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window hesitates to roll down and up (makes clicking noise)

Discussion in 'E46 (1999-2006)' started by swalters, May 3, 2010.

    swalters guest

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    my front passenger side window makes a loud clicking sound when it's rolled up and down. it hesitates for a short moment then makes the "click" noise as if it were stuck on something then it came free. it does this 2 or 3 times each way.
    why is it doing this? is there any way i could fix this myself?

    it's a 2000 328i
    • Member

    steven s

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    What model?
    And I would leave it closed for now.

    swalters guest

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    it's a 2000 328i
    • Member

    bcweir

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    It would help to have more information on your vehicle

    Either your production date (production date is stamped on the driver's side [left side] door jamb or the last 7 digits of your VIN number. That way I can pull up your car in Realoem.com and see your car's power window system.

    Thanks so much.

    swalters guest

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    "bayerische motoren werke ag 1/00"
    it this possibly the production date?
    • Member

    bcweir

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    Yes. What bodystyle do you have?

    I am going to pull up the information for you. How comfortable are you doing a DIY project?

    swalters guest

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    "Yes. What bodystyle do you have?"
    it's a 328i, so it's a 4 door.
    i'm pretty comfortable doing a DIY. i am a little nervous about ripping off my trim though, i know you need to do this to remove the door panel. im afraid i'll snap the wood, or break one of the clips and then it won't go back on. so any tips you have about removing the trim are welcome
    • Member

    Zeichen311

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    The window regulator is failing. This is the assembly of gears and cables that, when driven by the motor, actually moves the glass up and down. It is a known weak component in the E46 line, with a high probability of failure within 3-5 years in daily use. The symptoms are exactly as you describe. The clicking sound will soon worsen and the window will stop moving altogether. Close the window and leave it closed until you repair this--once it fails it will not support the glass even if you manage to pull the window up by hand.

    bcweir will no doubt provide specifics on the job so will I restrict myself to a few tips.
    - You must contend with removing and reinstalling an airbag to access the regulator. Be patient and careful with the connector, it is not immediately obvious how to disconnect it. If you're applying any significant force you're doing it wrong.
    - Again because of the airbag, disconnect the battery negative terminal before starting work.
    - Once installed, the new regulator is self-adjusting but you must operate the window for it to do so. This requires reconnecting the battery and the airbag. Repair manuals (including Bentley) may not mention this critical point. If you turn on the ignition even for an instant with any airbag disconnected, the system will store a fault code and illuminate the airbag warning lamp, which can only be reset by a dealer or shop.

    I have seen DIY writeups that suggest leaving the airbag connected throughout the job but I don't recommend it. There is not a lot of slack in the harness and it's too important a component to risk damage (or accidental detonation) from mishandling. It's easy enough to do it right.

    Edit: Just saw your latest reply. Do you have the Bentley service manual for the car? If you don't, I suggest investing the $100 to get one. It will pay for itself on this job alone. All the information you need to remove the door trim without fear of damage, as well as complete this whole job, is in there. I have replaced two or three regulators and apart from the omission about the airbag fault the manual is complete and accurate.

    swalters guest

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    i have a haynes repair manual for my car.
    • Member

    bcweir

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    Right. What NotTheStig said. But first, please heed the word of caution below.

    Whenever you are dealing with a driver's side airbag, ALWAYS disconnect the battery first. Now the problem with doing so is that when you do this, if you have the factory radio, you will have to enter in the security code to restore radio function. If you have the security card that has the code written on it and you are familiar with the procedure for doing this, that's fine. However, there is an easier way.

    Bavarian Autosport sells a handy, inexpensive device known as a Memory Saver. This device will allow your radio to retain its memory settings when the main battery is disconnected. It sells for $10 and can be ordered online or by calling 1-800-535-2002.

    You will need a torx driver set as well, particularly a #30 torx driver bit. Although there are torx drivers that use a power drill, I prefer to use a manual torx driver so that I don't overtorque or strip out any Torx screws. You can get these from Sears or nearly any autoparts store that sells tools.

    You're also going to need to purchase a replacement window motor. Realoem.com has this priced at 127.55. The reason it typically fails is that there are plastic gears inside the mechanism that are prone to failing through eventual wear. After 10 years of use, this will certainly happen, especially due to the stress of holding up your window glass all this time. You may be able to get this window regulator less expensively at other vendors such as autohausaz.com.

    Although you have a Hayne's manual, I have found that these often leave a lot of details out. So I am going to search the internet and find you a more detailed procedure. I will post those details here when I find them. In the meantime, please note the part number below - it starts with 5133 below. Also when you do this job, make sure there are no obstructions to the window channel or the window guide.


