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Disclaimer: I don't know what I'm doing, I just randomly tried things and it worked. If you follow this guide, you may damage your car, someone else's car, your property, your body, or even kill yourself. Don't do any of this below unless you're an expert, and know what not to do as there are things below that are wrong. Before you begin, you may want to disconnect your 12 V battery to make it less likely that the window will violently and painfully saw off your arm, finger, or other various appendages.

My window regulator on the passenger's side failed the other day, on my '13 Volt when it had 66 kmi on it. First off in my opinion that's way too early for this to occur, and seeing how this regulator is built (with tons of plastic) this isn't really surprising. On the plus side, the disappointment of the poor construction is balanced by a very simple replacement. I was scared this would be difficult, however I banged it out in less than an hour.

Before I began, I read this thread:
http://gm-volt.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-227994.html


And watched these videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsiaTl8Ztyo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeRK8xPXHms

These give you a good start, I'll try to provide a few more details below.

Tools you'll need:
7mm socket
10mm socket
small flat blade screw driver
wide/big flat blade screw driver
Either tape, or large clamps

It may be handy to have plastic fender removal tools. I didn't use these, and didn't damage any of the clips.

1) Remove the 3 hex headed screws, behind the door handle and in the door pull. These are described in the video's above, alas I didn't photo this. I did, however photo the cover located behind the door handle to help you figure out how to pry it out easier. I used the small screw driver.
volt 1.jpg
volt 2.jpg

2) With the 3 screws removed, take your large screw driver or your fender removal tools and begin prying (gently) on the door panel. Begin on the bottom of the door, make your way around to the top, and then go back to the bottom and go around to the top on the other side. When these are all pried loose, push the lock down if it isn't already, and gently pull the door panel up. As the door panel lifts off, it will be connected by two things. First is the door mechanism cable, gently pull/push on the plastic tab on this to lift it out of the holder, and then the handle socket. This will become clear to you after fidgeting with it for 5 seconds, it's very simple. Then there's the power connector to the door itself. Push on a tab, and pull the connector out. When you've completed this, it will look like this:
volt 4.jpg

3a) Now you'll remove the door handle mount, which is the two 7mm hex screws shown below.
volt 4b.jpg


to be continued
 

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Discussion Starter #2
3b) After this is removed and set aside, begin gently pulling at one corner on the rain shield. I did this on a hot arizona afternoon, so mine came off fairly easily. You could try a low heat source such as your wife/boyfriend's hair dryer. After you get it pulling, use your finger to keep as much of the glue on the shield as possible, as shown below.

volt 5a.jpg
volt 5b.jpg

4a) Take the shield and set it some place where the tacky surface won't become contaminated. At this point you have access to the mechanism, be careful not to get crushed if you're working with the 12 V still on. On mine, I could see the broken mechanism at the bottom... where the plastic broke.

volt 6.jpg
volt 6b.jpg

4b) Since you have access to the mechanism, push up on the bottom of the window and then grab it above the door. Pull it to the top, and secure it out of the way. I tried to use these small clamps, however mine were not quite large enough. If you have some large enough this would work great. I settled on using tape. Put tape on paint at your own risk, especially an older car. Getting the window out of the way is vital for our next steps.
volt 7.jpg
 

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wait, you're still reading this?

5a) At this point, loosen the window clamps. There's two access points at the top provided for this purpose. Again, the window should be at the top. Loosen these, you should hear the clamps fall to the bottom.
volt 8.jpg

5b) To help you understand this step, and I guess the whole process, here's the old mechanism out of the car. (we'll get to removing quickly) You'll see that there are cables connecting the two rails, which allow it to be flexible and easy to get in and out. This one only has one window clamp remaining (mine broke, remember?) but this clamp secures the window and is pulled upwards by the cable. Why would this clamp, the piece taking the rotational torque and also the drag on the guide, be plastic?
volt 8b.jpg

6) At this point, before things get crazy, remove the power connector to the motor. This part is identified in the photo below with a green circle. Use a small screw driver to push in the tab, and then pull out this connector. There's a photo of this connector just to help you below also. Using your small screw driver pull out the wire tie tab, also circled in green. After this, remove the 3 10mm bolts circled in yellow. Then loosen, but do not remove, the 2 circled in red. You should be able to lift the regulator up, and then out of the larger cuts above the red circled bolts. Now, just finagle(tm) the regulator out of the access port. This is easier than you'd think, just keep trying. Also, if you're replacing this regulator, you should be emboldened as it's crap anyways right?
volt 9b.jpg
volt 9.jpg
Volt 10.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #4
7) The old is out, time to put the new in. I kept my old one. I think it'll look good as modern art in my wife's parlour, or maybe use the motor to make something neat. Before you go too crazy, grab your new regulator and make sure that the bolts are on the top which we'll use as hangers. If they're not, steal them from your old regulator before you begin installing... but they should be there. Now just reverse what you did earlier, start threading the new regulator in gingerly. (as a redhead I can say that and not be racist) Once it is in the door, hang one side and then the other from the top bolts. Do not tighten these yet. Get your 10mm bolts removed previously, and start them (don't tighten) in the other 3 anchor points. After all bolts are in, start tightening each progressively, to make sure you don't bind the regulator. Torque each to just tight enough but not too tight. Sorry don't have a spec for you, hopefully someone here can provide?
volt 11.jpg
volt 11b.jpg
volt 11c.jpg

