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…