2014 Subaru Forester - Window stutter

2014 Subaru Forester 2.5 Driver’s window “stutters” when wet and being operated. Does not stutter when dry. Tech stated that the “run channel and window belt trim pieces” are the cause. Vehicle has less than 48,000 miles on odometer. Has always been kept in garage. Does this sound reasonable? I know the millage has nothing to do with the window operating properly. The stutter is very loud. I don’t know how the window operating system works.

Apples vs. oranges but my Corolla has been parked outside since I bought it 10+ years ago and it doesn’t do that. Nor does my wife’s 2016 Tucson. So no, it doesn’t seem normal to me but it could well be normal for Subarus. In any event, your warranty expired years ago so I’d go ahead and pay to have it fixed. My gut is telling me it will only get worse.

Try some silicone spray in the channels.


No, on both counts.
It never happened with my two previous Outbacks, nor has it happened with my current 11.5 year old one, with 117k+ miles on the odometer.

I can tell you that it did happen with a friend’s 5 year old Maxima, and–as NYBo suggested–a few applications of silicone spray remedied the situation.

Agreed with NYBo.

The OP’s description suggested deteriorating weatherstripping or something similar. Wouldn’t silicone spray just be a band-aid?

Seems a possible explanation. What needs to be done first is remove the inside door panel for a look-see what’s going on inside the door. I presume this is a power window, right? If so inside the door there’ll be an electric motor that has a rotating gear than causes the window regular mechanism to go up and down, which pushes the glass up and down through the window belt trim. There may be something that is gunked up and causing the regulator mechanism to not work smoothly, or there may be a problem with the electric motor, its gear, or its power supply. If you want to do something youself, look in the hinge area for a place that wires go from the car body to the car door. See anything obviously wrong there, wire insulation scraped off, broken wires, etc?

Maybe, but sometimes a Band aid is all you need. Reapply as needed.

Yes, it is a known problem. There is a service bulletin instructing to replace the glass run.

This bulletin announces a design change made to the front door glass run channels. Water can
enter the run channels and cause a stick-slip (judder) condition to occur as the door glass opens and closes. The judder is transferred through the window regulator mechanism in the form of mechanical resistance to the electric window motor.

MC-10165550-0001.pdf (nhtsa.gov)


I had a similar problem years ago on a Ford car, turned out to be a missing fastener. The result was one arm of the window regulator was not held in place correctly. Easy to solve, as the fastener was laying at the bottom, and where it went was obvious. A few turns of a screwdriver, fixed.