8) Now things get a little bit scary. Not super scary... but, yeah. Carefully remove the tape or clamps on your window, and gently lower it into the clips of your new regulator. This should go right in, it did for me. I was worried at this point as if it bound on the new window rails, or dropped suddenly, I think you could crack the glass. Be careful here. Check in the access ports to make sure the glass is in the window clamps. After this is complete, re attach the motor controller cable and the wire tie clamp to the new regulator.
volt 12a.jpg
volt 12b.jpg
 

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9) With the new regulator installed, partially reinstall the water shield. Start near the bottom, and do basically as little as possible at this point to reinstall the handle bracket. The bracket should hold the shield on for you, until you can complete the install. Now take the door, and replace the power connector. Restore 12 V power, and carefully roll the window up. When the window is at the top, use the two access holes you used earlier to tighten the glass clamps. It's vital you torque these correctly. The correct torque is tight enough so that the glass can't come out of the clamp, but not so tight that you damage the clamp or shatter the glass. After this is secured, test the window (from both doors) a few times before proceeding further.
volt 13a.jpg
volt 13b.jpg

10) Count the number of plastic connectors on the backside of the door. Note their location. Reinstall the rest of the water shield, making sure the glue seals, and then the door handle cable. Hang the door over the lock, and carefully lower it down. Start, but don't tighten, the three screws (one behind the door handle, two on the door pull) then push the plastic tabs back in. Try to count the clicks, and make sure each location is fully secured. After this, tighten door screws and replace covers.
volt 14.jpg
 

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Awesome job on the how to and thanks for taking the time to put it together. Hope I don't need it but window regulators do go bad...
 

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Hi, I need to replace my front passenger regulator. Not sure which part to get.

Per GMParts website, there are 2 options:

"1st Design" Window Regulator - GM (25994200)
"2nd Design" Window Regulator - GM (23146836)

I can't figure out what the difference in these 2 are, so I don't know what to order. Upon trying to order locally & giving my VIN, a parts rep at local Chevy dealer asked about "tabs" (does our regulator have tabs?). My mechanic, even after looking at mine, didn't know what that meant - nor did the parts rep, apparently. I could order both, I suppose, just trying to save the hassle & possible cost of returning one.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Joe Hildenbrand
2014 Volt Premier
 

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An excellent write-up and a fun read! Thanks for the effort. This should be a sticky.
 

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Hi,

Thanks for this thread. I am on my 3rd driver side window regulator on my 2013. First failed just out of warranty :mad:. The second just failed after less than 2 years. The culprit are white plastic clips that broke both time. There is definitely something systematically wrong with the design. I wish GM made a metal part that is stronger. The cause is most likely high heat exposure in S. CA.

I have learned now that the failing component is common with many GM models, but the whole regulator is unique to the Gen 1 Volt. I found this on Amazon.

Power Window Regulator Chevy Cruze 2010-2015,cadillac srx 2011-2016 Front Left or Right This Pair Fit Same for Repair Window Regulator

The part as $11 instead of $100 for the regulator.

Hope this helps you all.
 

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I'm about to dive into my driver's door and expect to find this part broken... from some of the youtube examples of regulator replacement I've seen, it looks like the cable can get pretty gnarled when this part breaks...

I will check out the condition of things before I deced whether ot order the $11 or the $81 part (Dorman from Autozone) but does anyone have hints about how to rethread/etc. if this part is all that is broken?

It also appears that sometimes the cable itself breaks, and some hints on replacing the cable itself would be helpful.

If I get through this, I will try to remember to take some pics and provide my own hints.
 

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Honestly, I just replaced the entire regulator assembly myself and got the part from the local Chevy dealership. It was a bit pricey at $150 and I could have saved some if I bought online but I needed the window working so I could roll it up as I don't have garage parking. The whole process of start to finish took all of 30 minutes including running inside for a moment just to watch a section on a youtube video that I was unsure on (had the video up on screen already). I too have had mine replaced twice now, once under GMPP and once out of pocket. I might consider the replacement part mentioned above but I do agree that the cable was pretty gnarly as I remember. I guess it just depends on how much you'd value ease and knowing its going to work with minimal fuss vs. saving a not exactly insignificant amount and spending what could be much more time. If it happens to me again, and I have the time, I'd probably consider replacing just the broken piece. Of course I do tend to enjoy a mechanical challenge.
 

