electric windows malfunction


johnd89
12-27-2005, 08:44 PM
Hi,

My car is a '91 park avenue ultra I own since 3 1/2 years.

Here's how they work:

front left: works up-down from his switch;
using the switches on this door I can also operate rear right window up and down (others don't work, but untill recently the front right worked as well up and down);

front right: works only down
untilkl recently worked up as well...

rear left: never worked from any switch;

rear right: works only down from his switch...
I can operate up-down from the master swich however.

Can anyone make anything out of this? Any hint is welcome!

PS: on the front right door I verified the motor and switch and they are both functioning properly.

Thank you!

crys36
12-28-2005, 10:06 AM
I know this won't be any help but your not alone. I had a 91 Pa and now own a 92. On the 91 the windows would work fine 1 day the not the next, The 2 rear windows would hardly ever work and this usually happened when it was cold. The power seats and any other electrical options for the interior would always fail when it was cold and then maybe after the heat was on for 20 min would work again. One day the rears stopped working all together-then 1 day after months of just trying them my daughter go's to put her window down and it works . Lasted for about a month but worked none the less. The 92 has the same power seat when cold malfunction but the widows still work just act up now and then. I went to alldata and looked at the write up from consumer reports about these 2 years and guess what. They both get an F- for electrical and climate control functions. I've just learned to live with it since the drivers window ALWAYS worked. Both cars --The 91 ,155K hit by a 1975 pickup in the front ,she had no chance ,my sweetie was gone but the airbag deployed just fine and I walk away from a hairy accident. The 92 has 225k and is showing her wear but always gets me to where I'm going. The 3.8 motor in these babies is awesome. Take care of them and they will last forever. The electrical parts were built by gremlins so I try to pay it no mind. --Chris Out

johnd89
12-28-2005, 03:55 PM
thx for the reply!
someone hinted that my wire bundle going between the body and door could have wires broken....
I'll get a test light nd verify those and report back.

PS: I never had any problem yet with the power seats....

Cntrysthbst
12-28-2005, 10:16 PM
I had 2 windows playing games with me, I took it to the dealer and they replaced the drivers master window switch which controls all the windows and I have not had a problem since! Good luck!

Loekee75
12-29-2005, 04:30 AM
Hey johnd89, I did the same as Cntrysthbst and had the same results. The master driver door switch runs for about 80 bucks, or you can get one from a junk yard out of another PA, lesabre, or bonniville..(pretty much any full sized fwd GM from around the same year as yours) for a lot cheaper

Mad9C1
01-05-2006, 09:30 AM
Hey johnd89, I did the same as Cntrysthbst and had the same results. The master driver door switch runs for about 80 bucks, or you can get one from a junk yard out of another PA, lesabre, or bonniville..(pretty much any full sized fwd GM from around the same year as yours) for a lot cheaper

I bought a 1997 PA on christmas eve, and it needs the master window switch as well, but i found mine on e-bay for 15.50, plus 8 bucks shipping. This is used, and in excellent condition. Try e-bay for your master window switches...


Sam B.

Cntrysthbst
01-06-2006, 05:43 AM
Hey Johnd89 - Think about which switches in a car get used the most. And ask yourself when that switch goes bad, Is it worth buying a switch that may have been used as many times as yours have? If you buy a used switch, ask yourself, did the person ever pick his nose and lower his window to flick it out? Did he clean the switch off when he was done? Well, its your choice.

I'd buy new just cause they get used so much!

Mad9C1
01-06-2006, 07:58 AM
Hey Johnd89 - Think about which switches in a car get used the most. And ask yourself when that switch goes bad, Is it worth buying a switch that may have been used as many times as yours have? If you buy a used switch, ask yourself, did the person ever pick his nose and lower his window to flick it out? Did he clean the switch off when he was done? Well, its your choice.

I'd buy new just cause they get used so much!


If we asked ourselves all of that, we'd feel sick for even driving our used cars.

Let me think here. should I install an 80 dollar switch in my nose-picked butt-scratched used car? or should I just spend the 15 bucks and toss in a used dirty switch as used and dirty as my car?

Also, mine needs a switch because the window rolls down slowly, and the previous owner pressed too hard on the switch and broke it, so, I'm lead to believe another used one may not have had the abuse this old one has had.

Some sellers list the miles of the vehicle that the switch came from.

I don't know why I even replied to your post, as it is small minded, and obsessive sounding. Unless you buy and drive brand new cars, your used car has the same possibility of germs or breakdown as our used switches. :2cents:

Sam B.

Cntrysthbst
01-08-2006, 03:17 AM
Good Greef!!! Everyone's titled to there opinions, and you made yours clear! That nose pickin thing was more for jokes! You should take it as that!

My concern was to let the guy know that it's really not worth buying a used one! Buying a new one will last so much longer! Window switches get used alot, the electrical terminals char up with use and it's just not worth it to me. I am a firm believer in buying ALL my electrical parts new!

Another point, a person can have a car with 300,000 miles on it and always had his windows up, on the other hand a person can have a car with 5000 miles on it and have pushed that window button 1000's of times more! So I don't believe miles matter!

