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Discussion Starter #1
I'm not planning on selling my 1st Gen Rav 4 (1997, "ocean mist metallic," awd, 5 spd manual, moonroof, 186,000 mi, 10 disc cd changer under the drivers seat) BUT . . . at some point I may get sick of caring for two cars.

The Rav is in pretty good shape for its age: I bought it new, maintained it regularly and have performed any necessary repairs to keep it reliable and safe and/or prevent future damage due to neglect. It's got a few small dents and dings, nothing significant.

However - - there is one repair I'm really stalling out on: Fixing the drivers side window, which goes down but not up, something that started last fall. Right now it's up about an inch from the top and won't go any further. The top of the window is sealed off on both sides with some lovely shiny black duct tape that definitely makes it look like a beater. :(

It's more than likely going to be an expensive repair and I'm trying to decide whether to live with it or get it fixed. I'm inclined to fix it if, in the long run, it ultimately adds to the resale value or desirability of the vehicle (assuming it's otherwise mechanically sound.) I'm not so inclined to fix it if it's going to be a financial wash. And I know the car isn't worth all that much to begin with.

Do I want it fixed? Yes. Do I want to put hundreds into it for something that isn't going to effect safety or reliability? Not unless I can justify it somehow.

Whaddaya think? Would something like that make you think twice if you were in the market for an old reliable car and how much less would you offer for it because of the window issue?

Thanks!
Red
 

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I'm guessing electric windows and 4 door.

1AAuto.com has the window regulator for $59.95, includes the motor and free standard shipping.
It is fairly easy to change out.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Oooh. Now that I did not see when I was searching for part prices. The ones I was looking at were closer to $500 for the part. Assuming the labor isn't astronomical, I can afford 60 bucks.

For putting it in: Body shop or regular mechanic?

Thank you Roundabout!
 

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I had a similar problem on my 1996 Maxima. Driver's window went down, stopped about halfway down, then wouldn't go up all the way. I found a Youtube video that showed how to remove the door panel, and quickly saw the problem. The rubber channel molding on the front edge of the glass got pulled down by the glass and got bunched up. It was a fairly simple matter of removing the 2 screws holding the glass to the regulator, and moving it back out of the way. Then I pulled out the rubber channel, and applied some soapy water to the back. This made it easier to push back into the metal frame. I figured when the soap dried it would help the rubber to stick in the frame. Then I applied some silicone spray lube to the inside of the channel where the glass slides. Worked the glass back into position and screwed it back to the regulator and put the door panel back. It's still working great and didn't cost me a penny!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sweet fix!

Unfortunately, I don't hear the motor at all and if something were hung up I think I'd hear it trying.

Also, I am remarkably unhandy, which will come as no surprise to those who listened to my hand wringing over a dead battery.
 

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Hi Red, we had a 2002 Volvo v70 before finding our 2008 RAV4 Limited, v6 4x4.
- the driver's side window motor also went bad, dealer part was $500 with tax
- had a mechanic friend install it free & had to buy the Volvo software for an additional $80 to program new part to the VIN

I once bought a v6 pickup for $450 / luckily for me, mini pickup had $450 spent at muffler shop, 30 days earlier...fixing the cracked manifold, did not serve the seller very well...they were talked into a repair, that didn't add any financial return (ROI).

^^ Was it worth it? / I my case Yes, because I sold the wagon & got full-top dollar, for it.
- been in the auto hobby, for 40 years & skillful at buying & selling
For the average Joe, the typical $700 expense for repair, will never be recouped...ever, on a 15-20 year old vehicle.

Anyone that wants an old auto, usually buys them cheap & fixes them up themselves (as much as they can) / for good ROI.

Share a photo or two, of your SUV...can't hurt, may spark some interest & good luck.
 

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For putting it in: Body shop or regular mechanic?
Who's been doing your regular maintenance over the years? Could he/she/they install the regulator?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks. That kind of what I thought.

I really don't want to sell it -- I'm still in love with this vehicle. But I'm also trying to stay practical. In the meantime I'm keeping both Ravs. (Little Rav and my new -- to me -- 2012 Rav) and see how it sorts itself out in maintenance, upkeep and insurance.

My regular garage could definitely do it, just wondering if it would be less expensive/easier at a body shop. I'd also have to talk with them about the source of the part, otherwise they will go EOM or high end substitute.
 

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My regular garage could definitely do it, just wondering if it would be less expensive/easier at a body shop. I'd also have to talk with them about the source of the part, otherwise they will go OEM or high end substitute.
This is really a simple mechanical repair. The only pitfall is knowing how to remove the door panel w/o damaging it. But that's easy for them to check on. Just must be done with care.
You are correct in that most shops want to order the part so they can make the markup profit. That's where going to your regular garage instead of someone new may benefit you. Ask them if they'll install the regulator you supply. Then order the one Roundabout referred to.
 

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I would ask my local glass shop what they would charge to replace the regulator and motor if I bought the parts. They work with the windows a lot.
But it would be throwing money at the problem because the problem could be in a switch or wire and that is more of a mechanic type problem.

My 99 has auto up and down on the drivers window and that can really add to the problems the electrical side can have. I find that glass and alignment shops are often very helpful in dealing with problems in their specialty area.
But then too, I do most of my own troubleshooting and repair, so I don't have much experience with repair shops.
Your body shop suggestion is also good.

Oooh. Now that I did not see when I was searching for part prices. The ones I was looking at were closer to $500 for the part. Assuming the labor isn't astronomical, I can afford 60 bucks.

For putting it in: Body shop or regular mechanic?

Thank you Roundabout!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hmmm. It does have auto down.

I sort of figured the auto down came with all electric windows. Good to know that can add a layer of complexity.

My previous Toyotas were basic model Starlets (if anyone remembers them) and before that a 63 Dodge Dart station wagon inherited from my dad, none of which had those modern fancy electric windows. :laugh (There was also a Dodge Caravan briefly in my car lineup, but I'm still trying to forget I ever owned that piece of &^$.)

Okay. I think I have a plan. When I'm feeling flush I will talk to my regular garage. If they agree to use a part I supply, I will order it, assuming the part can be returned in case that's not the problem once they get in there.

I really appreciate everyone's advice. When the weather gets warm enough to put Little Rav through a car wash I'll post a photo. Just 'cuz it's so pretty, although one '97 Ocean Mist Rav4 looks pretty much like any other I'd guess. :)
 
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