How do I troubleshoot front passenger side power window that goes down but not up?

Dan Matulich

Asked by Jul 05, 2016 at 01:07 PM about the 2009 Hyundai Elantra GLS

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

The front passenger side power window in my Hyundai Elantra has been temperamental for a while now. For
the past year or so it has been able to go down easily from either the driver or passenger switch, but would go
up very slowly (or occasionally not at all). It finally stopped going up at all the other day (right before a huge
thunderstorm, of course).

I'm really inexperienced with respect to any car repairs so I'm hoping to get some advice regarding how to
troubleshoot this. I know the motor is OK because the problem persists when I swap it out with a proven
working motor from one of the other windows. I can manually move the window up and down by taking out the
motor and moving the gear (or the window) by hand, so the mechanical track part seems to be good (I think
this is called the regulator?).

I'm not sure how to test the switch outside of buying a new one (unfortunately, the power connector for the
passenger side switch is unlike the ones for the other windows so I can't swap them). However, it is my
understanding that the switches rarely go bad so this may not be the problem. Also, the window-up part of the
switch fails on both the driver and passenger side switches and it's unlikely that they both failed at the same

I suppose there could be a problem with the wires themselves, but I'm not sure how to test this. I have a
voltmeter/multimeter but I'm not really sure how to use it. There are also wires that go into the engine
compartment and ultimately connect to the battery at some point (obviously), but I'm not sure what other
components may be in between and whether or not these could be the cause of the problem.

Any advice?

4 Answers

Tom Demyan

Usually the window regulator assembly needs to be replaced. The cable binds or breaks in most cases.

Dan Matulich

Thanks, Tom. I can see this being a possibility and I was on the verge of further disassembling the door to get at the assembly, but wanted to see if there were other things I could check first. One thing I noticed was that if I disconnect the motor from the regulator assembly but keep it connected to the switch I can make the motor move in one direction (which would move the window down), but not the other. Instead of moving in the direction that would move the window up, I hear a faint click inside the motor. For this reason, I don't think it's the regulatory assembly. If all was well with the motor, switch, and wiring then the motor should just turn the gear in the opposite direction, right?

Zack DiBetta

Dan, I have the same problem with the same make and model. Did you figure out what was wrong and more importantly, how to fix it? I couldn't raise the window from either the driver or passenger side switches but if I clicked the switch (on either side) enough times it would eventually catch and raise the window. I figured it has to be a bad contact on the motor but haven't tried other working motors yet. Did you come up with a way to pinpoint the problem and/or rule out the regulator? Zack

Dan Matulich

Hi Zack, I haven't found a solution yet, but I've been away on vacation and side-tracked with some other things so I haven't really done much to investigate over the past few weeks. I can add that my problem started the same way where the window would eventually catch after clicking the switch on either side a bunch of times, so it may be a matter of time before it fails altogether. I'll be sure to update this thread with any new info.

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