Friday, 8 May 2009

The car door saga

I have a lovely car, well I like it:

Recently the electric window broke in the passenger door, I did a bit of research and discovered that it was likely to be the window regulator. I had no idea what one of those is or what it does, but I have a good friend in the motor trade who sells car parts to garages. I explained to him what the problem was and he ordered me the part.

I had to wait a couple of weeks for it to arrive as the supplier was out of stock. It arrived last week so at the weekend I went about replacing it. Having no idea what I was doing I searched the internet and found a fantastic tutorial on the Seat forums:

Replacing the front door window regulator

Armed with this comprehensive guide I felt fairly confident and set aside a reasonable chunk of time (3 hours) to do the job. It all went surprisingly well and without too many dramas, though I did have a problem getting panel back on with the new metal guides attached because they were slightly longer than the old ones.

However, almost exactly three hours after I started the job was done. I hit the button and to my joy the window went up and down again just as it should. I was enjoying the feeling of immense satisfaction at a job well done and also saving myself a few hundred quid by not getting a garage involved.

Just then, total disaster struck! I closed the door...... Now normally this wouldn't be a problem, but for some reason I just could not open it again. I tried for the inside, the outside, tried locking and unlocking it. Nothing would let me open the door again!

I eventually gave up and resigned myself to paying the dealer a fortune to put it right. So today I took a trip to my 'local' Seat dealer, some 20 odd miles away. To my amazement the service manager was extremely helpful, he told me exactly how I could fix the problem myself. I was expecting him to just book it in and quote me a three figure sum to do it for me. I left with the reassuring words of the service manager in my ears, "Any problems, just give me a call and if you want we will be happy to do it for you, but it's going to cost you!".

So, armed with this fresh information and worried about the required cash needed to have it done, I was determined not to be beaten! As soon as I arrived home I removed the door panel as explained to me. Immediately I was able to open the door, hallelujah!

I haven't been able to fix the problem totally though. It seems the metal rod that pokes up through the top of the door card and acts as the lock has been bent. This means when the door panel is fitted the lock can't move up and down. So it's stuck and won't allow the door to open.

The service engineer said I could try to straighten it, but it would probably be easier to replace the whole rod. He will have to order the rod, so I've decided to at least try and straighten it. I'll give it a go tomorrow because it's getting cold outside now. I'll let you know how it all goes.

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