made of steel. They wear down easier than metal gears because of repeated use.

You have to replace this gear with a new one. This is a job for the mechanically inclined. It is best to take your car to the nearest car repair shop to have it replaced.

2. Regulator Misaligned from Its Lower Track

Your window will also have problems if the regulator is misaligned from its lower track. If this is the condition of the regulator, the pivot point will not work properly.

This will limit the movement in the arms of the regulator. Your window will be stuck in one position. Get a screwdriver and use it for popping off the crank handle. Then check the gear teeth.

3. Remove Door Panel and Check Regulator Track

If there is no problem with the teeth, remove the door panel and check the regulator track. If you’re unable to turn the crank handle, the regulator might be stuck. The small wheels could cause this on the track catching on to something.

Remove the door panel and put the handle back. Rotate the handle and see if the regulator experiences hang-ups on the track. If there are any obstructions, remove them. If you think you can’t solve the problem, drive your car to the nearest repair shop.

Conclusion: Car Window Won’t Stay Up – Car Window Falls Down

There’s a temporary and permanent fix to this problem. The permanent fix can take several steps and will take some time. If you are already on the road, there’s a temporary fix that will help keep the car window from falling.

This will also allow you to drive home or drive to the nearest repair shop to see what’s wrong with the window mechanism and have it fixed.

Again, for a quick or temporary fix for a car window that won’t stay up, here’s what you can do:

  1. Wedge
  2. Vise-Grip
  3. Duct Tape
  4. Suction Cups
  5. Square Dowels
  6. Slam the Door

For fixing a broken power window, here are some of the steps to try:

  1. Press the Up/Down Switch of the Faulty Window
  2. Check the Driver’s Lock-out Switch
  3. Check the Relay or a Fuse
  4. Clean the Dirty Window Guide
  5. Get Your Car to a Car Repair Shop

If you have a manual car window, here are things you can do:

  1. Replace Plastic Gears
  2. Get a Screwdriver to Fix Misaligned Regulator
  3. Remove Door Panel and Check Regulator Track