Question about 1998 Toyota Corolla

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98 corolla drivers side window won't roll down or up well

98 corolla, drivers side window rolls down about 3 inches and stops. Rolls back up intermittantly quarter inch at a time. Do I need to replace the motor, regulator, or both? Thanks

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  • Anonymous Mar 27, 2014

    manual window really hard to roll up or down

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I just repaired a 1999 Corolla (160,000 miles) window regulator with the same problem. I checked the motor commutator windings for shorts and the motor was OK. The brushes were still good. The motor is built like a clock - extremely well made with almost no indication of wear. Bench testing showed that the motor would not rotate once it had been run for a few seconds.
Elsewhere on the Internet someone mentioned a PTC Thermistor. This was exactly what was causing the problem. This is a special type of resistor "in series" with the motor that increases resistance when hot. It prevents the motor from drawing much current when stalled at the top or bottom of the window travel or in event of a jam, etc. The thermistor doesn't look like a standard "Radio Shack" part. By pulling off the motor top the magnets and commutator pull out. The PTC Thermistor is the two large copper plates separated by a silver looking material about 0.001" thick that are in series with one of the brushes. To fix, short out the thermistor. I tested with a small clip of copper wire. I made a permanent fix by soldering a jumper from one plate to another. During assembly, don't break the brushes.
The power window works great! I don't need an "electronic minder" to stop power to the motor at the top or bottom of the travel; I can do that. I don't intend to place my head in the window and push the button. If you have kids, this fix might not be for you.

Posted on May 31, 2009

  • 2 more comments 
  • bbuckner1 Apr 17, 2011

    Excellent post. I used a DC clamp on ammeter to measure the motor current on my four window motors. They ranged from 3.9 A to 5.0 A in both directions. These PTC Thermistors are sold as "PTC Resettable Fuses". Mouser and Digikey Electronics online sell them for about $0.50 each. I purchased the 16V Littlefuse P/N 16R400GU, a 4A part. (They also have 3A and 5A available.) The existing Thermistor in the motor, being made of copper, was wonderfully solderable. I connected the new part so that it one lead connects to each side of the existing part (electrically parallel to the failing thermistor). I installed it in the corner so that it would be clear of the motor brush. Works like a champ! We'll see how things work down the road, but a couple of dollars for parts and a couple of hours labor beats $300 for a new Toyota part.

  • gtcarparts Aug 14, 2011

    Great info, Is it possible to just remove the window motor from the car without removing the regulator?

  • frank schroeder
    frank schroeder Jul 17, 2012

    Great post! I will try to fix mine once I finished fixing my starter!

  • frank schroeder
    frank schroeder Aug 16, 2012

    I just did it like you and soldered a wire from one plate to the other...it really works!!! Almost bought a new motor. Thanks again! I did not spent one penny for this fix.

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I respectfully disagree.

WD-40 contains volatile ketones that will damage the rubber.
Pure silicone spray is the ticket here.

What you have going wrong is a bad "positive temperature coefficient thermister" in the window motor. It cannot be replaced, it is part of the motor assembly. You are going to probably need to replace the motor in the near future. The PTC understands a slight overheat condition, and when the motor "drags", or goes slow, the PTC opens up like a circuit breaker. Then, after it cools off, it closes, and the motor works again.

Lube the rubbers with silicone, and consider replacing the motor.

Posted on Mar 07, 2009

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Try WD40 in window track. It does sound like bad motor.
Joe ASE Master Tech

Posted on Mar 04, 2009

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