Honda Civic EX 2001 - automatic windows not working

My 2001 Honda Civc Ex (103,000 miles only) is having window problems. First the right front window (passenger side) stopped working from the the main control (by the driver’s seat - the control cannot be “pushed down” at all at the driver’s control. It is stuck) but window does work from the passenger’s side control. Months later the rear right passenger window stopped working - does not work with either control (by the driver or the back passenger control and control button feels “stuck” I am pretty sure). And just last week, the left rear passenger stopped going down using the driver’s control button. I was able to get the window to work with the control at the rear passenger seat a few times, but now neither control will lower the window. Today when I got in the car and closed my door I looked down and thought I saw “smoke” coming from the window controls by the driver’s seat ! I had not yet started the car; and the smoke evaporated quickly. Was it just “dust”. I almost thought I smelled a “burning smell”. Hmmm . . . . I had put off fixing the other windows but think I best attend to these soon. Anyone have any suggestions? New motor for all? Or could it be fuses? Any idea of expected costs. Once my driver’s window would not go up and it just needed some trimming of some material that was blocking the window track. but I think something more serious is happening now.

All of the control circuits for the windows and locks go through the driver’s door control. Sounds like yours is shot. You’ll have to pull the door inner panel and at least clean it, probably replace it.
The rest is going to be pulling the door panels and testing the switches. You may have more work ahead of you.

You may find that you need wiring diagrams and schematics (different things). And a meter and a friend knowledgeable in electrical systems. Or, you could seek out a shop that specializes in automotive electrical systems and let them repair it.

And if by chance you put your drinks in holders that hang from the window glass slots, I recommend you discontinue the practice. Sounds like the switches are getting contaminated.

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Another place to check, for the driver’s door switch gadget to work, there’s a wiring harness that goes from the body of the car to inside the driver’s door. It crosses in the door hinge area. Over time the wires in that area can chafe from the door opening and closing and create opens or shorts.

Only the panel that covers the window switched needs to be popped out. Takes less than 10 minutes to removed/replace the switch.

I just looked at the factory wiring diagram for the power windows for your vehicle, and all the control circuits do not pass thru the master switch.

Each power window has its own fuse with a power wire to each window switch.

So it’s not the master switch preventing the other windows from operating.

I think you have a combination of problems.

A bad master switch, possibly other bad window switches, and/or bad window motors/regulators.


I believe if you look closely, you’ll see that the ground circuits, however, all go through the master switch.

I did look closely.

The ground thru the master switch is a common ground for all the window motors. Not a controlling ground.

The only reason the common ground passes thru the master switch is so all the windows except the drivers window can be disabled from the master switch.

The only way to operate a 12 volt window motor is to reverse the voltage being applied to the motor, which makes the window go up and down.


Here’s my diagram (if yours is different, please post it):

For the left rear window, if the “UP” switch in the MASTER SWITCH has failed (makes no contact with “UP” or “OFF”) wouldn’t you be unable to lower the window with the WINDOW SWITCH?

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My diagram (above) is for a 2006 Civic. Here is (reportedly) for a 1996 Civic:


No difference in how the master and door switches interact that would change my answer.