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Old 10-14-2011, 04:47 AM   #1
josephi
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Window motor problems

I tried posting this in the DIY forum, but got no responses, so I decided to try this forum instead. I think I have two separate window problems here, but am not quite sure, and was wondering if anyone else out there has experienced them (2002 330i).

1. I noticed that while being lowered, both of my rear windows are making faint clicking sounds that occur at even intervals. This does not happen while they are being raised. I took the left side apart and inspected the regulator, which appears to be fine. I then held and operated the motor while out of the door, and could feel and hear a small change in torque at even intervals, about two seconds apart. When I reinstalled the motor and operated it, I could see the motor jiggle as it clicked. Could this be a sign that the motor is about to give out?

2. As I was testing the motor, I would run it several times in a row, then all of a sudden, it would stop working, no matter how many times I tried the switch. After a few seconds of waiting, I would try it again, and it would once again work. This happened using both the switch on the door and the switch on the console, so I'm pretty sure it's not a problem with either switch. Is there some sort of system that temporarily shuts the motor off to protect it from overheating, or could it be a problem with faulty relays in the GM5 module, or is it the motor itself and related to the first problem?

Thanks for any help!
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Old 10-14-2011, 07:35 AM   #2
BimmersGarage
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Both of my rear window regulators went out a year or so ago (only a few weeks apart, of all things)..
The plastics in the carrier plate are usually the ones that breaks/cracks > causing the cable to jump the regulator pulley and/or wrap itself around the motor gear. So, I would suggest you re-inspect the metal carrier plate, look at the plastic (that's molded) on the underside of the plate that holds the cable itself. There is a "up" side and a down "side".

The motor(s) rarely fail, unless it's been submerge in rain/water...
NOTE: Since you've stated it doesn't make the clicking on the way up, I can't see it being the motor itself.

Do you have a vid of the said motor "clicks" or the temporary hesitation/pause...?

Last edited by BimmersGarage; 10-14-2011 at 07:50 AM.
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Old 10-14-2011, 02:35 PM   #3
josephi
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Originally Posted by BimmersGarage View Post
Both of my rear window regulators went out a year or so ago (only a few weeks apart, of all things)..
The plastics in the carrier plate are usually the ones that breaks/cracks > causing the cable to jump the regulator pulley and/or wrap itself around the motor gear. So, I would suggest you re-inspect the metal carrier plate, look at the plastic (that's molded) on the underside of the plate that holds the cable itself. There is a "up" side and a down "side".

The motor(s) rarely fail, unless it's been submerge in rain/water...
NOTE: Since you've stated it doesn't make the clicking on the way up, I can't see it being the motor itself.

Do you have a vid of the said motor "clicks" or the temporary hesitation/pause...?
I took the regulator out and inspected it, and it is in good condition. Those clips that are usually prone to failure are intact. The motor seems to be the cause of the clicking, as the uneven "torquing" that occurs when I operate it is causing it to slightly move while mounted on the regulator, and those little "bumps" coincide with the clicks that I hear. When raising the window, the motor spins in the opposite direction, so I'm thinking that the "torquing" and resulting movement of the motor might be a little different, resulting in no clicking sounds.

I haven't shot a video yet, but I'm thinking maybe I will, as this problem with the motor is one that I haven't seen mentioned anywhere.

Thanks for your response!
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Old 10-14-2011, 04:51 PM   #4
skibum325iT
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+1 on the regulators. The clicking you hear could be frayed wire inside the regulator. If you have not replaced them before, you mine as well do it now especially if your door is still apart.
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Old 10-14-2011, 06:16 PM   #5
josephi
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+1 on the regulators. The clicking you hear could be frayed wire inside the regulator. If you have not replaced them before, you mine as well do it now especially if your door is still apart.
I've checked the regulator, tested it for operation, and it is fine. The regulator was one of the first things I suspected, as in the nearly ten years I have owned this car, I have had six go bad on me. The cyclical nature of this clicking sound (sounds like a clock going tick, tick, tick, tick, about 1.5 or 2 seconds apart) made me suspect that it was either a pulley wheel on the regulator, or the motor. As it turns out, it looks like it's the motor, with that same tick, tick, tick torquing effect as it turns. I'm just afraid that this might be an indication that the motor is about to go out, and since the other rear window is also doing this now, I might have to replace two motors . Just thought I would ask since my searches have not revealed anything similar to this.

Thanks!
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Old 10-15-2011, 12:50 AM   #6
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Regarding the windows stopping after repeated operation, it is the GM5 protecting the motor from overheating. It is nothing to be concerned with.

BTW the door locks do the same thing if you operate them too many times in a short period of time.
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Old 10-15-2011, 03:48 AM   #7
josephi
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Regarding the windows stopping after repeated operation, it is the GM5 protecting the motor from overheating. It is nothing to be concerned with.

BTW the door locks do the same thing if you operate them too many times in a short period of time.
That's good to know. One less thing to worry about.

Thanks!
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Old 10-15-2011, 05:33 AM   #8
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I think the odds are much better it's two broken regulators you have and not two broken motors.

The regulators have wheels on them that turn. If one of those wheels is bad, it'd click each rotation as the cable snags. There a plastic gear you'll see where the cable is wrapped around...iirc it's the part that attaches directly on top of the motor. I think that's your issue.

Use a hose as stethoscope and isolate the location of the sound. If you think motor still, you can still think regulator, as it's right on top of the motor!

Remove regulator and try the motor...bet it won't click.
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Old 10-15-2011, 04:09 PM   #9
josephi
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I think the odds are much better it's two broken regulators you have and not two broken motors.

The regulators have wheels on them that turn. If one of those wheels is bad, it'd click each rotation as the cable snags. There a plastic gear you'll see where the cable is wrapped around...iirc it's the part that attaches directly on top of the motor. I think that's your issue.

Use a hose as stethoscope and isolate the location of the sound. If you think motor still, you can still think regulator, as it's right on top of the motor!

Remove regulator and try the motor...bet it won't click.
I have removed the motor and operated it while holding it in my hand. The motor runs with a sort of "bump" that occurs at even intervals, 1.5 to 2 seconds apart. I can't tell if it's the motor itself, or the gear box mechanism that it's attached to that's causing this, but when mounted to the regulator, each time that "bump" occurs, the motor visibly moves, accompanied by an audible, soft clicking sound. I have removed the regulator and it seems to operate smoothly, but have noticed that the plastic wheel you mentioned (with the cables wrapped) where the motor's gear sits when mounted seems a bit loose, such that it can be jiggled a little. I'm not sure if this is normal, to ensure free movement of the wheel, or if it should be more firmly attached, but I'm wondering if the "bumps" from the motor acting on that loose plastic wheel might be causing the clicking sounds.

So, possibly two parts starting to go bad?
1. Motor, or gear mechanism attached to it, not running evenly. Hopefully, the "bumps" aren't a sign that something is about to give out.
2. Loose wheel in the regulator. Hopefully the looseness is a normal condition and not a sign that it's about to come off.

Thanks very much for your ideas!
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