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I did the teardown today before I ordered any parts. It went pretty easily... the hints for removing the door-panel really helped... I've always *hated* removing door-clips (or more to the point, trying to get them back on right after breaking things) but the Volt/Cruze design/construction is very solid and clearly meant to be opened and closed more than once.

*both* of the nylon glides on the regulator were damaged. One had failed completely and the other was so cracked it came apart in my hands after I pulled the regulator. I followed the source above and am ready to order a pair for $9.99 each which is only mildly a bargain next to the $51 for a full regulator (albeit without motor).

I had help in holding/taping the window... I might have managed it by myself with some propping, etc. but it *was* handy to have help.
 

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Sometimes nothing goes easy.... But my window is now operating just fine. The two clips were great, but when I tried to install them I discovered that the cables were too tight in the regulator to refit back into the clips. I eventually removed the motor and exposed the cable/drum system to see if there was a preferred order of installation, only to find that (probably) when the clips failed and the cables slacked, the cable jumped the drum and was wound around the drum-axle (just one wind?) so I freed all that up and sure enough I was able to get enough slack to attach the new nylon clips properly. I re-installed the repaired regulator and all seemed fine until I'd replaced all the panels/trim and the window failed/jammed again. When I removed it, I discovered that what I *thought* was too minor of a kink in the cable to be a problem wasn't.

I then ordered a new regulator assembly w/o motor which took another few days to ship... I swapped in the motor and to my chagrin discovered that the regulator arms were about 1" longer than the original. A little checking and I realized that I had somehow ordered a 2014 regulator! A little more checking and it seems that nobody sells the earlier (and shorter) one without motor so I bit the bullet and went for the whole assembly which took another few days to arrive. The original regulator was refunded but I did have to pay shipping (since it was my error)... so I'm into the whole project for about $100, maybe 4 hours of actual hands-on work, another 4-hours of web-searching/ordering, etc.

This definitely beats taking it to a dealer, but I guess next time I'll be a bit more careful about every detail... I *could have* solved this for $80 and just an hour or two time if I had been a little more attentive to details!

Speaking of which... I broke the clip to the cable that connects to the door-panel handle along the way (care and attention to detail again?) and spent a good 4 hours finding someone who sells just the handle assembly (including clip). GM (and most sources) only offer the entire door panel for $150++ . I got the handle-assembly for $40 but it looks like I need to drill out plastic welds and rig either re-weld (not sure how to do it) or epoxy or even bolt it? In the meantime I have to roll down my window to open the door and then roll it back up before turning off the car! Doh!
 

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true to form, the door-latch parts I ordered finally came in and were not what I needed/wanted/hoped-for... the diagrams and descriptions might have been misleading but I was also full of wishful-thinking. Now I need to figure out how to send them back and probably *mold* the broken clip with epoxy putty. Probably won't get perfect results... most likely I'll only be able to re-affix the cable permanently with a blob of epoxy... the bit that broke off was pretty delicate, allowing the cable to be removed and replaced over and over...

Oh well!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
It's great that you guys found those parts, thanks for sharing! I'll buy some and hope they work next time... it's such a waste to replace the entire regulator.

Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Welp, a few weeks ago, the driver's side regulator failed. Maybe I just have unusually bad luck with these. The regulator was about 6 years old, the car had around 81kmi on it at this point.

On the plus side, this is a 20min job if things go smoothly, and you know what you're doing.

*Also* CEL came on after removing the driver's side door. The code indicated that there was a fault in the charge door circuit. I cleared the code, and it did not return.
 

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Yeah, the CEL is caused by removing the wire harness that includes the charge door button. The car is monitoring the circuit. Gets your heart beating a bit faster the first time..
 

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Yeah, the CEL is caused by removing the wire harness that includes the charge door button. The car is monitoring the circuit. Gets your heart beating a bit faster the first time..
Probably a good reason to disconnect the 12V battery before working with anything electrical.
 

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I should have known I was heading for a failure of the front passenger window regulator when I started hearing the initial crunching sounds of the window last week. I live in Central Florida so A/C is on most of the year. So windows stay up! When I did hear the sound I knew I was heading for the second "mechanical" problem with my recently acquired Volt and another hit to my pocketbook! I was pleasantly surprised to learn the fix was just as easy as replacing the window regulator at a cost of $102 bucks with parts from GM Parts Direct. I taped the glass in place.....removed old regulator and crumbled parts at the bottom of the door. When the new part arrives....plug and play and I should be good to go. Thanks to mechanic warriors on here....for inspiring my courage. I almost picked up the phone and was gonna take it to the local Chevy Dealer! They are competent folks.....but I know if I'm gonna keep this car for the foreseeable future I'm gonna have to learn to make some repairs or go broke!!!!
 
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