Window Shopping

A few weeks ago, the passenger window of the 04' Camry started failing us. The window started to lug and lurch when we tried lowering it or raising it, kind of like the motor was failing. We left it closed and decided we better get it fixed before our racing trip coming up in August. Well, today we're planning on giving blood after work and the location is near the car dealer. It would be an ideal time to both drive and then drop off a car, so I called the dealer to figure out whats involved.
Well to my surprise, it costs a bunch of money to make a car window go up and down. First there is the inspection fee to determine if its just the regulator or the motor, or both. And then of course they don't have parts for THAT in stock, so it takes a day to get it from somewhere else, another dealer or supplier. So essentially, it means two trips to the dealer - or leave the car for two days. For us its not that big a deal because we have other wheels to get to work, but for some people this would suck.
So I'm wondering what is the value of the having a window go up and down, and what is the urgency to do it. Personally, we do not like to own cars or anything for that matter, that is makeshift or only partially operable. I like everything to work as designed, so we usually fix anything that breaks right away, or we replace it. I hate broken crap, or using stuff that doesn't work. I hate that the back window windshield wiper on the SUV is wacky and only clears 1/2 the window, but I guess I can live with that. But can I live with a window that doesn't go down? Maybe. Is it worth $682 to have the window go down? Maybe.
But you know us - the frugal ones, we have to check out our options, call another dealer who might have parts, find a competitor coupon that they would match, or go to the local guy Elmer around the corner who's done good work for us before on the cars. I might even check out youtube to see if there's a video on how to do it myself. Who knows it might be really simple, just to pop out the door molding and pop in a quick connect regulator. Its possible. I could seek advice from my un-frugal brother who is a service manager at a dealer, but he would tell me to quit being so cheap and just bring it to the dealer.
We ultimately will get the window fixed because the car only has 64,000 miles on it and is intended to last forever for us. But for now all we'll be doing is some window shopping.


  1. Anonymous8/01/2010

    Always check an auto salvage yard to buy a "used" part - then get Elmer to install it. This method has saved me TONS - including several windows over the years.

  2. Anonymous1/09/2012

    You can fix it yourself for under $50 and a few hours of your time. It's extremely easy to ordet the motor you need, a manual for your car, and look up step by step how tos on YouTube and google.

    Three of our Jeep windows have failed: we fixed last one ourselves for price above.