Why should you know how to test power window switch with multimeter? Because you might find yourself, one day, in a car with a stuck window, and you desperately need to roll down your window.
Instead, your window is unresponsive or malfunctioning. You might get so frustrated and might be unable to reach a technician or professional in time. Rather than seeking a professional’s service, you can deal with this issue by yourself and proffer a suitable solution.
One essential tool you need to deal with the power switch fault is the multimeter. So, getting a multimeter and knowing how to test your power window switch with it is very important for you as a driver if any fault arises.
Causes of Power Window Switch Failure
The power window switch is used to control the opening and closing of windows in a car. These controls are usually found near each car window, with a master control at the driver’s side.
Over time, the switch can become unresponsive, and you might start to wonder what’s responsible for the faults. Several factors can cause power window switch faults. Some of them are highlighted below.
● Lack of proper window maintenance:
Certain areas in your car’s window requires regular maintenance. These areas have many bearings that often spark off with electricity.
So, you have to grease or oil these areas often to keep them slippery.
● Faulty fuse, motor, and window regulator:
After a long time of continuous usage, the fuse, regulator, or motor can become faulty or broken, and you might need to get a replacement.
● Poor power conduction:
The bearings are not always the problem with a stuck window or a faulty power switch. Sometimes, there might be an interrupted or poor energy conduction to the window.
You can check if this is the issue using a multimeter; else, you might have to seek a technical expert’s service.
● Technical Problems:
Sometimes, an unresponsive switch might be a result of a faulty electrical system. A defective electrical system gets damaged whenever there is continuous use of the power switches.
● Excess energy generation:
Sometimes, your car generates excess energy that can burn out your window regulator. To check if this is the cause of your defective switch, check that the amount of electricity being conducted through your car is correct.
The voltage limit for a window regulator is 12 volts and a maximum of 2 ohms.
How to test power window switch with multimeter
A multimeter is required to check the energy that’s conducted through a car’s power window. Hence, if there’s any fault, it can be detected and corrected.
The following points are steps on how to test a power window switch using a multimeter.
1. Get all the essential tools:
For this testing, you will need a multimeter, a flat screwdriver, and test leads for the multimeter.
2. Removal of the faulty power window switch:
Before you start the testing process, the first thing to do is remove the car’s faulty window switch. To do this, you need to loosen the glass and its other associated structures.
Four tabs are holding the switch. So, you will need a flat screwdriver to remove them.
3. Change the window switch to an open position:
Put on the power line in the window and check for the areas where the energy is conducted.
4. Power check:
Next, Plug in the multimeter to the switch socket and test it to check if there is a power of 12 volts. The power conducted to the window switch comes from the 4th and 5th terminals of the power conductor.
If the right amount of volts is being conducted, you can assume that the energy and wiring to the switch are enough.
5.Connecting the multimeter to the terminals:
Then, connect the multimeter to the terminals. The terminals should generate a low resistance.
Usually, the resistance that a power window switch must receive must not be more than 2 ohms.
6. Put off the window switch and reset the multimeter to ohms to analyze the problem:
Place the conductors on the terminals and check if they have low resistance. The problem with the window switch might be due to direct conduction if the resistance is high.
For a better understanding of these processes, you can refer to these visual demonstrations and explanations on how to use the multimeter to test a power window switch:
Signs of a faulty power window switch
If you want to ascertain whether your power switch is faulty or not, then lookout for the following signs.
1. All the car windows are not working:
If you ever notice that when you press the power window switch of every window in your car, there’s no response, it’s likely that there’s no conducted power in the electrical system.
This might be due to a blown electrical fuse or relay.
2. The car window only works with the master window switch:
Sometimes, the case might be that the window isn’t working when controlled by its switch but works well with the master switch. This might also be due to the failure of the window control.
But, in this case, the other parts of the window are working effectively.
3. One of the car windows isn’t working:
This could occur due to a faulty fuse, motor, or relay. Most times, it is usually because the window switch is damaged and needs to be replaced by a new one.
4. The window doesn’t always work:
You might experience that sometimes the window rolls down properly but has difficulty with rolling up. Or, it could be the opposite, that is, the window rolls up well but can’t roll down properly.
This means that the window switch is malfunctioning but not entirely faulty. So, you should get a replacement before the window finally gets stuck.
FAQs about How to test a power window switch with multimeter
Q: What are the steps to reset my car’s power window?
A: Most vehicles lose their automatic window functions whenever their batteries are replaced. So, to return your vehicle to its initial automatic window function, you have to follow these steps.
