How to Fix a Manual Car Window That Won’t Roll Up

It doesn’t matter whether your car window gets stuck down or up; it’s a nightmare to drive with a manual car window that doesn’t roll-up. The window that won’t roll down is better than that that can’t roll-up. What if it starts to rain abruptly? That’s when the situations worsen.

This article tries to enlighten you on fixing a manual car window that won’t roll-up. Whether your car windows are manual or automatic, there is always a solution to such issues. If you are clever or lucky, it’s possible to have your window roll up again without employing special tools.

How do manual car windows operate?How do manual car windows operate

Car window operates with the aid of a component known as a regulator for lowering and raising them inside. Manual windows are equipped with physically attached regulators to cranks. Now rotating the crank will decrease or raise the window.

Therefore, manual car windows may fail to work correctly due to mechanical damages. Sometimes the gears in the crank or regulator can strip, bending or deforming the regulator. Besides, the regulator may get stuck as a result of friction; lubricating grease might be out.

Fixing car manual windows that don’t roll upHow to Fix a Manual Car Window That Won't Roll Up

Nature or manual windows are more straightforward compared to power windows. Because there are no electronics included, there are mainly two components that might have gone wrong, hindering the window’s typical performance. These are; the faulty regulator and the stripped crank gears. Try to apply some grease to the car window that won’t roll up and see if it works.

However, fixing a car manual window can be tricky because you can’t temporarily force the stuck window up. Sometimes you may even push the window to its correct position, but the actions continue to worsen the status. Besides, you can even break the car window regulator.

To determine why your car manual window isn’t rolling up, you will have to remove or take out the door panel and window crank. Check everything visually. Use this detailed guide to have the issue fixed:

Step 1: Check the window crankCheck the window crank

Try to rotate the window handle while paying much attention to notice how it behaves. If it turns freely or feels like grinding, then its teeth might be defective. They might be stripped in the crank. On such occasions, you are supposed to take out the crank and diagnose defects visually.

If the teeth are stripped in the crank, the best and permanent solution is to replace the whole door handle. Replacing the crank is simple, but you need to ensure the new one is compatible with the existing door handle. Else, you may end up fixing the wrong handle that will start to behave strangely sooner than expected.

If you have checked the crank’s status and realized it’s good, you’ll have to move to the next step that involves removing the door panel.

Step 2: Detach the door panelDetach the door panel

The first thing to do is to unscrew the door panel so that you access internal parts of the window. You need to grab all the available screws that are located at the back of the door handle. Try to separate the plastic rivets, but with a lot of care.

After removing all the screws of the manual car window, check for extra screws on the crank. Once the door panel is off, go through the sheet metal’s opening and access the window crank and pulley.

Step 3: Check the position of the window’s glassCheck the position of the window's glass

Under this step, you need to ensure that the window’s glass is in good working condition. Sometimes these glasses get dislodged from their track, or they can be stuck to one side. When cranking, the window won’t roll-up.

For these reasons, you should ensure that the condition of the tracks is okay. They tend to loosen over time, so tightening is necessary to fit the glass properly.

Step 4: Inspect the operation and connection of the car window crankInspect the operation and connection of the car window crank

The crank plays a critical role in the manual window as they act as the switch in the automatic car windows. Therefore, sometimes the scissor-shaped junction might be problematic, affecting the entire performance of the window of your car.

On occasions where the crank’s operation doesn’t move the arms, your car window won’t raise. In such scenarios, you will be required to replace the entire pulley of the window system. It’s difficult to replace the faulty mechanical part when it comes to the pulley system.

Step 5: Check the condition of the regulator

Check the condition of the regulator

A faulty regulator might be another reason your manual car window isn’t rolling up. This component might get caught somewhere, dried out grease, bound up. If this is the problem, applying some fresh oil or freeing the regulator can be the best solution.

What you need to ensure is that the regulator operates smoothly to roll up the window.

Step 6: Check the car window alignmentCheck the car window alignment

Sometimes the window of your car might have popped out of its track. Believe me, and you won’t roll it up. On occasions where the window is out of its channel, twist it to restore its normal position. This act can be the simplest solution if it’s your lucky day. Try this before you diagnose more problems.

Frequently asked questions:

  • What are the causes of “window won’t Roll Up”?

Multiple causes can trigger this problem. The simplest of them can be a fuse or dead battery. Occasionally, it could be something complicated that is tricky to access. These include; a faulty switch, melted wire, lousy window motor, among other causatives that could lead to permanent or intermittent issues.

  • How can I force up the window of my car?

With the car door open, use your palms to hold the window together. This procedure requires a helper who will be in charge of operating the window switch. Try to lift up the window by exerting some small amount of energy between your palms. Sometimes you may be forced to grip the car window from the top to apply enough pressure. If it’s your lucky day, the window will roll up again. Drive the vehicle to the nearest automotive shop for diagnosis.

  • What lubricants should I use for my car windows?

WD-40 remains the best and qualified staff for various purposes. However, you will find other people using Silicone spray for their window channels. The cheapest option is soap or wax, but it can lead to buildup that eventually affects the window’s regular operation. I am sure no one would wish to get his/her car window(s) to this extent.


Even after trying the above steps, the problem can persist; it’s normal, and you should not worry. Experts recommend referring to the manual or seeking help when the ‘Manual Car Window That Won’t Roll Up’ issue. Remember, these are jobs that you can try out yourself using the above guide.

However, if you have tried everything, but the car window is not responding, contacting a specialist can be the best solution. Specialists understand more than you; they sometimes touch the vehicle and immediately diagnose the problem. Though, expect to pay some amount for the service; nothing comes for free.

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