I have a 2005 Saturn Ion with a failed power window motor (front driver's side). The removal procedure requires that the window be lowered, but it's stuck up (closed).

How do I get the power window regulator and glass into the lowered position without the help of the motor? This regulator is a big X shape, not a cable-driven design.

  • 1
    How accessible is the motor/winder mechanism? Is it possible to get at it to turn the motor manually? e.g. using a pair of pliers to grip the motor shaft and rotate it?
    – Nick C
    Jul 3, 2011 at 11:54
  • It's not very accessible. The entire assembly is inside the metal part of the door. I can't see the motor where it's mounted. I have the replacement part and I can't move that mechanism either - it feels as if there's some sort of lock built into the motor.
    – Jamie W
    Jul 3, 2011 at 16:03
  • I'm not familiar with that model, but the last power window I did, I seem to recall that we disconnected the motor drive arm first. Then we collapsed the scissors manually, and then were able to do the rest of the procedure. Jul 28, 2011 at 12:24
  • I thought I would update this question I asked years ago. I ended up paying a shop to replace the assembly. They told me that the old one was working when they did the work, so presumably they simply lowered the window with the (intermittent) motor.
    – Jamie W
    Jan 22, 2015 at 19:56

4 Answers 4


This is what the mechanism should look like. enter image description here

You'll have to find a way to get at the three gold screws that hold the motor to the rest of the assembly. This will allow you to disengage the motor, so the rest of the assembly can move freely.

Be careful: once you disengage the motor the window could drop and break. You'll want to get somebody to hold it, or wedge something under the lift arm (inside the door) so it can't move.

  • The easiest way I've found to keep the window up (with one which has a complete frame around it) is to use paper tape or painter's tape (the blue stuff). Wrap it over the top of the door frame in 3-4 places with tape on both sides of the window. It will hold it in place nicely until you can get the new one installed, or you have the need to manage the window down. Jun 5, 2015 at 11:59

I used this method on a 2007 Civic Hybrid. The regulator was bad so I needed to change the entire mechanism. Unfortunately, the bolts for the window glass retainers where behind the door frame (the window was stuck in the closed position). I used my Ryobi 18V battery and two wires. Using the wiring harness that was connected to the window controller I pushed each wire into the proper connection for the motor and then touched the other ends to the Ryobi battery. The window tried to move in the up position. I reversed the wires on the battery and the window came down to where I could get access to the bolts. A word of caution; make sure you get the window where you want it on the first try. My window did not move again after that (guess the motor was 100% done by then).

  • I keep a 12v battery around which is used in my FiOS and also my garage door opener. These are small sealed lead acid batteries which are no longer any good for their intended purpose, but will still hold a charge. Same idea as what you've written, but it's the standard voltage for window motors, door locks, and even for keeping the radio from losing all its settings while changing out the battery (not your hybrid, that's for sure!). Dec 31, 2018 at 13:32

Is the motor in the car? If so that is your lock. If not, can you remove the windows glass from the regulator, meaning just undo the bottom clamps? This would allow you to hold the glass, and pull the regulator with some force. Normally once the motor is out, there should be no reason why you can't actuate the windows by hand.


If the gears to the motor are out you can move the glass by hand,but most often the electrical component of the motor is out for one reason or another. If this is the case you can jump the motor with a cordless drill battery (even a small one will do). First get a cordless battery and 2 wires have one person hold the 2 wires on to the battery connections while you put the wires into the connections that are on the motor. The window will move up or down, if it moves up and you want it to move down reverse the wires you are holding onto the motor connections.

I know your thinking well if the electrical is out on the motor how's it going to work well simple the motor draws power when slight electrical malfunctions occur the amount of power the motor is drawing will not do it anymore due to the motors electrical components not pulling enough juice. By using the battery you are boosting it with 12,or 18 volts whatever battery you are using this will not hurt the motor or wiring and can get your window up in place till you get a motor or down in the place to remove the glass retainers. Also if this is the case and you want to try to fix the motor which often only requires cleaning it go on youtube and you'll find a video on that.

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