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Old 02-03-2017, 06:27 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 101
My Ride: 2003 325i
Driver's Side Window Stuck Closed

I'd like to start my post by thanking everyone who contributes to this forum for making my life way easier when purchasing this E46, the opinions and knowledge here are amazing, so thank you.

Here's my issues:
Knew that the driver's side window was not working when I purchased the car but knew that these window regulators were poorly made. The window was stuck in the fully closed position, so luckily it wasn't an emergency fix. Followed proper procedure of taking everything off, disconnecting battery first etc. etc. When I went to reconnect the battery and get the window in place to access the screws, it doesn't move, at all. The motor is working properly, the cables inside the regulator are moving up and down properly, but the window itself is not moving. Since this is the case, I can't get access to the last two bolts needed to take out the regulator, but since this is happening, I'm not sure if the regulator is actually what is bad. Is there a way for me to get the window unstuck? Do i need to continue to remove more of the door to get in there to be able to un-jam it somehow? Let me know what you guys think. I have a buddy who also does work on BMW's but, he's never had this problem occur.

Before you ask, yes I did properly detach and reattached the air bag each time before reconnecting the battery to avoid the airbag light. I've done most if not all work to the cars I've owned in the past and have a history with racing and such, but this is the first time I've run into this kind of issue with the window being totally stuck.

Thanks again, and just let me know what you guys think.
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Old 02-03-2017, 07:50 PM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 2,644
My Ride: 03 325xi 98 328is
Can you get a mirror in there to see if someone wedged something in there to hold the window up or, heaven forbid, Gorilla glued it shut?
][/2003 325xi auto Stahlgrau almost modless, just lots of new parts. 1998 328is 5sp lowered, X-brace, Sparco strut brace, HIDs and almost everything blacked out
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Old 02-03-2017, 08:34 PM   #3
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So I got a mirror in there and also used the iphone light and video to see in where i can't. After playing with it a bit more, the back clip for the regulator moves down like it should (the window does not move along with it) and the front clip stays in place and doesn't move at all. Looking at where the back clip should sit (the one closest to the rear view mirror that actually moves) there appears to be some little red clip device that is jammed into place to hold the window there. Trying to play with the red clip did nothing, kinda like you said where it may be super glued to the window itself. Guess i may just have to bring it to the dealership and beg for them to fix it for me.
Just sucks to hit the point where I'm ready to replace the regulator and fix the issue and it's something totally different that can't really be expected. The vapor backing was also somewhat torn up and looked like it was sloppily put back on and none of the door screws matched the 20 torx it should be. Also about to replace Rear Break Light switch but checked the fuse box first to make sure it wasn't shorted first, and in Fuse #9 where it should be a 5 Amp was a 25 Amp. So i think the previous owner took the car to some half a$$ shop to get these two issues fixed and the place just did terrible work and didn't care for actually fixing anything properly.

Last edited by JDA33; 02-03-2017 at 08:45 PM.
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Old 02-04-2017, 12:55 AM   #4
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Location: Chicago
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My Ride: 01 330 sport 5m sil/
The window should be able to be moved by hand. With the door open put one hand on the inside of the glass and the other on the outside in the center of the window and push it down. If that doesn't work or won't go down far enough to get the bolts that hold the glass to the regulator try operating the motor again and see if it will go down farther. If all else fails just cut the cables for the regulator and then the window will definitely be able to be lowered by hand unless it was glued but I have never seen that before. I have had a fair amount of those regulators that the cables were so jammed up I had to cut the cables to get the window down to the position to get to the bolts. This is a simple repair as long as it's not glued shut. No need for the dealer. Use an oem bmw part especially in the driver window. Part store, ebay, amazon ect generic parts are China/Taiwan copies of an already failure prone part. I tried a few different cheap regulators and most failed in a few months. I got tired of doing it over and over so I bought an oem part from worldpac. It will last years not months.

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Old 02-05-2017, 11:59 PM   #5
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Thanks for the response Randy. After taking a step away, clearing my head, and going back at it I was able to get the regulator issue resolved. There was a small piece of plastic jammed into the place where one of the clips had disconnected. After some patience and prying I was able to get the piece out. Luckily whatever glue or adhesive they used was pretty poor and I was able to get it unstuck pretty quickly. After getting that unstuck and placing my hands like you suggested on the window, I was able to force the window and the other clip down into the proper position to get the bolt out. After that the rest of the process was cake and I now have a working window.
As for the Break Light Switch, I had initially thought it went bad and needed to be replaced, but after looking at it, the thing was just disconnected and needed to be readjusted. Luckily I was able to get both issues resolved in a reasonable amount of time and can now continue with other maintenance and fluid changes I plan to do before using the car. Thanks again for the responses, and I'm very glad I was able to resolve these issues today with the helpful input from you guys.
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