BMW DIY Video – E46 Door Panel Removal & Replacing Window Regulator or Motor
One of the most common (and frustrating) faults on later model BMWs is the failure of the window regulator mechanisms. The window regulator is the actual mechanism that converts the window motor’s output into raising and lowering the window. As with many late model cars, BMW has been using a cable operated window regulator design since the later ‘90s, on most models. These cable operated regulator assemblies typically fail by the cables fraying and breaking or the plastic guide pulleys breaking. Symptoms can range from slow or jerky window operation to complete failure.
Replacement of these cable operated window regulators is relatively straight forward and does not require any specialized tools. In this video, we’ll replace a slow/jerky regulator assembly on the front passenger door of a 2000 323i wagon. If you need to replace a window motor, the regulator must be removed and then the motor removed from the regulator.
NOTE: If the vehicle has side air bags (in the door), as this example does, disconnect the battery and wait a few minutes before removing the airbag. However, since we will need to move the window in order to access the regulator to window mounting brackets, we’ll need to temporarily reconnect the air bag and the battery in order to move the window, after the vapor barrier panel is removed (as noted in the video).