1. Turn on the ignition or your car’s engine to ensure that energy is conducted to the windows.
2. Roll up the windows and ensure that they are entirely closed.
3. Next, roll down the windows and press down the automatic button for about 10 seconds.
4. Again, roll up the window entirely and hold onto the button for 10 seconds.
5. Do these steps several times. This should restore the automatic window function. Else, the system might have issues.
Check out these YouTube videos for a more detailed explanation on how to reset your car’s power window after a battery replacement:
Q: How can I say if my window’s power switch is faulty?
A: You should look out for specific signs if you are not sure that your power switch is faulty. Some of these signs to watch out for include:
● None of the windows is working.
● A single window is working.
● Only the master switch controls the windows.
● The windows work occasionally.
Q: How do I raise a stuck window manually in my car?
A: If your window ever gets stuck down and you are worried about leaving it that way. The following steps will guide you on manually pulling up your stuck window before taking it to a mechanic.
1. First, open the door and try to secure it to prevent it from moving back and forth on its hinges.
2. Lean against the opened door with the latch placed against your chest.
3. Grasp the glass of the window between your palms.
4. Then, gently and gradually move your palms upward while holding on to the glass firmly. This process might require more time, and you are likely to lose hold of the glass several times.
Just try to apply pressure gently in moving the glass upward.
5. Do this continuously till you can move the windows up and push them into the seal located at the upper area of the door.
The above steps are only practical when there is a window glass sticking out that you can hold on to. Else, if your window is stuck in the door and there is no glass sticking out, you have to go through a different process.
This process involves removing the car’s door panel, so if you are not so confident about doing it, you can get a mechanic to get it done for you. You will need screwdrivers (flat-head), tape, a few wood logs, and rubber bands for this procedure.
Below are the processes you need to follow:
1. First, remove all the screws holding the door panel. Make sure you locate all the screws – some might be hidden behind the door handles or beneath a plastic cover.
After that, keep all the screws and plastic covers safely where you won’t lose them.
2. Next, remove the door console. You can only do this with a flat-head screwdriver.
3. The two plastic wire switches should be visible at this point. Use a screwdriver to pull the connectors separately and disconnect the wire switches.
4. Remove the door panel either with your hands or using a screwdriver entirely from the door: Be careful while doing this so that you don’t break the plastic snaps holding the panel down.
Move gently along the sides and behind the door frame till the panel is free to be removed.
5. Remove the polyethylene cover: If your door hasn’t been opened or worked on in previous times, you might see a polyethylene cover here. Use a razor blade to unseal the polyethylene.
6. To disconnect the motor’s window, you will need something to serve as braces for the window sp that it will not fall off. You can use a few wood logs that have a length of 1 foot.
You can also use painter’s tape to keep the windows secure instead if there’s no wood available for use.
7. Remove the screws that is used to secure the window to the regulator mechanism. You can see these screws when you look through the door frame.
Ensure that you hold onto the window carefully as an extra precaution if the wood or tape isn’t securing the window firm enough.
8. Then, move the window up by taking it from the bottom and pulling it up evenly and gently. Place a wood beneath it to serve as a wedge and hold it firmly.
9. Find the window motor. It should be on the upper right area of the frame. Then, remove the nuts and bolts that are securing it.
10. Remove the magnetized cover from the motor. Place a piece of tape on the nuts to keep them from getting lost.
11. Then, remove the axle motor. There are usually brushes around the axle loaded with spring. They come out whenever the axle is detached.
So, use the rubber bands to hold them in place by looping them around the wires that lead to the brushes. Then, you can take out the motor axle easily.
12. While keeping the window firmly in a closed position, replace the regulator mechanism and its screws.
13. Take away the wood or masking tape you used to grip the window before.
14. Make sure the window is in a closed position and place back the motor axle. Spin the axle in a clockwise manner to ensure it’s correctly placed and aligns with the spring-loaded brushes.
Make sure to spin the axle for as much you can.
15. Then, release the window and the motor axle.
16. Replace the motor cover carefully while you avoid touching the axle. Be careful of the magnetization of the cover.
17. Attach the motor to the door frame by putting the bolts and nuts into the proper position. You don’t need to reconnect the loose wires at this point because you have not repaired the windows yet.
18. Next, start to replace the parts of the frame. Put back the polyethylene. This might be a complex process as you need to make sure that all the items fits into the right place.
19. Fix the door handle, console, and everything else into the correct section.
20. Replace all the screws you removed. Check around and make sure everything fits perfectly.