Aren’t power windows great? There’s nothing worse than a car sitting in the hot sun for hours and hours, then hopping in and needing to relieve the interior of the 200-degree air that festoons it, and having to reach around and hand-crank each window to find that relief. Pushing a button makes life much simpler, and cools things off much faster. It’s when you push the little button and the window doesn’t go anywhere that matters can really get hairy. There are several things which could be the cause. You could have a bad relay; there could be a short in the wiring; or, the window motor may have simply had enough. If the latter comes into play for your vehicle, here’s a look at what it’s going to take to fix it.

What All Is Replaced?

If you’re lucky, just the window motor. As we all know in the automotive world, however, there are always those unfortunate incidents that can happen. The first thing you need look at is, is the window that has become inoperable still in the up, or at least partially up, position? If so, then you probably won’t need to worry about replacing the window itself. When most window motors fail, they’ll simply freeze in one position, holding the window in place wherever it froze up. However, there are times when the window regulator can fail or the motor can fail and shoot downward at an excessive speed. When this happens the window itself could actually fall down into the door and break. There are other times when you’ll be replacing the window regulator as well as the motor. That’s only because the two come as one unit on certain models. Your technician should be able to tell you if you happen to own one of these models.

What If It’s Just the Motor?

Then you’re in luck. The average time to replace a power window motor is 2.1 hours. That averages out to roughly $120 to $150 in labor time plus the cost of the motor itself. This can usually bring the entire job to a total of anywhere from $200 to $300, depending on make and model. Keep in mind, however, that the labor time is an average here. There are several models whose labor times creep up into the four- and five-hour ranges. Look for the labor price to hike up anywhere from $100 to $200 in these instances.

What If the Regulator Is Part of the Motor?

You’re going to be in roughly the same area as far as labor times go. It will be the parts prices that will cause your bill to raise here. Most aftermarket parts manufacturers don’t make the window motors that come as a unit with the regulator. This leaves the consumer with only one option – buying parts from the dealer. What may have been a $50 window motor aftermarket is now a $300 window motor/regulator combo from the dealership. If this is the type of motor which the model sitting in your driveway is equipped with, be prepared to spend a nice chunk of change on this handy little combo pack.

(Please remember that these repair prices can also fluctuate based on geographic location, as well as vehicle make and model; and that these numbers represent averages, not actual prices offered at any specific repair facilities.)