Last updated: January 18, 2023 at 15:34 pm
Whether it’s commuting to work, picking up the kids from activities, or just doing the weekly shop, we spend more time than ever in our cars these days. That’s why it’s so annoying if it starts to squeak or make other annoying noises.
So, let’s look at a common squeaky culprit, a squeaky window.
IN THIS ARTICLE
What Causes A Window To Squeak?
In general, the mechanism that controls the window’s movement is simple and unlikely to be the source of the problem. Instead, the most likely causes are that the window’s lubricant has worn away or that there has been a build-up of debris in the seals.
Luckily, this problem is usually easy to fix and will not require an expensive trip to the garage.
Replacing the Window Lubricant
Replacing the lubricant to allow free and silent motion is the easiest process so let’s start there. Follow these steps:
- Choose a silicone-based lubricant, usually named dry moly. This type of lubricant immediately bonds to metal and helps create a barrier that dirt cannot stick to. Petroleum and oil-based lubricants do the opposite. Dust and dirt will collect in it, making the problem worse over time. You’ll also need an old rag or some kitchen roll
- Clean the window, seals, and the area around it to ensure it is clean and free of dust or dirt
- Fully roll down the windows to allow you access to the seals
- Start at the top left of the window and carefully apply the lubricant inside the seal. Slowly work downwards and make sure you are spreading it evenly
- Repeat the process on the right-hand side
- Clear off any excess carefully with your rag or kitchen roll
- Wait for about five minutes, and then fully roll your windows up and down a few times. This will work the silicone into the seals, and you should notice the squeak decreasing each time
- If it’s still squeaking, apply more lubricant with the windows closed. Then, when you open them, it will work deeper into the seal
- If the noise has gone, wipe any excess lubricant from the window
- Wait several hours to let the lubricant dry, and then thoroughly clean the window and surrounds to remove any lubricant that has been left behind. You may want to use a ruler or your nail to clean inside the bottom seal where the window disappears into the door
Checking Inside the Door
99% of the time, replacing the lubricant will fix a squeaky window. If it doesn’t, it suggests the problem may be hiding in the car door area. This part is more complicated, so feel free to take your car to a garage if you don’t feel confident about doing it yourself.
- Firstly, you need to find and remove all the bolts or screws holding the interior panel of your car door on. Sometimes they can be difficult to find, so you may need to consult your car’s manual or do a simple google search to find them all
- Once all the screws and bolts are removed, gently pull on the panel till it comes free. Do not pull too hard, as there will be wires connecting your speakers, window switches and other cables that you don’t want to damage
- Once the panel is out of the way, inspect the channels your window runs through when the window is down. Look for dirt, debris, and other contaminants. You may need to put on a glove and slide your fingers down the channels to remove any build-up. While you’re doing this, check the rubber and make sure it’s in good condition. It shouldn’t feel dry or like it’s starting to crack. If it does, you should get it replaced
- If the channels are clean and in good condition, look at the window regulator. This is the mechanism that moves the window up and down. You can try cleaning and lubricating the regulator to ensure it can move freely. If you suspect it might be faulty, you’ll need to remove it to be sure
Removing the Regulator
The regulator is what the window is attached to, so you’ll need to be careful. Get strong tape before you begin this process.
- Lower your window completely
- Look at the bottom of the door, and you should see the place where the window is bolted to the regulator
- Remove the bolts, then carefully slide the glass upwards to the closed position
- Hold the glass in place and then tape it securely to the outside frame to hold it in place. You need to hold the window in place with one hand as you do this, so it may be easier to get someone to tape it for you while you hold it
- Now that the window is secure, you can remove the bolts connecting the regulator to the door
- Lift out the regulator and move all the parts gently to ensure they move freely. Look for any damage and listen for noise while doing this
- Now the regulator is out of the car you can thoroughly clean and lubricate it. Get all the dirt out of the moving parts and spray in lots of lubricant.
- If the regulator is free of damage and moving well, you can bolt it back into place in the car. Obviously, if you can see damage, you will need to get a replacement
- Hold the glass in place as you remove the tape
- Slowly slide the glass downward until it is fully lowered, and you can then bolt it onto the regulator
- Gently push the door panel back on and bolt it into place
The seals and the regulator should be the only causes of a squeaky car door. If neither of the fixes above has worked, it’s best you get a professional to look and isolate the problem.
Most of the time, a squeaky car window is caused by a lack of lubricant within the window seals. Follow the steps above to apply more, making sure you choose silicone grease rather than petroleum or oil-based products. Take your time and apply it thickly and evenly.
If this doesn’t work, and you feel your skills are up to it, remove the door panel to check the window channels and the regulator. Be very careful with the window glass as you don’t want to break it and suffer the expense of a replacement.
If there’s nothing in the door, it’s time to take your car to the garage for a professional diagnosis. Wishing you the best of luck.