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What You Need to Know About Window Lift Motor Replacement Cost

Power windows are basically standard equipment on passenger vehicles today, and they roll up and down at the press of a single button. At the heart of the system is an electric motor that runs the window glass up and down inside a channel. And when the power window isn’t working normally, the window lift motor is potentially the component that’s at fault.

The window motor can be rather inexpensive or quite costly, with prices somewhere between $40 and $500 for most models. It can take some time to replace the motor, so if you’re hiring a mechanic, the price could be quite a bit higher in total.

What are window lift motors all about, and what goes into determining the cost of your window motor replacement? Here’s what you need to know, and how you can save some of your hard-earned dollars in the process.

Introduction to Window Lift Motors

In the most basic form, a window lift motor is a two-way electric motor that’s used to move the pane of glass vertically. It’s controlled by a power window switch that can let the operator stop the window anywhere they’d like along its path. It’s powered by 12 volts and is almost always less than 15 amps per circuit, and they’re often all on the same fuse.

When the switch is activated to move the window up, the window motor draws 12 volts and rotates in a particular direction. When the window reaches its limit or the switch is released/command is canceled out, the window motor no longer receives power and it stops. Pressing the switch down reverses the polarity and the motor rotates the opposite direction, moving the glass pane down.

The motor is mounted to a regulator in some fashion, whether it’s a scissor-type, a cable-style with pulleys and guides, or a Bowden-style regulator. It operates in tandem with the motor, and it’s meant to keep the window moving smoothly and in the right path.

Factors Affecting Window Lift Motor Replacement Cost

Your window motor repair cost is affected by a handful of factors:

  • The make and model. It’s no secret that parts for some cars are more expensive, and they’re more complex to repair. This is especially true for luxury vehicles.
  • The type of window lift motor. If the motor can be replaced separately, it’s usually on the lower end of the pricing scale. But if the window lift motor is part of the regulator, you can expect it to be costlier.
  • The car’s age. Parts for older cars are typically less expensive, but newer cars have newer technology and higher demand, resulting in higher prices.
  • Your locale. Pricing, particularly for labor, varies based on your geographic region, and labor prices are fueled by cost of living.
  • The time it takes to fix. Labor costs increase depending on the length of time to complete the window lift motor replacement.

Average Cost of Window Lift Motor Replacement by Vehicle Type

To emphasize the difference in price between different models, we’ve compiled a few different vehicle types with the average cost to replace the window lift motor. Depending on what you drive, though, it could be outside of the range.

  • Sedan – $276 to $371
  • Luxury car – $725 to $908
  • Crossover – $228 to $341 
  • Sport Utility Vehicle – $243 to $530
  • Pickup Truck – $178 to $360
  • Van – $398 to $444

DIY vs Professional Window Lift Motor Replacement

The average labor time to replace one window lift motor is 2.1 hours. Taking it to a mechanic to change it will cost you for the time spent installing it. With hourly rates ranging from a meager $47 per hour to a flustering $215 per hour, the labor cost on an average repair will add $98 to 451 to the total. What you get for that price is professional installation, often with a warranty on both parts and labor, and a quicker repair than if you do it yourself.

If you’re handy with a wrench, it’s a very doable job to replace a power window motor on most passenger vehicles. Expect it to take a little longer than the average labor time since you’re not changing a window motor every day, and you’ll need an assortment of hand tools. But if you’re up to the challenge, you’ll save on labor.

Saving Money on Window Lift Motor Replacement

Looking for additional ways to save money on your window motor? Here are a few ideas:

  • Look at aftermarket parts instead of OEM. They’re lower-priced, on average, and sometimes carry warranty periods longer than the standard one year provided by carmakers.
  • Buy high-grade parts. While they’re more expensive up-front, you’ll likely won’t have to change it again.
  • Look for deals. Coupons and discounts pop up once in a while at AutoZone that could save you even more.

Let AutoZone help you save on the cost of your window motor replacement. Shop from top industry names and get your windows rolling once again.

FAQ/People Also Ask

Can I replace my own window motor?

Yes, someone with a good set of hand tools and access to a repair manual can change a window lift motor.

How much is it to replace a power window motor regulator?

It depends on the part and the vehicle it’s going into. It can range from a couple of hundred dollars to more than $1,000.

Can a power window motor be repaired?

Window motors are typically sealed units. Thus, they can’t be repaired and are replaced instead.

What causes a window motor to fail?

Window motors fail most often due to wear and tear. It can also get damaged from contamination, trying to operate a frozen window, or corrosion.

What is the price of a window motor?

Window motors vary greatly in price. It could be as little as $40 or more than $500.

How long do window motors last?

Most window motors last more than 10 years, but it’s possible for one to fail much sooner.

Advice, how-to guides, and car care information featured on AutoZone.com and AutoZone Advice & How-To’s are presented as helpful resources for general maintenance and automotive repairs from a general perspective only and should be used at your own risk. Information is accurate and true to the best of AutoZone’s knowledge, however, there may be omissions, errors or mistakes.

Be sure to consult your owner’s manual, a repair guide, an AutoZoner at a store near you, or a licensed, professional mechanic for vehicle-specific repair information. Refer to the service manual for specific diagnostic, repair and tool information for your particular vehicle. Always chock your wheels prior to lifting a vehicle. Always disconnect the negative battery cable before servicing an electrical application on the vehicle to protect its electrical circuits in the event that a wire is accidentally pierced or grounded. Use caution when working with automotive batteries. Sulfuric acid is caustic and can burn clothing and skin or cause blindness. Always wear gloves and safety glasses and other personal protection equipment, and work in a well-ventilated area. Should electrolyte get on your body or clothing, neutralize it immediately with a solution of baking soda and water. Do not wear ties or loose clothing when working on your vehicle.

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