    No. Description Supplement Qty From Up To Part Number Price Notes
    ]01 ELECTR.WINDOW LIFTER FRONT LEFT 1 51337020659 $127.55
    01 ELECTR.WINDOW LIFTER FRONT RIGHT 1 51337020660 $127.55
    02 Hex bolt M6X12 4 51338247701 ENDED
    03 Clip 4 51338218383 $0.55
    04 Bush 4 51338242760 $0.68
    05 Window guide, left front door 1 51338266123 $94.02
    05 Window guide, right front door 1 51338266124 $94.02
    06 Hex nut M6 5 07146951627 $0.53
    ONLY APPLIES TO DRIVER'S SIDE
    07 Drive for window lifter 1 67628362063 $147.05
    ONLY APPLIES TO CO-DRIVERS SIDE
    07 Drive for window lifter 1 67628362064 $147.05
    08 Countersunk screw 3 51338254577 $0.52
    09 Cable holder 1 07147075057 $1.28
    10 Cable strap 2 51337068960 $1.23
    11 SEALING FRONT 1 51338245859 $2.48
    11 SEALING FRONT right 1 51338245860 $2.48
    12 Clip 1 51218213615 $0.35


    Instructions for removing the door panel (illustrated) The grey thing in the center of the picture is what you are replacing. http://www.skene.org/bmw/window/index.html

    Other links for replacing the window motor

    http://blog.bavauto.com/bmw-e46/bmw-e46-window-regulator

    http://bimmerboard.com/forums/posts/710603/ <=== USE THIS LINK! BEST INSTRUCTIONS OUT OF ALL OF THEM! Note: although these instructions are for the rear left door, the instructions should be very similar to the front doors also.

    swalters guest

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    just an added detail, it's the right side door. i see you highlighted the left side door.
    • Member

    bcweir

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    Instructions and prices should be similar

    Thanks for pointing that out. I corrected it. Thanks for the information, and good luck with the window regulator.

    I should add be especially careful at protecting the glass by supporting it and holding it up before you replace the window regulator. And make sure the battery is disconnected before you disconnect the airbag module.

    Please see NotTheStig's advice regarding what to do after reconnecting the airbag module and reconnecting the battery. Do nothing else after doing so until you have read it.
    • Member

    DHENRY

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    bcweir,
    The help you have put together and offered to swalters is a fine example of why this is such a great forum.
    Don
    • Member

    bcweir

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    Thanks Don.

    The "do unto others.." rule is very important to me.

    My car will be up for some major DIY service in the next couple of months (it's an early 1988 750iL --truly a complex and ambitious DIY target to tackle for anyone familiar with these vehicles). Not that I expect anything in return for what I do, but the goodwill I am trying to create might be needed the next time it's my fat in the fire.

    Cheers and thanks a lot.
    • Member

    steven s

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    Also be gentle when removing the door panel.
    On my E36 the plastic brackets have all come loose that hold the panel to the door.
    If you see some of the small plastic nubs broken, replace them.
    They are cheap.
    • Member

    bcweir

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    Good call on that, steven.

    I'm not sure, but I think the brackets are indicated on my diagram and parts list. If you break one, it might be useful to identify the shape, part number, and price on the list.

    swalters guest

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    how much would it be if i opt out of a DIY? and where could i take it?
    also a question about the airbag. i've seen some people tie it up to avoid disconnecting it. do you not recommend this?
    • Member

    steven s

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    On E36s they are not available as a separate part. It's part of the door panel. People have had varied success gluing them back onto the panel. Could be different on E46s. The parts don't break, they just become loose.

    I'm referring to those small plastic rivet like parts that pop into the door.
    • Member

    bcweir

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    Then the design is different than on my door

    My door has replaceable plastic tabs, but still, it's always wise to be careful to avoid a shopping trip in the first place.

    The instructions I retrieved indicate that as long as you're careful, take your time, and follow the instructions, it is possible to remove the door panel without creating a second shopping trip for yourself.
    • Member

    bcweir

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    You could take it to an independent or a dealer

    The dealer would be my last resort option due to the high labor cost and unreasonable price markup for the parts. If you want the dealer to rip your wallet a new one, do that.

    If the DIY scares you, you can go to http://www.bimrs.org and find an independent BMW service center in your area to get a price quote on the job. Keep in mind this is just going to be an estimate and should be treated as a ballpark figure, not an exact price. It's not a contract or an agreement unless it's a price printed in black and white.

    ALWAYS disconnect the battery AND the airbag module. Remember this is an EXPLOSIVE device by function, it should be treated as such, and likely your face is going to be very close to the airbag module.

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