I received an email from a fellow asking advice on fixing this problem (he
also has three bad windows--in a 2003), and after typing the reply,
realized that it might help some folks if I post it here as well, so here
As I wrote, I took it to a dealership and persuaded Buick to pay for
half. If you want to take this up with Buick, try 800-521-7300.
As for self repair, it's definitely cheaper than the route I took, unless
I get the $500 I paid back, somehow. Unfortunately, it never occured to
me that there might be after-market window regulators. I mean, that's got
to be a dealer-only part right? Not so, in this case.
First, you need to get the door panels off. There is a tool. You might
do a dejanews (google groups) search on my name in the alt.auto.gm
newsgroup for a thread within the last year on this topic. Some nice soul
turned me on to the tool and did a better job of describing it than I am
The tool is a sort of like a wide flat screw driver with a 'V' notch in
the end. It is available at Auto Zone for less than $10. You slide it
between the door panel and the door and use it to pop the door panel clips
out of the door. There's a certain amount of feel and guess work to
figuring out where the clips are, but it's not too hard, as they are hte
points where the door panel resists being pulled away from the door.
Oh, before you do that, pop the little panel out of the door hand grip and
remove the two bolts hidden by that little panel. Also, pop the window
switch out of the door and unplug it--although IIRC you can do this
(window switch) after you have the door panel off.
Okay, once you have the door panel off you can see the "regulator" and the
window. The bottom of the window is bolted to the moving part of the
regulator (let's call it a train). The train slides up and down on a wide
rail. The cables to lift and lower the window attach to the train by
snapping their enlarged ends into a plastic piece. Then the cables run
to a spool which is driven by an attached electric motor. Note that the
'down' cable runs down to the bottom of the rail where it loops around a
plastic guide, from which it can easily come dislodged.
Anyway, you can remove the whole regulator by unbolting the three bolts
that hold the motor/spool assembly in place and the four bolts that hold
the rail to the door. Then undo the two bolts that hold the train to the
window. Now rotate the rail/train assembly to one side and extricate it
from the inside of the door.
At this point you can either fabricate sheet metal to hold the window
permanently up, or buy replacement regulators. GM replacement regulators
are something like $230 each. But you can get the window regulators
for a little over $73 each, plus some amount of shipping. The front ones
are also available there, but I saw the front regulators on Ebay for
considerably less. Here
for $87 plus $18 shipping. Or he also has them separately at $46 each or
The links above are specific to year 2000 Buick Centurys, but those
sellers may have regulators for other models.
Good luck, and anyone else wtih the this problem in a Buick Century,
please post so we can see how many of us there are. However, while
searching I saw an article that said the 'average' buyer of the Century is
a 50-year-old woman and I'm not sure how many of them are reading news
A friend will help you move. A real friend will help you move a body.
I replied and agreed with you, but after thinking things over, I have to
How much use does a rear window motor get? Yes, even after 17 years, how
many hours are on the motor? '
Consider this. The heater blower is still working. Some kitchen appliance
motors are still working. I had a rotating christmas tree stnad that
finally wore out the little syncron motor after 30 years, seasonal, but
worked for hours at a time. Think about all the motors in your home and
shop and how many hours they run with no problems. How is that ceiling fan
doing? We have a crappy plastic housed motor on a fountain that runs 24/7
all summer and is on year 3.
Now put that window motor in perspective. It probably had maybe an hour run
time on it. Don't you think a motor that lasts for an hour is pretty poorly
Now, if you tell me it was caused by corrosion on a connector, I'm still
going to agree, but a motor should be able to run for many trouble free
If the car has a lockout switch, just lock all window switches except the
master switch on the driver's door. BTW I've only had one car with manual
windows since 1969, and one switch had to replaced last year--the first
repair I ever had to do to them.
I bought a power window motor for my Son's Firebird off Ebay. Works fine.
Installation was easy as long as you followed the instructions. Take a look
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item 0014734720 .
Less than $25 with shipping. Might no be as good as new, but it sure better
than what you've got and a lot less trouble thatn trying to convert the car
to manual windows. Just be sure you lock the regulator down before you pull
out the old motor. It is spring loaded. For the Firebird the GM
instructioned told you where to drill a hole an install a hold down bolt. I
am sure your Chevy will be similar.
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