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Mazda3 window motor failing

My wife complained that her 2005 Mazda3 driver’s window is not working properly. It will go down about 3" before stopping and making a horrible noise. I am able to physically push the window up and down while engaging the window button, but I’m guessing a motor or something has failed.

I took the door off and took two videos. The first video is with the window all the way down and me pushing the button to move it up. It does not move and the awful noise seemed to be emanating from the silver cylindrical part (what I’m guessing is the motor) in the middle. The second video is of me physically encouraging the window to move up and down while depressing the button. You can hear more of the motor’s struggling noises in that video which I was hoping would help a diagnosis.

I’m hoping someone can help me identify the part I need to replace. If it’s just the motor, it would seem I would only need this part. Or could it be the regulator?

Thanks in advance.

You’re lucky. In some of these designs the motor and regulator has to be purchased and replaced as an assembly, but based on your link it looks like yours is designed to allow replacement of the motor by itself.

If you’ve verified that the tracks are clean, and the glass can be readily raised or lowered manually with the motor removed, change the motor.

Thanks! If it turns out to be the regulator, I could purchase this part. Do you know if marrying the regulator and motor is pretty straightforward? The motor-regulator combo is $150 and I’d prefer not to go that route if it’s just the motor.

I’m not an expert, but the sound is definitely that of gears not engaging properly, probably due to being broken.

The gears are mostly part of the motor assembly, I believe. However, looking at your regulator photo it appears that the connection between the motor assembly and it is a gear-like piece that engages the center of the regulator.

But when you disassemble it, you should be able to see that that part of the assembly is broken or not.

Me, since the window is all apart, I’d just replace both parts.

I just went back into the car door. When the window goes up and down, I can’t see any moving parts. This has me believe that the motor is accessible by removing the panel (which is what I did), but the regulator lies behind the black steel “cover” that is bolted on. I’ll replace whatever part is most likely to blame, but it looks like getting to the regulator is a much more involved job. Since they sell the parts separately (and it’s actually $30 cheaper, at least from 1A-Auto), I’m inclined to see if it’s a bad motor first and then buy the regulator separately if need be.

RockAuto shows the motor/regulator as an assembly.

Which is good. Because you only want to do this job once.


Just curious why you say you’d only want to do this job once. Replacing the entire assembly of I only need to replace the motor is significantly more money and effort.

Because I never liked working inside a door with the sharp metal edges.

That’s why I replace everything and get it over with.



Ii always wear leather work gloves when working in spaces enclosed by metal edges.
But it truly is a matter of preference. :relaxed:

Dang tough to replace a regulator and/or a motor with gloves. Too many little parts and wire connections and such even for mechanics gloves and my meaty fingers. I go bare handed and look like I’ve been fighting with the cat afterwards. :grinning:

I agree with @Tester on replacing the regulator and motor at the same time. I also like the Dorman replacements. I tried 3 different manufacturers for my own replacements, and the top quality of Dorman was the best. It fit without fuss and worked as long as I kept the car. Note that Dorman does have quality levels. The lower quality level may not fit as well (mine didn’t), but the slightly more expensive high quality parts fit without fuss.