What Is a Window Regulator?

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A window regulator is electric or manual, and it basically controls the up and down motions of a side window on a car. Learn about window regulators, or track assemblies, with help from a certified master mechanic in this free video on car maintenance.

Part of the Video Series: Car Maintenance
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Video Transcript

Good afternoon, my name's Tom Brintzenhofe, certified master mechanic out of Redding PA. Today I'm going to ask the question, "What is a window regulator?" Now there is two different types of doors we have out there. We have manual doors and electrical, electrically driven doors. Now, either way the window regulators are basically the same, they're either driven with a window crank or they're driven with a motor through a switch. Now they're called a lot of different things. Some people out there call them track assemblies, window assemblies, the window guides. The window guides are basically your two arms on the right and left of the window to help it go straight up and down. But the window regulator is basically this assembly in here which is attached, this one is electrically driven, attached to a motor. As you can see it, I'll move it up and down here, you can actually see it moving up and down. This particular assembly is driven with two arms on the inside of this window and the guides on the outside keep the window straight. As this thing picks up, I don't know if you can see the little roll in here. This roll, and there's another one on the other side, that come together as this is coming up through, this roll moves and it ends up pushing the window up. But that's basically what a window regulator is. The only other difference is, the manual one, you'd have a big gear in there as you crank, it takes this thing as it's either going this way, pushes the window up, or going clockwise, it'll bring your window down. But hopefully that sums it up for you on what is a window regulator.

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