Electric windows gradually dying


I have a 99 Cavalier. About three years ago the driver’s side window started not going all the way back up in one run. I had to wait a few minutes and then it would go the rest of the way.

Since then it has gradually gotten worse and now it takes upwards of an hour to get the window to go back up, with waits of 5 minutes between each quarter to half inch of movement.

Now the passenger’s window is starting down the same path.

Has anyone else had this problem?

What causes it, and how do I fix it?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated.




One oft-neglected area of routine maintenance is lubricating the window tracks. Dry silicone lubricant is good for this. As the weakened old motors struggle against the load, they overheat and shut down.


I agree. Spray silicone lubricant on the window tracks as far as you can reach. I’d advise removing the door panel to lubricated all the way down into the door.


If spraying with silicone doesn’t work, then you will have to replace the window regulator - that’s what the part is called. I have had to replace them on my GM pickup truck. The power window regulator on my truck is probably similar to yours, meaning that there are cables that go around pulleys to pull each side of the window up and down evenly. The cables start to bind as they fray with use and age - mine eventually broke, meaning that I couldn’t get the window back up unless I did it with my hands, and then it would slip down into the door a little bit with every bump I hit. The hardest part is getting the inside of the door off without breaking anything. The part itself cost about $100 each for my truck - it was over $180 at the dealer for the first one I bought. Check out www.rockauto.com or any of the other auto parts places on the web for the best price. I found Rock Auto to have the best quality parts for the price.