Subaru Power Window System
The power windows fitted to Subaru vehicles are high quality, reliable products, but like all things automotive they eventually wear out or fail. Power window systems comprise three parts: motor, regulator and switch. Repairing a faulty power window system may be as easy as fitting a replacement switch panel, or may involve dismantling the door trim and replacing the regulator and /or motor. At ADS we have considerable experience in diagnosing and repairing these systems.
We have noticed in recent times that the Forester 03-07 Gen 2 SG9, fitted with one-touch window regulator has a inherent fault in the switch that results in a number of problems, particularly motors burning out.
Subaru Power Window Motor
The brushless motors fitted to Subaru power window regulators are robust and normally should last the lifetime of the car. However, when they are subjected to stress by defective regulators or switches, the windings burn out and the motors need replacing. These are non-serviceable components. Subaru has issued a revised power window motor for the affected Forester models.
"The next time you find yourself with a power window problem, simply drive into our shop in Peakhurst, or give us a call and we'll schedule an appointment."
Subaru Power Window Regulator
This is a mechanical component, a system of hinged levers that transfers power from the motor to the window either upward or downward, while keeping the window level at all stages in its travel. These components tend to wear in the hinged joints, particularly in city driving when the driver's window is up and down frequently. A severely worn regulator can place stress on the power window motor.
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Subaru Power Window Switch
This switch, while a simple thing to replace can be the cause of expensive repairs. Late model Subarus use a switch panel in the driver's door with switches for all four doors. The driver's door switch gets the most use and causes the most problems. Once that switch fails, it is a non-serviceable item and the whole panel has to be replaced. In models like the Forester 03-07 Gen 2 SG9, fitted with one-touch window regulator up and down, the driver's door switch fails to cut off at the end of the of the window travel leaving the motor straining and overheating.
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Cautions about replacing motors and regulators
- Don't try to replace the regulator or motor yourself. This is a complex operation, and involves removing hard-to-access bolts and screws inside the door. Even our trained technicians sometimes have difficulty with these. If the replacement regulator is incorrectly fitted you could crack your window glass or tint.
- Don't' trust self-diagnosis. If you have a problem with the power windows bring it to us to identify the cause accurately. The three parts of the system are interrelated and symptoms that seem related to one component might have originated with another.
- When the motor burns out it's a safe bet that the regulator is also severely worn. In the Forester 03-07 Gen 2 SG9 the switch is often the originating cause of problems with both motor and regulator, and with this model we recommend replacing all three components at the same time.
Common complaints and observations about Subaru power windows
- "I haven't used my window for a while and now it's stopped working"
- "When I press the switch I don't hear the motor operating."
- "The window doesn't work but the battery is fine. Can I still drive the car?"
- "The window used to work intermittently, but now it's stopped altogether"
- "Is it a good idea I buy these parts second hand?"
Early stages of Subaru power window failure
- Press the switch and here is a delay of several seconds before it works. Other times it may operate normally.
- Press the switch and nothing moves, but it works a little later, or you bang the door and then it works.
- The final stage is total failure.