What can I do to fix my power windows that keep falling down?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Jan 01, 2000

Dear Tom and Ray:

I have a '95 Kia Sportage, which, on the whole, I have liked very much. About a year ago, though, one of my power windows broke, causing the glass to slide down into
my door. The window wouldn't go up anymore. The dealership said it would cost about $350 to fix, so I had them put a block under the window instead to keep it
closed. A few weeks ago, it fell into the door again, and I had to have it re-blocked. In the past month, two more windows have taken a dive, so to speak. Is this
something with Kias, and is there some recourse? Can I get a kit to convert the car from power windows to manual windows? Thanks. -- Dina

RAY: I don't know of any kit that turns power windows into roll-up windows, Dina. I've seen electric sunroofs with "emergency cranks" (because if THAT motor fails
in the rain, you're in REAL trouble), but there's no such kit for windows as far as I know.

TOM: And in general, I'm afraid you're out of luck. You bought a cheap car. You got a great price, right? You even say that, on the whole, you like it very much. But
most cheap cars are cheap because their components are, what? Cheap! And although there's no technical service bulletin on the window regulators, my guess is that they
were underdesigned and probably ARE failing for other Kia owners as well.

RAY: My advice would be to look for a special on "blocks." If money is an issue and you're not planning to keep this car forever, I'd use blocks for all but the driver's
window. That one you're really going to have to fix. You'll realize that after you miss a few "exact change" toll buckets while leaning out the door and have 80 gazillion
cars honking at you and using unfriendly hand gestures.

TOM: Or when you ride with my brother the morning after he's eaten a meatball sub.

RAY: But that's the chance you take when you buy a bargain-price car, Dina. Overall, you may have done well -- even after you pay for repairs. But annoyances like this
one are the risk you take when you buy a Kia instead of a more expensive Honda or Toyota.

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