How easy to get to window motor/regulator in door?

My 90 Camry drivers door window is stuck in the up position - luckily up considering the cold! I think the regulator is the problem since I can still hear the motor trying. I could get the inside door cover off easily enough but now I see a perforated steel cover hiding all the rest of the door inards. I can’t see enough to detect any problem. The shop manual doesn’t give any advice how to proceed from here. If I start removing bolts & screws, how likely is it that I might break the glass or otherwise cause a mess that I won’t be able to get back in? I’m guessing much of the devices are attached to this steel cover that needs to first come out.

Is there anything out on the web that might show me how to proceed?

The instructions can be found. Is there a chance it is frozen shut?

Working inside a door is tough. You need small hands, and good light to see anything.

Maybe I misunderstood. I thought the inner steel cover also has to come off before you can do anything. The holes in the cover are so small.

If you look at the steel inner door, you’ll see a series of holes that allow access to the window glass mounting hardware. Unfortunately, it usually requires that the window be lowered to get the mounting hardware to align with the holes. When I run into this situation where the window glass can’t moved to align the hardware with holes, I let the owner of the vehicle know that more than likely the window will also require replacement along with the window motor/regulator.


This is not an easy “DIY” project. Small hands and a lot of patience with some mechanical skills are needed. A good repair manual is also a must if you have no experience with vehicle doors.

It’s possible the glass was frozen, you tried to lower the window, and something broke. The metal you are seeing behind the door panel does not come off without cutting it apart and welding it back together when you are done. There is, believe it or not, enough space and holes provided to make repairs possible. Depending on your confidence level with this repair, you should either have a pro do it, or just tackle the project yourself after doing a little research and learning everything you can about the repair. To prevent damage to the glass while working inside the door, use a strip of duct tape to hold the glass in the up position. Go from the outside glass surface, up around the top of the door frame, and down to the inside surface of the glass. I do this all the time. Simple and effective.

Not sure where you live, but I’d wait for warmer weather to do this.

I’d try and find a similar car at a salvage yard. Go take apart the window, regulator, motor. Once you figure out how it all goes together, it may not be too difficult.

The motor and regulator may need to be replaced as one unit, not sure on your car.

Tip: Duct tape the window in the up position, then disconnect it from the rest of the hardware. This way you don’t have to remove the glass from the door and you minimize the risk of breaking it.

Maybe try a silicone lubricant first in case it’s just frozen or sticky.

I have a '91 Camry, body style is the same. It’s been a couple of years since I took the door apart but there was no steel cover to remove. As others have said, there are access holes in that metal cover that will allow you to access the motor, window, channels etc. You need a garage to work in for your own comfort.

Since you hear the motor trying to move I’m guessing that the window has come out of the channel or else a bolt has come loose and the window isn’t traveling true and is getting pinched.

Mine was going up and not down, then not at all. I thought the motor was bad then found out it wasn’t getting a ground from the driver control panel. The motor travels in one direction for up, the + and - are reversed at the switch and the window goes down. I don’t recall any regulator. To fix my problem I just grounded the switch to the chassis. The passenger can control the window but the driver can’t. (drives my wife nuts)

Take the decorative panel off and you should be able to work between that metal plate and the door skin. The motor is attached to the metal plate, check all the bolts that hold it in. Check the channels and the brackets attached to the windows. You should be able to give it power and see where it’s binding. I’ll bet it’s just some loose bolts.