Your car's window crank is probably one of those most ignored parts. After all, you'll only notice it if it starts to show signs of damage or old age. If the crank suddenly starts to feel tight or becomes a hassle when pulling windows up and down, better inspect it and its supporting components. Now a lot of things can cause the crank to malfunction. But if you've ruled out other possible reasons and the culprit is a damaged-beyond-repair crank, it's time to install a new one. Fortunately, this isn't a difficult task as long as you have the right tools and you know the right technique. The exact installation instructions will greatly depend on the type of car you have, but the window crank replacement tips below should be able to help you figure things out during removal and installation.
Tools you'll need:
- Clean rag
Prying off the old crank
Wedge a screwdriver between the crank and the door panel to pry off the old crank. Make sure to avoid scratching the panel. Depending on your car make and model, there might be a plastic gasket in between the panel and the crank as well as a clip. If you can't see the clip, check out your vehicle manual to figure out which side of the plastic gasket the clip is attached to. Repeat this step until you see the clip or you've figured out its exact location. Once you've figured out where the clip is, use a clean rag to pull off the window crank as you push it out with the screwdriver. Keep on turning the crank with a rag in a back-and-forth motion until you hear a popping sound or, in some cases, until the clip pops out.
Attaching the new crank
Once you've removed the old crank, reassemble the replacement part by making sure that the crank, clip, and disc or plastic gasket are in position. Then, put the new crank in position and push the clip into place with the screwdriver. Test the new crank and see if you've installed it properly.
- Depending on how the window crank is attached to your car door panel, a screwdriver might not be enough. In this case, you'll most likely need a removal tool or a spring hook. Fortunately, these tools are affordable and widely available at auto part stores and home improvement shops.
- When using a screwdriver to pry off the crank, make sure you use just the right amount of force. After all, you don't want to shell out more money because you need to replace damaged components near the crank.
- If the retainer clip pops out as you remove the crank, make sure you don't lose it because you'll be using that when installing the new crank.unless of course the retainer clip is also damaged and needs replacing.
- Always have your vehicle manual with you to make sure you're pulling and pushing the right part or side as you remove and install the window crank.