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Power Windows


I have a 2010 Ford Escape. A few months ago, my power windows intermittently failed to work. The problem was most acute on the drivers window, but eventually spread. It’s now reached a point where none of the windows work at all - neither from the drivers switches nor from the switch in each door. I replaced the fuse, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten. My question is: what should I check next?

Thank you!

That’s awfully young for this problem. Have you had any work done on the car that involved battery replacement? Power windows on modern cars are often controlled by a “Body Control Module”, and the Ford dealer might be able to print out a “reinitialization protocol” for you.

Another likelihood is that the wiring harness has frayed and broken where it routes between the door and the unibody.

Or there might be a batch of bad regulator motors and you might have gotten some.

I checked for TSBs and recalls on this, and there are none. I linked the site just as an FYI.

All I can suggest from here is to get it diagnosed. This is not something you’re going to be able to fix yourself unless you’re good with wrenches… and multimeters.

Could it be the drivers switch box? At first, I thought that didn’t make sense since the other switches don’t work either, but, then, I read somewhere else that if the master switch box doesn’t work nothing else will either. I think I could replace the switch box, but, you’re right, I don’t feel capable of tracking down an electronic failure someplace else. Or, more precisely, I’d rather not do that. Of course, I’d rather not spend several hundred dollars at the dealer either.

“I read somewhere else that if the master switch box doesn’t work nothing else will either.”

Yes, because all the circuits include the master switch (and the wiring to it).

Pull the master switch out and check power to it. You may need to take off the door card to get access. If you don’t have power going to the master switch, the problem is before it. If you get power to the switch, check power out of it to see if it is faulty. If you get no power out, the switch should be replaced. BTW, make sure the power in cable is hooked up before you check power out. And having a wiring diagram will help determine what the wires on the master switch are for.

Thanks you! How do you recommend I check for power? Is a multimeter necessary? I have a basic voltage tester (for doing home repairs…). Would that be sufficient?

A multimeter and voltmeter are often the same thing. The voltmeter will probably work if it has two probes you can touch to the wires on the connectors. If it plugs into an outlet, it won’t work. You can get inexpensive multimeters at Radio Shack, Home Depot, or Lowes. An analog meter can be as inexpensive as $10. More expensive ones have features like continuity testing. You will also need to know which wires are the power in and ground so that you can test for power. You might find a wiring diagram on line if you don’t have one. If you have power in, check power out. Power in OK and no power out implies there is a problem with the master switch.

Excellent!! Thank you! My wife has the car right now, but I’ll take a crack at this in a little bit.

" I have a basic voltage tester (for doing home repairs…). Would that be sufficient? "

If this means one that just lights up for 120/240V, it won’t work for 12V.

I recommend against using an analog meter for auto repair

I would not recommend a $10 analog multimeter for repair, or anything else for that matter, but I do prefer a good analog (20k ohms/volt or higher) to a digital any day. Digital VOMs do not load the circuit at all and under some conditions that can result in false readings.

If it is only to test continuity, just about any meter is acceptable.


But don’t use an analog meter to check airbag or pcm circuits