Reasons Behind Window Regulator Failure in a Volkswagen

Reasons Behind Window Regulator Failure in a Volkswagen

Rolling down the windows and cruising in your Volkswagen is one of the best feelings a driver could have, and gone are the days of having to manually crank down the windows. However, with every mechanical innovation comes the possibility of technical malfunctions, and power windows have their own share of problems. Your VW’s power windows are operated by something called a window regulator, and if it fails, you won’t be driving with the wind blowing in your hair until it is fixed. In this article, we will discuss the causes of window regulator failure in your Volkswagen and what you can do to fix it.

What the Window Regulator Does

With manual crank windows, the pulley attached to the crank handle is responsible for moving the window up and down. There is still a pulley system in the power windows of more modern vehicles with the main difference being that the pulleys themselves are operated by electrical window regulators. These components are composed of multiple smaller parts, and if any one of them fails it can cause the entire regulator assembly to malfunction, and your power windows will either not work right or they won’t work at all.

The window regulator consists of a few key parts which allow it to function as it does. It has a motor to supply it with motive force and a pulley to raise and lower the window using that force. Of course, the motor and the pulley system rely on multiple moving components to function correctly. That said, when the window regulator fails, it generally needs to be replaced. Brining your Volkswagen to a qualified VW mechanic can quickly solve your power window problems and get you back into the breeze.

Reasons for Window Regulator Failure

Pulley Cable

The pulley in the window regulator of your Volkswagen utilizes a cable to actually do the pulling and pushing. It is attached to the window and moves with the motor, exerting the necessary force on the window itself. These cables can become worn out over time, or simply detach from the window. If the cable gives out, you will most likely notice it when you go to put the window up and it won’t close.

Freezing Temperatures

If the window regulator is exposed to freezing temperatures for too long, then it will freeze, often causing the window to disconnect from the regulator. Alternatively, the parts within the regulator will be over-stressed if they have to work in cold temperatures.


If the motor in the window regulator overheats, this will cause the entire regulator system to fail. Overheating can be caused by raising and lowering the window repeatedly, putting undue stress on the components over time if done consistently. Normal wear can also lead to an overheating window power motor. In higher temperature climates, this wear occurs more quickly and can lead to a premature failure of the window regulator.

Signs and Symptoms of Window Regulator Failure

There are a number of common signs that your Volkswagen window regulator is failed or failing. You will surely notice these symptoms as you drive and should take your vehicle to a qualified mechanic to service these issues if you should see them.

If your windows get stuck or seem misaligned in their sockets, then the window regulator has likely failed. More often than not, this occurs when the pulley cable has become disconnected from the window itself. Also, abnormal grinding sounds when operating the power windows could be a sign that the cable is disconnected or that the motor is failing. If the window rolls up more slowly than normal, or if the power window button doesn’t seem to do anything when you press it, then the motor in the window regulator is almost certainly malfunctioning and likely needs to be replaced.

Bavarian Auto Can Help

Our team of master technicians here at Volkswagen Window Regulator Fix Bavarian Auto are prepared to diagnose and repair your window regulator issues with ease and efficiency. We have been assisting Volkswagen owners from all over Ooltewah, Hixson, and Chattanooga, TN, with maintenance and repairs since 1981. To find out how we can fix your power windows, or to inquire about our five-star service, give us a call at (423)-499-8800. See you soon.