If I Had a Hammer . . .

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Feb 18, 2014

Dear Tom and Ray:

I have a Chrysler 300M with a stuck driver's window. The mechanical function is fine -- when it works, it works fine. But heat seems to glue the window closed: When it's hot out, it sticks to the plastic liner and won't go down until the temperature drops. I live in Florida, so the temperature doesn't drop very often! Is there a grease, lubricant or cleaner I can use to fix this? I need that window to function.

-- BJ

TOM: Have you considered a hammer, BJ?

RAY: It's not entirely clear to me that it's sticking, BJ. You might assume it's "getting stuck" in the up position. But the window motor could be dying.

TOM: It's not unusual for a window motor to fail intermittently when it's on the way out.

RAY: Unlike my brother, who tries to be consistent by failing all the time.

TOM: Your window switch, or window relay, also could be failing in extreme heat -- remember, it's a lot hotter inside a parked car than it is outside. And when do you want to open the window? When you sit down in a hot car, and it's 150 degrees inside, and you sear your thighs on the "300M" logos on the seat cushions.

RAY: So the first question for you is: Can you hear or feel the motor trying to work when the window is stuck? When you hit the window switch, is the motor straining to lower the glass?

TOM: If it is, then the switch and the motor are fine and the window is, indeed, stuck somehow.

RAY: In that case, the first thing I'd try is some silicone spray. There's rubber weatherstripping in the door that the window slides into when it's closed. Hit the inside of that weatherstripping on all three sides of the door frame with some silicone spray. Cans of silicone spray often come with thin tubes that allow you to get that gunk into small spaces. That's what you want to use.

TOM: If a good shot of silicone doesn't get the window moving freely, then you have to suspect that the window regulator is sticking. That's the mechanical erector set inside the door that actually lifts and lowers the glass. If it's binding up, then you have to get someone to remove the door panel and replace it for you.

RAY: And if that doesn't fix it, you'll have to drive to a cold-weather climate and sell the car there. Good luck, BJ.

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