And last, I'm sorry you took my reply the wrong way! I've learned my lesson buying used electrical parts, I'm just trying to save the guy money down the road!

:thumbsup:

crys36
01-08-2006, 05:35 AM
Good Greef!!! Everyone's titled to there opinions, and you made yours clear! That nose pickin thing was more for jokes! You should take it as that!

My concern was to let the guy know that it's really not worth buying a used one! Buying a new one will last so much longer! Window switches get used alot, the electrical terminals char up with use and it's just not worth it to me. I am a firm believer in buying ALL my electrical parts new!

Another point, a person can have a car with 300,000 miles on it and always had his windows up, on the other hand a person can have a car with 5000 miles on it and have pushed that window button 1000's of times more! So I don't believe miles matter!

And last, I'm sorry you took my reply the wrong way! I've learned my lesson buying used electrical parts, I'm just trying to save the guy money down the road!

:thumbsup:He was just concerned and giving his opinion and options. I'd have to agree with this post. Unless my car was a total piece of crap I would buy electrical parts new. The downside to that is many places say that you cannot return ELECTRICAL items because for all they now it was good and you fried it and want another try. Its a personal thing. My car 225K and not in the best condition-if I found 1 for 15$ , I'd take it . Whats the worst that happens it works no better than the 1 I already have.---Chris

Mad9C1
01-08-2006, 08:22 AM
Good Greef!!! Everyone's titled to there opinions, and you made yours clear! That nose pickin thing was more for jokes! You should take it as that!

My concern was to let the guy know that it's really not worth buying a used one! Buying a new one will last so much longer! Window switches get used alot, the electrical terminals char up with use and it's just not worth it to me. I am a firm believer in buying ALL my electrical parts new!

Another point, a person can have a car with 300,000 miles on it and always had his windows up, on the other hand a person can have a car with 5000 miles on it and have pushed that window button 1000's of times more! So I don't believe miles matter!

And last, I'm sorry you took my reply the wrong way! I've learned my lesson buying used electrical parts, I'm just trying to save the guy money down the road!

:thumbsup:

I was hoping you weren't serious about the nose picking germs. lol


I have replaced window switches on a couple cars in the past, and I have never had to replace it again. I have seen cars like the bonnevilles and the PA's go over 300,000 miles, nd the switches worked fine. I think there are a lot of factors to weigh in, but, since I believe the age of the switch doesn't matter as much as how rough the user was on the part, and I have never had a problem with a used switch, I think it is wise to spoend the 15 and "chance it" . If I paid 15 for a used switch, it is very unlikely it will go bad on me, (based on my experience with used cars), and if it does, I'd have to replace it 5 times to justify the cost of a new one at 80 dollars.

I buy used cars that are in pretty decent shape, and still don't see the harm in a used window switch. Now, if you want to talk about brakes, that's a different story. Each time I get a new (used) car, I usually replace the barkes all the way around, and as an example, I bought this PA on Christmas eve, and spend the next couple days locating the parts needed. I replaced the rotors, and pads on all 4, and I replaced one caliper that was seized. I bought decent stuff, and not the basic cheap parts, and never a used part, as brakes are important to safety.

I'm not sure we all take our car's priorities the same, but I do know I have lived on a tight budget for most of my life, and 80 bucks for a window switch just doesn't seem like money well spent. Since I have replaced abused parts on cars with used parts, and have never had an issue with a used window switch, I feel my assessment is probably a solid one when it comes to the simple window switch.

This is, of course, just my opinion, and after all, I came here looking for info, so, maybe I'm wrong. :rolleyes:

Cntrysthbst
01-08-2006, 05:01 PM
I wouldn't say you are wrong. You are giving advice to everyone on a budget, and in thinking about this if I was on a tight budget I guess I would buy a used one myself.

See, a couple years back I bought a used window switch for my wife's Sable, paid $25 dollars for it brought it home and put it in to find the back windows didn't work, there was no refund. Went to another, paid $30 dollars, brought it home and put in to find the front pass. button not working, they exchanged it and that one didn't work at all. So I took it apart and sanded all the terminals because they where chared, a pain in the butt, it took about 2 hours. I put it back together and all the buttons worked. This is why I don't recommend used switches. On the other hand you've had good luck with used window switches. I would say if you buy a used window switch, try to get one with a warranty, or at least able to exchange it just in case.

Mad9C1
01-09-2006, 06:03 AM
I wouldn't say you are wrong. You are giving advice to everyone on a budget, and in thinking about this if I was on a tight budget I guess I would buy a used one myself.

