What is wrong if a window is moving up or down very slowly?

Power-operated windows (which come standard in modern cars) operate with the help of an electrical circuit and a physical track. A component of either of these may be faulty if your windows suddenly move up or down more slowly than usual.
In most cases, this problem will be more severe than simply having something stuck around your window (even though it’s helpful to check to make sure there isn’t any grime or food particles that may be clogging the window tracks first).

How to inspect a window that’s moving up or down very slowly

When you take your car to the mechanic, tell them that your windows are moving very slowly. Mention whether this happens to one or multiple windows; if it happens when the windows go up, down, or both; and if you’ve noticed any unusual noises, like scraping, rattling, or grinding.
The mechanic will take apart your door panel(s) and physically examine the electrical circuit and window tracks, looking for problems with:
  • The motor, which rotates to provide energy to roll the window. It can become worn over time.
  • The clutch or regulator, which translates energy from the motor to the window. It can become worn over time.
  • The track guides, which keep the window aligned and in place as it moves. They can break down.

How important is an inspection for a window moving up or down very slowly?

It’s ideal to take your car in for an inspection as soon as you notice the problem, but this doesn’t work for every driver’s schedule.
A slow-moving window problem is not an emergency, but keep in mind that delaying this inspection could cause worn-out parts to deteriorate further, possibly impacting the function of nearby parts and upping your repair costs in the long run.
Also consider that your windows could become stuck open or closed (which is a security hazard) or, in the case of a broken track, a window could fall out completely.

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