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Old 07-10-2012, 01:59 PM   #1
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Melbourne Australia
Posts: 3
My Ride: 98" BMW 318i
Exclamation Window Regulator Replacement

Hey guys, ive have my BMW 318i for over a year now, love it only now has something gone wrong with it.

My drivers window isnt working. It's not going down, and its struggling to go up! ive read that it would generally be the WINDOW REGULATOR from the descriptions ive read.

My window is "making horrible cracking noises, not going up or down etc"

I know there is a DIY for this, but unfortunatly I'm not 100% on DIY. If there is anyone in Melbourne who has experienced this and is willing to help me out. I'm willing to pay ...

Thanks guys
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Old 07-10-2012, 05:32 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 1,607
Here is the DIY to replace the window regulator. I did it myself and it took about 1 hour.

Last edited by gueste46; 07-10-2012 at 05:43 PM.
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Old 07-10-2012, 05:36 PM   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: los angeles
Posts: 11,877
My Ride: RIP e46/'16 328i
If you can't do a window regulator swap by yourself, you may as well turn in your mancard.
I was worried about it myself but i have replaced 4 window regs now and it is seriously nothing to be scared of
And you only need like two diff screwdrivers to do

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Old 07-10-2012, 05:58 PM   #4
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 331
My Ride: E46 330i
Originally Posted by XKxRome0ox View Post
If you can't do a window regulator swap by yourself, you may as well turn in your mancard.
LOL be nice to new people mate! Not everyone is good or interested in DIY. To a first timer, it may not be as easy as others think.

The first issue it to pry open the trim. In some cars they are really really tight, and if you do crack it open, you will be rewarded by a dreadful "pop" noise which surely indicate something is broken. But don't worry it's just a tight plastic pin. But there is a chance to damage the trim or door paint if you're not careful.

Then you need to tak care of the air bag (I'm not sure whether there is an airbag in 318?).

Cut through the glues on moist barrier is also a PITA. Not difficult but very tedious.

But once you jump through these hoops, things will get easy.

To OP, owning an E46 means DIY is the logical choice. They are old and demand preventive maintenance (meaning you need to replace certain parts even if they are perfectly fine). You don't want to donate your hard earned to the $tealer, do you? Besides, its just a 318, not anything special or luxury, so don't be afraid to touch it.
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:48 PM   #5
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Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 1,607
At least buy it yourself from either our sponsor Clickable Automotive (local firm) if they have it or from Pelican Parts in the USA. You will save a lot of money just by doing that. Any auto electrician could do it for you. Just remember to disconnect the battery before removing the airbag (as shown in video) This will stop you getting error codes on the airbag. Or maybe a local member may be able to help.

This repair done by the dealer will cost about $450.

Parts cost about $140 (if you buy them as above) from memory.

Last edited by gueste46; 07-10-2012 at 09:50 PM.
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Old 07-11-2015, 12:49 AM   #6
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Melbourne Australia
Posts: 292
My Ride: 2001 318i & 325i
OK, this is an old thread but I bet a few of you have had to do this one in the last few years ... our cars are getting older!

Shortly after buying my 318i in late 2012 I bought a full set of regulators for $US150 + $US80 freight from US. At that time we had parity so $A230 landed, and they have been sitting on the shelf ever since.

My turn this week. Driver's side window went down but wouldn't go up. I could pull it up but also push it down again.

While the video on this thread is good, I always like to look at a couple before digging in. Here is another good one.

In this one he takes off the outside door trim and removes the window. This gave me an opportunity to check the plastic tabs and give the bottom of the window a really good wash. Alos removes the possibility of the glass dropping and smashing.
He also shows the positioning to remove the 8mm nuts that secure the glass and how to free the glass from the brackets.

TIP: The 8mm bolts holding the glass have a head only 1mm deep so most sockets will not grip. I ground the end of my 8mm socket to remove the slight rounding of the socket entry. THis gave a full grip on the bolt head.

It is easier to remove the motor before taking out the regulator and with the motor removed you can lift or lower the glass to position correctly without having to reconnect the power and power the window into position. Same when replacing the glass. Replace the motor AFTER the regulator is bolted in AND the glass has been replaced and bolted in.

Take your time and even a 72 year old like me can do this one!

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Old 07-11-2015, 06:51 AM   #7
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Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 2,001
My Ride: '03 325i
I love BMtroubleU. He's a great bloke. Too bad he doesn't output anymore new videos. But yes, you're correct, I have had to replace one regulator since my ownership of my car. I had a weird issue; my old regulator (genuine BMW) was different to every other genuine BMW E46 regulator that I could for a sedan. No idea why. Took a lot of tinkering to fit in and stuff, but finally got it in.

'03 325 Estoril Blue with some love from:
Turner, ECS, Remus, BMW Performance, G.A.S.,
Beisan, Umnitza, TRS, Radium, and more!

Last edited by KendrickC; 07-11-2015 at 06:51 AM.
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need help, window, window regualtor

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