Car Talk - -Chrysler owner in a jam over sticky electronic window
I have a Chrysler 300M with a stuck driver's window. The mechanical function is fine - when it works, it works fine. But heat seems to glue the window closed: When it's hot out, it sticks to the plastic liner and won't go down until the temperature drops. I live in Florida, so the temperature doesn't drop very often! Is there a grease, lubricant or cleaner I can use to fix this? I need that window to function. Help.
TOM: Have you considered a hammer?
RAY: It's not entirely clear to me that it's sticking. You might assume it's "getting stuck" in the up position. But the window motor could be dying.
TOM: It's not unusual for a window motor to fail intermittently when it's on the way out.
RAY: Unlike my brother, who tries to be consistent by failing all the time.
TOM: Your window switch, or window relay, also could be failing in extreme heat - remember, it's a lot hotter inside a parked car than it is outside. And when do you want to open the window? When you sit down in a hot car, and it's 150 degrees inside, and you sear your thighs on the "300M" logos on the seat cushions.
RAY: So the first question for you is: Can you hear or feel the motor trying to work when the window is stuck? When you hit the window switch, is the motor straining to lower the glass?
TOM: If it is, then the switch and the motor are fine and the window is, indeed, stuck somehow.
RAY: In that case, the first thing I'd try is some silicone spray. There's rubber weatherstripping in the door that the window slides into when it's closed. Hit the inside of that weatherstripping on all three sides of the door frame with some silicone spray. Cans of silicone spray often come with thin tubes that allow you to get that gunk into small spaces. That's what you want to use.
TOM: If a good shot of silicone doesn't get the window moving freely, then you have to suspect that the window regulator is sticking. That's the mechanical erector set inside the door that actually lifts and lowers the glass. If it's binding up, then you have to get someone to remove the door panel and replace it for you.
RAY: And if that doesn't fix it, you'll have to drive to a cold-weather climate and sell the car there. Good luck.
Is it possible for a 2013 Chevy Impala that has only 7,550 miles on it to malfunction mechanically without operator error? When I got the car back after loaning it out, here's what I found: (1) Check engine light comes on. (2) Vehicle is slightly jerking. (3) Check oil light comes on. (4) Check windshield washer fluid light comes on. (5) Oil, washer fluid and one other mystery fluid (for now) are all leaking. I asked if they ran over something or hit a bump in the road, and they say they did not. I think they did. So, is it possible that the vehicle could have all those lights on and be leaking fluids with only 7,550 miles without some kind of operator error?
RAY: No. Whoever you lent the car to ran over a buffalo. Or maybe a brontosaurus.
TOM: You don't say who had the car. My experience suggests it probably was a brother!
RAY: That would be my guess. In any case, at 7,550 miles, nothing should be leaking on this car, and none of the warning lights should be coming on.
TOM: So I'd suggest that you have the car towed to the dealer as soon as possible, and ask them to take a look at it. You really shouldn't even drive it there if the oil light is on.
RAY: My guess is that the service manager will come find you in the waiting room and say, "What the heck did you run over?"
TOM: And if you get confirmation from the dealer that there was an impact of some kind on the underside of the car, then you can call your insurance company and report that the car was in an accident. Which it was.
RAY: If you lend your car to somebody, your insurance policy still covers the car.
TOM: Then your insurance company can negotiate with the dealer about what can be repaired and what needs to be replaced.
RAY: And then you, personally, can negotiate with the knucklehead who borrowed your car about paying the deductible for you.
TOM: And, obviously, that person will have his or her borrowing privileges summarily revoked. Possibly along with Christmas-card privileges. Good luck. And sorry about what happened to your new car.
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