How To Replace A Buick Window Regulator

Window regulators are sort of like a wear item, in that the more you use your window, the more likely they are to fail. If you add thick tint to your windows, lean on the window or put weight on the window when it's only partially down, you might shorten the life of the regulator.

Whatever the cause, window regulator replacement is not at all uncommon. Here's how you go about diagnosing and repairing it.

Buick beige sedan

Signs of a Bad Window Regulator

Before assuming the window regulator is bad on your Buick, there's a few things to keep in mind. When a regulator is bad, here are the common symptoms:

  • Grinding While Window is Moving Up and Down
  • Rattling While Window is Moving Up and Down
  • Window Will Is Stuck in Position

Replacement

Once you have determined your regulator is bad, it's time for replacement. Here's how you get that done.

Tools

  • 10mm socket or driver
  • Philips screwdriver
  • Plastic pry tool or flat blade screwdriver
  • Trim panel removal tool
  • Pick
  • Painter’s tape, wedge or saddle cup assembly to hold the window while you work on it – Duct tape will leave residue on your glass or door.
  • T-30 Torx bit
  • Grease pencil
  • Safety glasses

Instructions

  1. Remove the retaining screw cover plate on the interior door trim panel. Use either a pick of a flat screwdriver.
  2. Take the 10mm socket and remove the two retaining screws off the door pull.
  3. Put the trim panel tool between the door and the trim panel and pry it apart. This will release the panel clips.
  4. Disconnect your power switch assembly.
  5. Take the trim panel off.
  6. Take off the water vapor barrier.
  7. Find the Torx bit that is retaining the interior trim panel support bracket and remove it with your T-30 Torx bit and ratchet.
  8. Take the power switch assembly and reconnect it in order to lower the glass, which will let you get to the screws that hold the window regulator in place.
  9. There are four interior door panel bracket screws that hold the regulator in place. Take your 10mm socket and ratchet set and remove them.
  10. Disconnect the power switch again and use a 10mm socket to take the two screws off.
  11. After the glass is separate from the regulator, slide it into its closed position and hold it in place with your painter’s tape, wedge or saddle cup assembly.
  12. Locate the window lift motor and disconnect it.
  13. Take off the three window lift motor screws with your 10mm socket.
  14. You can now take the regulator out through the main access. There may be some Styrofoam noise insulation inside the door. You can take this out, but be sure to put it back in when you reassemble the door.
  15. Take the new regulator and put it in the main access opening on the door.
  16. Attach the four screws that hold the support bracket in place. Use a 10mm socket.
  17. Attach the three window lift motor screws with your 10mm socket.
  18. Reconnect the window lift motor.
  19. Reconnect the power switch so you can raise the window in order to align the mounting points. Disconnect it when you have the window in place.
  20. Use your hand to move the window into place, so that it is lined up with the points that attach the glass to the regulator.
  21. Attach the window regulator to the door with your 10mm socket. Replace any insulation that you removed at this time.
  22. Put the water vapor barrier back on.
  23. Reconnect the power switch connection.
  24. Make sure you have all the trim panel retainers in place and reinstall the door trim panel. If it is not lined up, there can be damage to the trim panel or the clips.
  25. Put the two interior door pull screws back in place by using your 10mm socket.
  26. Reinstall the interior door pull cover.
  27. Make sure that your trim panel is in place and test your window regulator.

Tips

Make sure that the new regulator has a lot of grease on the slide area. If you need to, you can add white lithium grease to lubricate it.

Clean the window channels out while you have the window down. Lubricate them with silicone spray before your finish your installation.

Once you have installed a new regulator in the power windows of your Buick, they should work just as they were made to work. If you run into any trouble or this does not solve your window problem, you should consult your local Buick dealership for more assistance.