How to Fix a Slow or Squeaky Side Window

How to Fix a Slow or Squeaky Side Window

Rolling up or down a car side window that is slow, sticky, or squeaky is annoying. The noise is annoying and may signal a mechanical issue. Using some basic equipment and supplies, you can typically fix the problem yourself instead of paying for a professional repair. This article explains How to Fix a Slow or Squeaky Side Window.

An Easy Guide for How to Fix a Slow or Squeaky Side Window

Check for Obstructions

First, look around to see if there are any things in the way that could be stopping the car window from moving easily. Lower the window all the way and look at the tracks and channels inside it. Check to see if any dirt, leaves or other things are blocking the way. Use a small Hoover tip or toothbrush to carefully clean out anything you find.

Make sure you don’t leave any lint or cleaning supplies behind. Check the outside of the door near the window for stickers, trim, or other things that might be in the way, and remove them. A good first step before making any changes or lubrication is to open and close the window to see how it works.

Inspect the Window Regulator and Motor

Inspect the Window Regulator and Motor

The regulator and motor are the parts of your car that move the power windows up and down. You will need to check these parts to make sure there is no damage or broken parts that can be seen. The arm that looks like scissors and joins the motor to the window is called the regulator.

Look for cracked plastic housing or bent metal pieces. The motor will be mounted in the door and has an electrical connection. Check for loose wiring or signs of burnout. Any damages will require replacement parts before the window can work correctly again.

Lubricate Rubber Window Seals and Tracks

If the window itself seems in good working order, the problem may lie with sticky or dried-out rubber seals. Rubber compounds are used to make door and window seals, but they can break down and become sticky over time. As the seals wear down, they make the window glass fight and rub against them.

First, use rubbing alcohol to clean the rubber window seals and get rid of any dirt or old grease. Put a new layer of lube made from silicone on both the door tracks and the window seals. This Best lubricant for squeaky car window will prevent rubbing and allow smooth operation. Re-test the window to see if the added glide helps resolve any sticking issues.

Adjust the Window Regulator

Sometimes minor misalignments in the regulator assembly can make the window bind, stick, or squeak. If lubricating the seals didn’t solve your issue, try tweaking the regulator. Your car repair manual will show the regulator bolts that enable adjustments—or you can bring it to a professional.

The idea is to slightly loosen and re-tighten regulator bolts to alter their positioning enough to stop extra friction on the window. Operate the window while making minor tweaks until you find the “sweet spot” with perfectly smooth travel.

Replace Damaged Window Seals

How to Fix a Slow or Squeaky Side Window

If lubricating the seals and tracks didn’t help, the seals are likely too damaged or worn out to properly do their jobs. Continuing to fight with bad seals will likely result in bigger problems. Take the car to an experienced mechanic or car glass repair shop to have the affected seals replaced.

This will involve removing the door panel to access the seals for replacement. New seals made of fresh rubber compounds will glide effortlessly against the window once more. Though more labor intensive, fresh seals are necessary if the DIY lubrication tricks don’t solve the basics.

Reset Auto Window Control

For newer cars with automated “auto up” window functions, resetting the car’s computer can potentially fix glitches. Your owner’s manual will describe how to reset power windows—usually by holding the controls in specific positions, removing fuse power, or disconnecting the battery.

The reset essentially re-calibrates the automated position recognition of the window. Attempt operating the window normally after a reset to see if any programming bugs were the culprit of sticking, hesitation, or squeaks.

Replace the Window Regulator

If you’ve tried all the lubricating, adjusting, seal replacement, and reset tricks without success, the regulator itself is likely damaged beyond repair. Window regulators contain gears, slides, and lifting arms that wear out over time.

Attempting to keep a malfunctioning regulator limping along will only lead to more headaches. Bite the bullet and get the regulator replaced by a professional before it fails. It’s most cost-effective to replace the regulator early instead of after breakage which could also damage other components like the motor.

Replace the Window Motor

The motor that powers up and down window movement can burn out over years of use. Slow, struggling window function accompanied by a high-pitched whining noise points to motor failure. As motors wear down, they try to draw more and more electrical current to operate. This overworks the motor until eventually burning it out for good.

Like the regulator, it’s best to replace a foundering window motor early on. Don’t wait until the sudden dead silence that indicates the motor has given up completely. Consult a technician to source a replacement motor before enduring total failure.


Persistently squeaky car windows quickly go from annoying to seriously disruptive. Don’t tolerate the aggravation and potential deterioration of key components like regulators and motors. Use the guide above to find the answer to How to Fix a Slow or Squeaky Side Window or you can get professional help from the Luxe Auto Glass workshop. With the right fixes, you’ll be back to a smooth and whisper-silent window function, restoring your peace of mind during every drive.

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