In a recent post I mentioned a problem with our Scion tC’s driver-side window not working properly, though I didn’t go into many details. Several months ago her window stopped working and she wasn’t able to roll it back up. It would go about halfway and then stop. I pulled the door panel off and started poking around. It was a learning experience – I’m not a mechanic and though I will do some work on our cars I’d prefer to have a repair manual. As far as I can tell there aren’t any Hanes or similar manuals for the Scion line (at least none that we can afford).

The day the window failed I was able to guide the window back into place once I realized the front part of the window was sliding in between the rubber guide and the door. I then disabled the window control.

Since then I’ve explored the problem and I eventually discovered the cause. The window track was bent out of shape and crushed by a metal piece of the door (at the front, where it connects to the body). Based on other people’s forum posts, and what I could see of the damage, the door was opened so far that a part inside the door was bent out of position and into the track.

I made an attempt to fix it but I ran into a stumbling block that I haven’t tried to resolve, yet. My final plan was to remove the speaker in the door so I could access the window track and door piece and bend them back into position. Well, it turns out that instead of screws the speakers are attached with rivets. Removing the speaker requires that I purchase a rivet gun and the correct rivets or find screws that will work (or build a new mount for the speakers). I’m not certain what we’re going to do but at least we know what the problem is.

We figured out that the problem was caused when a strong gust of wind caught the door and pulled it open too far.

Updated 10/04/2011: We took the car to a body shop in our town but the result wasn’t encouraging. The shop told us that we’d have to buy a used door (estimated at about $150-$250), which they would remove the replacement part from. Labor was estimated at $150. The door estimate is better than I’ve seen in many forum posts, but it still seems unnecessary. In the end, I think it’s probably only the window track that needs to be replaced and that there’s got to be some place we can get one for less.

In several different forum posts individuals reported getting a body shop to simply bend the part back into place. I had the sense that the body shop hadn’t considered this. It’s possible the part is bent to a point at which it wouldn’t be useful, but this was never mentioned.

But then, I’m not an expert on automotive repairs.

We’re not sure if we’re taking her car back there to get it fixed. Aside from a few other things about the experience that didn’t leave us with a good feeling, I was uncertain why the owner wasn’t able to figure out how I had disabled the window, especially after I tried to tell him more than once exactly what I did (he also didn’t understand why I didn’t just unplug the cable but the reason is simple – I wanted the door lock and the passenger-side window controls to still function).

At the least, we’ll probably check another local shop for a second estimate.

Updated 06/25/2012: Just in case you were wondering we still haven’t found a good fix for this problem…

Category:
Automotive
Tags:
, ,

Join the conversation! 19 Comments

  1. I do believe I might have the same problem the window blew my door open so hard that something popped and it wont go back on the track its suppose to be on have you figured out how to fix it at all?

    Reply
    • Unfortunately, no. If I had gotten into that part of the door I was going to raise the window all of the way up and then try to bend the track into alignment using some pliers. However, I’m not even sure that would work – the part that caused the problem may also need to be fixed or realigned.

      We’re probably just going to take it to a body shop and see what they’ll charge to fix it. Either way, when we do get it fixed I’ll add an update to this post.

      Reply
  2. Anyone fix it yet? Same problem. Don’t want to have an open window have my car stolen or rain fall into it.

    Reply
  3. 2-23-2012 My girlfriend said when she opened the door, she heard a pop. It sounds exactly what you said. I rolled the window down and then she told me about the pop. now the window goes half way up the same as yours. How did you get the window to go up and stay up? Did you have to remove the panel?

    Reply
    • I did remove the panel when I worked on it though I don’t remember if that was really the key to getting the window back in place. I think that in the end I actually had to gently push the window into the top, front guides as I slowly raised the window (pushing carefully on the window at the point where it comes up and out of the door to keep it from going off track).

