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Ask a Mechanic …A dead motor may be the reason why your electric window isn’t working

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Every week, we take your questions about what is going on under the hood of your vehicle and pose them to a knowledgeable mechanic in the Greater Toronto Area. In today’s column we discuss battery lights and problems with electric windows.

Dear Ask a Mechanic, 

I drive a 2006 Honda. When I idle my car, the battery light comes on and the car turns off. I wait 10 seconds and I can turn the engine back on again and drive. After getting the battery and alternator examined, there were no faults. What do you think the issue is and what can my next steps be? – Feeling confused 

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Andrew Le, co-owner of Toronto’s 1 Four 0 Nine Inc., said this sounds like a problem with the alternator. “If the battery light is on while the car is running, that usually points to the alternator.” You need to get the vehicle examined again and get a full scan. Le doesn’t believe idling the engine is causing the issue itself. “When the car idles and the alternator is working properly, it’ll charge the battery. If the alternator is not charging, it’s relying on the battery and you’re overworking the battery.” Given the vehicle restarts on its own after 10 seconds, the battery likely isn’t the problem in this situation.

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Dear Ask a Mechanic, 

I own a 2008 Nissan Titan. I am having issues with the passenger side electric window. When I push the switch up and down it does not work. The driver side switch can’t close or open the window either. What do you think the problem is and how can I get it fixed? – Window problems

Le explained a motor is located on each window, which allows it to go up and down. Based on experience, it seems like the motor for your passenger side needs to be replaced. Le suggests bringing the vehicle to a mechanic. If the motor is deemed to be fine there could be an issue with the wiring — or a faulty switch — causing the problem.

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Ask a Mechanic is written by Nida Zafar, a reporter at The Pointer who grew up in a house full of mechanics in Scarborough, and occasionally poses your questions to her dad or brother. You can send your questions to These answers are for informational purposes only. Please consult a certified mechanic before having any work done to your vehicle.

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