How Automobile Power Windows Work

window-tint-beforeHouston windshields often develop cracks as we drive along the highways. To prevent these cracks from growing larger, your vehicle will need to go to a Houston auto glass repair professional as soon as possible. If you are concerned about time, a Houston mobile auto glass repair technician can come to your home or office to perform the repairs.

You may also have a problem with your automatic windows, but you will be able to have these repaired as well. First, you might wish to learn what causes your windows to move up and down so that you can be an educated consumer. The explanation below gives you a clear picture of what happens when you push the buttons to close or open your windows.

How Power Windows Work

Manufacturers started to add the power window technology to their vehicles in the 1970s, and it is comprised of four basic components. The most important part is the battery. Your vehicle has a power distribution box underneath the hood, and this box receives energy from the battery. A large wire transmits power from the battery to the power distribution box, but smaller wires conduct energy to the vehicle’s other systems. One of these is the ignition switch.

Automatic windows obtain their power from the ignition, so when the energy runs from the battery to the power distribution box to the ignition switch, the automatic windows have the potential to receive energy. With this being the case, the windows cannot be opened unless the key is in the ignition and someone turns it toward the “on” position.

Your vehicle has an instrument panel, and the fuse block is usually located underneath this panel. After power reaches the ignition switch, it travels to a fuse within the fuse box. Then, the energy finally reaches the door after it moves through an opening in the door jamb to an electrical switch located within the door.

The electrical switch is known as a “jumper wire” that causes the two sets of wire circuits to close so that the window’s motor can function. For example, when you push the button up to close your window, the electrical switch temporarily closes one set of wires, but pushing the window down causes the jumper wire to temporarily close the other set of wires. This mechanism is what allows the motor to move in different directions.

Next, energy travels down the wires to the power window’s motor. This motor contains an output shaft that will either turn clockwise or counterclockwise. This motion turns a small gear that subsequently comes in contact with a larger gear. The larger gear is shaped like a 90-degree portion of a circle, and it causes an instrument that is something like a pair of scissors located at the bottom of the glass window to rotate. This causes the scissor-like instrument to move the window up or down.

Safety Features

Automatic windows are relatively safe. According to, they are only responsible for 57 deaths in the past 23 years. However, 2,000 people have been injured by power windows in 2012 alone, and half of those injured were kids. The problem is with older technology. Older vehicles have “toggle switches” and “rocker switches,” and when a child accidentally depresses one of these older levers, the window can close quickly and cause injury.

New technology eliminates the fear of accidental injury. The latest is a “lever switch,” and it requires that people pull rather than push to close the window. Passenger vehicles have been required to have this new technology since October of 2010. Furthermore, some vehicles have reversing systems that cause the window to automatically run in the opposite direction when it detects an obstacle in the path of the closing window.

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