      Reply
  4. Apparently this is an issue Toyota is aware of and has issued a technical service bulletin (according to my mechanic) – my mechanic said it’s a terrible design as the door latch is extremely close to the window channel and he said over time it will be inevitable that the two will begin to hit each other…I am taking my vehicle into the Toyota dealer I purchased it from as my mechanic told me the only way to fix it (when the window channel is completely damaged) is to replace the entire door…hopefully they have a better resolution…we’ll see…

    Reply
  5. Any resolution? This of course has happened to me now, and I’m wondering what the best way of straightening the window track, and to avoid the $2500 dealer door replacement quote!

    Reply
  6. Sorry no solution but to just replace the door. We had to take it to the dealership and get it replaced.

    Reply
  7. I have the same issue, I rolled my window down, it popped and gets stuck at half way.. However, I was able to pull the door panel off, roll the window all the way down, pull the two bolts holding the window in, pull the window out. Once I had this done I did what I could as far as bending the window track back into shape, and went ahead as to rip the bottom portion of the weather proof strip that surround the window area of the door, so it would be easier for the window to guide into it. I don’t know about anyone else’s but when I move to roll up my window it looks like it leans forward (toward the engine) after forcing it back into position, I rolled it down and was able to get it back into the track. Pull the far piece of weather proof strip over the window and rolled it all the way up. I haven’t tried to roll it down as this was done at 9pm and I was intoxicated, but hopefully this helps some of you get the window back up. Thinking about it I may be ready for a new car! Lol.. 😛 Scion! Innovation!

    Reply
  8. i DID manage to jury rig it. removed the plastic door cover, drilled out the rivets holding the speaker in (used liquid nails to put it back on – trading the car this fall, so don’t really care about that) i actually removed the small hex bolt holding the guide frame on the bottom, then physically pushed the guide frame forward, and out of the path of the window. BAM! window went up perfectly. there is no real way to get in there and re-form it as originally was, unless you cut the door up, and that sheet metal is think (designed to withstand impacts). don’t know if this solution will work for all cases, but mine started out the same – strong gust of wind almost took the driver’s side door off.

    Reply
  9. I am having this same problem right now. Wind pulled open the door, pulled the door latch too close to the window track and wrapped the track to shreds. Thinking now that the best option is to drill out the rivets on the speaker, hack the track back to shape and then hope it works.

    Reply
  10. you can buy the window channel separately. it’s just one piece with maybe a few screws. and you can’t just bend the track back, with mine the door check actually pulled back in and ripped the track in the process. so good luck!

    Reply
  11. […] Only a few months ago I had a similar problem with a rear window (and my wife’s car has had a similar problem with a slightly different cause). […]

    Reply
  12. Window on passenger side was getting stuck on the wrong side of the window channel.

    Temporary fix that takes five minutes and can be done multiple times (I’ve done it at least ten now)
    -roll widow all the way down
    -starting from the top half of the window, you can pull out the rubber window channel out with your hands.
    -once it is all pulled out by the mirror (where my window was getting stuck), roll the window up about 80%
    -then feed the window channel back into its proper position along the edge of the window.
    -your window should now roll up all the way, but it may become stuck again if rolled all the way down… (mine doesn’t, but it’s just a possibility)
    ***if someone closes the door with the window open far enough it can still fall back out of the window channel.***

    Reply
  13. I just had the same problem 2 days ago a big gust of wind blew my door open my window wasn’t going up. I was able to temporarily get it back on track to at least go all the way up. You most likely have to get a new door because it ends up bending the track. The metal track isn’t somthing you can just buy a part for either since it’s apart of the whole door. I can’t imagine bending it back either because it is almost impossible to even get to but knowing it can easily be put back on track withing 5 minutes if accidentally rolled all the way down is such a relief.

    Reply
  14. Any one have the problem of the window coming unglued from the plastic pieces that bolt to the track? Got any idea what to use to glue it back together?

    Reply

  15. This video will help you. But I don’t want to cut into my car. I’m also not a mechanic but I most definitely am not a handyman!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: