Q: The driver’s window in my 2015 Accord has begun to clunk and rock oddly as it’s raised and lowered. It’s mostly noticeable when it’s first opened. I usually need to help it finish closing by pressing upward on the glass with my palm. What do you think may be causing this? Is it something I might fix myself?
— Gene T.
A: Your Accord utilizes a cable type window regulator, the mechanical device that raises and lowers the door glass. The fault may lie within the regulator, or its attachment bolts may be loose.
Accessing/renewing the regulator requires removal of the door trim panel and door glass. Panel removal is tricky without detailed service information as there are hidden screws, easy to break plastic clips, and separating the inner door handle and switch connections from the back of the panel as it’s loose requires finesse. Behind the trim panel is a plastic sheet/cover (vapor barrier) that requires some surgical skills to remove if it’s to be properly reinstalled. Working with the regulator isn’t particularly difficult thanks to a generously large access opening in the door frame.
In a worst case scenario, where the regulator requires replacement, parts cost ranges from perhaps $75 for an Amazon cheapo unit to $370 (list price) for a genuine Honda part. The power window motor is integrated with the regulator. Since one wouldn’t want to do this job twice, I’d shop for a name brand aftermarket (Dorman, A1-Cardone, other) unit if going that way. Labor, assuming one is skilled in this task, is about an hour and a half.
Unless you’ve performed similar work before and have information access, this job is best left to a pro. There’s also a relearn/reset procedure to perform allowing the window control unit to reaffirm glass position. This is best performed using a professional grade scan tool, as the non-scan method is incredibly tedious. I’d move on getting this repaired soon, as glass or regulator damage could occur should a loose/missing bolt allow parts to rack and twist.
Q: I just purchased a new pickup, perhaps my last one in this lifetime, so I want it to last. The salesman told me that, other than the engine oil, the other fluids are either lifetime or maybe done at 100K. Is this reasonable? I don’t mind stepping up the maintenance as needed.
— Sal R.
A: I’d check the published maintenance schedule to be sure of the recommended intervals, and consider whether you might fall into the severe service category. Were it my truck, I’d renew brake fluid, coolant and transmission fluid every four years/50K miles, even if a longer interval or none were listed. Also consider changing 4x4 transfer case fluid and differential fluid at this time or within another couple of years/25K miles.
Fluid maintenance is the cheapest insurance one can buy! I’d also swap out cooling system hoses and serpentine belt at four years/50K miles.
Brad Bergholdt is an automotive technology instructor at Monterey Peninsula College in Monterey, Calif. Readers can contact him by email at email@example.com. Personal replies are attempted. An archive of past columns and additional consumer automotive information can be found at bradsautoadvice.com.