Within are pictures and tips on replacing your power window motor. It involves drilling some small holes in the inner door panel to access and remove the window motor rivets. This procedure does not involve having to remove the regulator or regulator spring that many people find dangerous (STOP! Don't drill out those big rivets!). Use any information provided at your own risk.

Caution: The panel is made of Sheet Molded Compound (SMC) that has fibers embedded in it. Consider protection (as you would for handling fiberglass) for your skin, eyes and lungs during drilling and handling. There can also be some sharp edges inside the door, so be careful.

The most reported symptom of the window motor dying is that the motor will stop when attempting to raise the window. After a minute or less and you try it again, it will go up some more and stop. The cycle repeats until you can get the window fully up. Usually the longer you wait between tries, the farther it will go up at a time. The motor has an internal electronic circuit breaker (thermal resistor) that will heat up and trip when the motor is overloaded (either by just being worn out or from trying to overcome mechanical drag). This causes it to have to "rest" before it will go up some more. You may also hear some clicking from the express down module under the dash. That does not mean the module is bad.

It is also a good idea to check that your switch connections are tight because that can add resistance to the circuit. Switches can fail too and are not that expensive at wholesale price from the dealer (~ $13 for the driver's side which includes both switches in one housing, less for the single passenger side). A common source of failure of the switch is not even electrical. The plastic switch button shell (the part you press on) will crack on the side and not allow the actual switch underneath to be depressed far enough to work. If the window will operate ok if you press really hard on the button, try replacing the switch.

As of 4/10/2010 window motors at most chain auto supply stores are in the $30-$60 price range and commonly have a lifetime warranty (ask before you buy). A GM motor is about $30 wholesale and about $57 retail. GM parts usually have a 12 month warranty. Remember that the window motor must overcome any mechanical resistance in the window regulator mechanism (that scissors looking thing ;-) ), so it is a good idea to make sure the guides are clean and well lubricated (lithium or silicone grease will do fine). Also inspect for any broken or loose rollers.

If you want to buy GM parts, check this link for some sources.

Video showing the working parts of the regulator. (the motor is removed and view is from the outside [the door skin has been cut out])

This procedure can save you hundreds of dollars as opposed to taking your car to the dealer.
A donate button is available above if you would like to show your appreciation in a monetary form. It will also help defer site maintenance costs.

As mentioned on page 56 of the May 2002 issue of GM High-Tech Performance Magazine and helping people on the internet since 1999!

click here to begin R&R walkthrough
Click the icon at left to begin R&R walkthrough or click any picture to go directly to that step
~Now including RH door pics~
1. Access switch panel
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Access switch panel
2. Unplug switch panel
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Unplug switch panel
3. Remove lock knob and screws
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Remove lock knob and screws
4. Complete screw removal
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Complete screw removal
5. Remove door handle panel
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Remove door handle panel
6. Complete panel removal
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Complete panel removal
7. Remove cover
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Remove cover
8. Remove door panel
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Remove door panel
9. Complete door panel removal
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Complete door panel removal
10. Internal door hardware
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Internal door hardware
11. Motor close-up
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Motor close-up
12. Unplug power connector
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Unplug power connector
13. Motor mounting locations
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Motor mounting locations
14. Upper rivet location
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Upper rivet location detail
15. Middle rivet location
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Middle and lower rivet locations detail
16. Window support
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Window support
17. Drill out rivets
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Drill out rivets
18. New motor
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New motor
19. Attach new motor
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Attach new motor
Reverse to reinstall panels and covers

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Page updated 6/21/2010

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