Window off track

Following $4K in repairs including a replacement of the driver’s side door with a used door on a 2002 Chevy Prizm (with 107K miles that the insurance adjustor claimed was worth $4.45K), I’m taking it back for the 5th time in 2 weeks to have the driver’s side window repaired. It keeps coming out of the rubber window channel and won’t close completely, or in this case for the second time, the window came loose (same condition required that the entire window be replaced last time because you can’t buy the plastic pieces that are glued to the windows). Most recently, they repaced the mechanical levers that move the power window.

The body shop & insurance company warranty their work but the guy at the body shop said that the insurance company will total the car if he submits any more repairs, so they’ve started replacing parts on their own dime.

Apparently, this door has the channel guides welded in place, so they don’t adjust. The window seems to loosen each time the door is shut, rattling soon after the first couple of times I shut the door. He thinks I’m just slamming the door too hard (which is bunk since I’m not that ticked off about it, yet.) I think they haven’t addressed problem that allows the window to work free of the channel. During visit before last, I noticed that the inside door panel is cracked on both sides of the inside latch handle, so I’m wondering if the door panel is supposed to support the rubber channel he’ll replace next. It isn’t obvious because the upholstery isn’t torn.

The inner door panel isn’t supporting any part of the window mechanism, and slamming the door isn’t the problem. Lots of people slam doors and the windows don’t come off the track.

The part about not submitting any more repair claims to the insurance company sounds fishy to me. Why does the body shop care whether or not the insurance company totals the car? They may be trying to short-cut a proper repair. If it takes more time and money to fix it correctly, so be it, the insurance company will either pay or not, but not submitting claims is bogus.

If they’re not fully removing the inner panel (which is necessary to work on the window mechanism) it might explain the cracking. Correct removal of the panel is not difficult, and does not damage the panel. Bending a still-partially-attached inner door panel out of the way to reach the window can crack the panel.

The bodyshop belongs to the dealership where I bought the car, and they are approved by the insurance company. Unaffiliated shops didn’t even complete their estimates because they assumed the car would be totaled. I was surprised when the insurance adjuster told me that it would be repaired. I was happy and told the body shop manager so. After all, who wants a car payment if they have a car that works well?

I could see how the costs would approach total loss by now. They may be trying to keep me happy. And who knows what the adjuster told the body shop manager. The problem seems to have come with the used door. I think the inner door panel is the only relevant part from the original car. After every moving part except the window motor has been replaced, it seems like the only other possibility is that the welded door channel guide was bent or twisted somehow. I’ve been back 4 times, and they have done all of the work at no cost to me including replacing a window and regulator parts.

Well, if there was only $450 between the damage estimate and the value of the car, then they could very well be at or over the total by now.

Seems like they’re doing all they can. Good luck.

Thanks. Tomorrow they try the new rubber. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.