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On an older Dodge van the switch to roll up the windows on the driver and passenger sides work for, say a month, and then they don't, and then one side works, and then the other side, and then neither side. It's crazy. Most suggest a motor but that seems unlikely a cause on both doors at the same time. Ideas?

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Is it the "master" switch on the drivers door or the individual switches on each door that are problematic? –  mikes Jun 10 '12 at 22:30

3 Answers 3

Intermittent open / short / bad ground in the wiring, flaky motors, or bad switches. You could pull a door panel and get busy with a multimeter when one is misbehaving. Assuming the circuit is fused, which it should be, you could probe at the fuse block and maybe localize a wiring fault to one side of the fuse.

You could always take the shotgun approach and start replacing parts on one side and see if you get lucky. Also, check any and all contacts / connectors, staticsan has a good point there.

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First time my MR2 did this it was due to a bad switch. Second time I had the problem, well, I still have it and haven't managed to isolate it yet... :-) –  Brian Knoblauch Jun 11 '12 at 13:25
    
Just checked out the switch and it seemed to work okay. And I could tell 12 volts was getting to the motor and that it was reversed when I reversed the switch. But could BOTH motor work and then be broken intermittently like that? Maybe it's a heat issue (live in Phoenix, AZ) . . . what parts could be susceptible to heat? –  tooshel Jun 11 '12 at 22:44
    
@tooshel Try that again when it's not working, if possible. Transient problems are the worst. As far as things that could be susceptible to heat, just about everything. I could believe thermal cycling as the cause for an intermittent fault in the switches, wiring or motor. –  Mark Johnson Jun 13 '12 at 17:54

It's probably the switches. The contacts do degrade over time. They can usually be cleaned if you know what you are doing, but most people would recommend just replacing them. Also if the windows have limit switches, these could also be sticking.

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I opened up the door and disconnected the motor and checked to see if I saw a voltage change when I clicked the switches and sure enough I saw +12 volts and -12 volts for up and down. I've all but ruled out the switch. –  tooshel Jun 16 '12 at 6:14

If your car has an alarm that automatically roll up the windows, it may be a good place to look at, too.

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