See, a couple years back I bought a used window switch for my wife's Sable, paid $25 dollars for it brought it home and put it in to find the back windows didn't work, there was no refund. Went to another, paid $30 dollars, brought it home and put in to find the front pass. button not working, they exchanged it and that one didn't work at all. So I took it apart and sanded all the terminals because they where chared, a pain in the butt, it took about 2 hours. I put it back together and all the buttons worked. This is why I don't recommend used switches. On the other hand you've had good luck with used window switches. I would say if you buy a used window switch, try to get one with a warranty, or at least able to exchange it just in case.
There are some parts I just don't buy used. If I paid 25-30 for new switches and had the problems you've had, I would definately save the hassle and buy new. I haven't owned ford cars, so I can't comment on their quality, but maybe their switches were flawed or something, which may explain the charred contacts. I have never had an issue with a used GM window switch, however, I don't think I'd trust a used headlamp switch though. I have had a few of them go bad on me in time. For some reason GM's window switches seem ok for the most part, but they don't last long in abusive conditions. My 2 front windows have a hard time going down......I think they are getting a worn guide on the track or something...... but, the dealer that had this car pressed down like an animal to get the driver's window to open, and he literally broke the button off it's pivot. With that button removed, I can press the little tabs to get the window to open and close. The buttons feel great other than that one broken one. I have to admit, this is the first time I ordered a switch online, as I usually like to hold and feel the used part before I buy. I also believe the local scrap yard asks around 25-35 dollars, or more for a used master window switch, so, the PA switches aren't as cheap as some other GM switches I have purchased before. My new (used) switch is going to ship tomorrow, I believe. It should arrive this week. Wish me luck.. :wink:

Loekee75
01-09-2006, 06:12 AM
I was reading through these last few posts and thought I'd add one detail- If you do decide to go with a used switch (esp. from a wrecking yard) if at all possible try to get one from a vehicle that had its' driver window completely up. After months/ years of sitting in a yard with rain/ snow, this has got to take its' toll on electrical door switches

Cntrysthbst
01-09-2006, 11:42 AM
Good point Loekee! That's probably the most important thing when looking for one at a junk/salvage yard!

When you bought that switch online, is it sold as-is, or did they offer a warranty? And do let us know how that switch turns out! Good luck!

Loekee75
01-09-2006, 05:42 PM
I was lucky..the switch I found was inside a 93' bonniville. It had been removed from the door already, sitting inside the glove compartment. I know the guy who works there (simply because I go there so often and give them so much business) and he just gave me the switch because he didn't want me to go through the hassle of returning it if it didn't work. I got some electrical spray cleaner, cleaned it out and installed it. It works like a champ, going on almost a year now:) I'm knocking on wood now!

Mad9C1
01-16-2006, 04:02 PM
Good point Loekee! That's probably the most important thing when looking for one at a junk/salvage yard!

When you bought that switch online, is it sold as-is, or did they offer a warranty? And do let us know how that switch turns out! Good luck!

I'm not sure if you're asking anyone in specific, or all of us in general, but I'll share my current experience with you.

My used switch is from a salvage yard, that sells on e-bay. He gets wrecked cars, and strips the usable parts, so there isn't a big chance my part was sitting in wet conditions.

Like most sellers of used / electronic parts, there is no real warranty. Items are sold as is. In the case an item is not as described, he will honor a refund, or a replacement.

As with my broken switch, my replacement was prone to the same breaking points. The driver's switch was half broke, so, it will break in no time at all. The seller offered a replacement, so, I told him what to look for when determining a good or bad switch. he tests the finctionality, but didn't know to check for side play on the switch to see if they are loose or broken. He then e-mailed me the next day and said he has another one, and the driver's switch works as do the rest, but like the previous one, it's got side play. He is more interested in maintaining a good feedback, so, he said I should keep the current working switch to hold me over til I get a good one somewhere else, and he's sending me a refund. Upon arrival of my refund, it was packaged with the other faulty, but working switch, which he also gave me for free, since he can't sell it as a good part.

The local dealer wants 92 plus tax for a new one. That's still too much.
I e-mailed GM Parts direct, and they replied finally, and they said the part number is:GM PART # 25718947 . I checked their site, and it says the retail brice is :
CORE CHARGE: $0.00
GM LIST: $80.48
OUR PRICE: $45.86

I believe there is a 10 dollar shipping fee, or something like that. That's probably one of the best options for those of us replacing a switch, but can't afford the local dealer's pricing.

This is supposedly the part number for 97-2005. I'm sure the part is different for the thread starter who has an earlier 90's model.

Even though the e-bay deal went ok in the long run, it was a long run, and back to the starting point, so, it was a waste of time, at least. I was fortunate enough to score 2 half broken switches to buy me some time, but that's not what I'd usually expect when buying a used part.


Anyone know what it is that makes the front windows get kinda stuck, and slow down when trying to open them? I believe it's something worn inside the door, where the window rides on the track, because when watched closely, I see both windows kinda cock a little on an angle when they get stuck. This indicated a worn something on the inside. Does anyone have experience with this? I appreciate any help on this, as I believe this flaw, is what causes people to start to cram down hard on the window switch, which breaks the switch.. (another flawed part, IMO).

Thank you all in advance.


Sam B.:licka:

johnd89
03-13-2006, 10:13 PM
update:
took out the master swich, cleaned and measured everything, it worked fine.

I do think my problem are the wires, but maybe I'm wrong...
now I'm looking for a electrical shop manual to start measure them up...

thx for the replys!

johnd89
04-23-2006, 04:19 PM
BUMP:

can anyone please help me out with the wiring diagrams for the power windows for a '91 p/a ultra?

thx a million!

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