Front windows don't go down, painfull troubleshooting
Background- the 2001 SSEi front windows would not roll down after the car was sitting in Arizona for six months. The rear windows worked. The rear regulators were replaced in 2010 after the windows dropped and would not roll back up.
Driving from AZ to PA, the front passenger window worked once. The front driver'* window started to work and then stopped working.
There is a roll of wire in a plastic that goes from the dash to the door that contains power, speaker wires, etc. It is common thought that a orange wire in the space between the cabin and the door breaks over time. I pulled out the wire harness (super pain in the but) and found no wire issues. I had voltage to the door, but heard a clicking when trying to roll down the windows so I thought maybe enough voltage, but a frayed wire could be preventing amps from running.
With the wires looking ok, I replaced the DDM. Still no change in front windows not comming down. I then replaced the window switches, although I thought unlikely both went bad at same time. Still no windows going down. Next I replaced the door wires with an extra set, still no windows going down.
I reluctantly pulled the plastic water shield off the door and inspected the window actuator. I don't like removing this shield as it is the source of water entering the cabin under the carpet and I spent weeks doing a permanent seal a few years back.
With the door open, I inspected the window actuator and motor, connections, etc. All looked well. Prior failures always involved a broken cable and a dropped window, an inspection showed everything intact-ed.
I then took a heavy steel mallet and hit the regulator motor, Low and behold, the driver'* window started working. I went to front passenger side and did the same, but without pulling the plastic water shield and the front passenger window still did not work. I then pulled the plastic water shield and struck the actuator motor directly, and it then began to work.
Attached is a picture of what I tore apart in the diagnoses- I am sorry to say I spent a lot and time and money when all along it was the regulator motor. Maybe they are tired and the AZ heat put them in a coma. I will be working the windows every chance I get to give them exercise.
Lot of lessons learned in this job- number one is to not pull the wire harness from the cab to the door. Is is near impossible to pull back in place, if I did not have a plumbers snake I don't think I could of got it back without a major cab dis-assembly.
2001 Bonneville SSEi, 219,000 miles.
Whats in my driveway:
1998 Chevy S10 4x4 ZR2, 1999 Olds Bravada, 2001 Pontiac Bonneville SSEi, 2007 Ford F-350 regular cab 2WD, 2008 BMW 335i coupe (Wife'* replacement for her Bonneville). The Bonneville is my favorite of all the cars in the driveway.