Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: RI, USA
Car Year: 2005
Car Model: 2.5X
Transmission: 5-Speed Manual
Feedback Score: 2 reviews
I just replaced my second driver's side Subaru power window motor and regulator assy today. A Dorman unit from Amazon $112, free shipping.
Took me about 45 minutes from gathering tools to putting them away. Trick is to use small suction cups (Harbor Freight) to hold window in raised position after the nuts/bolts holding it to the regulator assy are undone. Saves removing some ancillary components.
I suggest first removing, examining, and replacing the appropriate fuse several times, as this will ensure good electrical contact of the fuse. If it's blown, replace, and see what happens. Some fuses blow for a reason (overload), and some blow due to age, believe it or not.
If the problem is intermittent, that says to me that either the switch is bad (most likely), the ground is bad (possible), or the motor is conking out. Intermittent problems are typically intermittent during their early stages, prior to complete failure.
FWIW, Neither regulator assy I removed looked truly bad, and I suppose that if I had more time (and better temp/weather opportunities) that either one could have been cleaned-up, re-greased, and reinstalled. They are fairly complicated, and it would take some time and effort to do so. Some bushings are not easily examined for wear, nor are they easily re-lubed with the proper lube, generally lithium grease. The electrical motor is a separately replaceable unit.
As a general rule of thumb, if the window seems to be laboring, either up or down, then the regulator is suspect. If there are intermittent failures, then an electrical component is suspect.
Even though I am a big junkyard advocate (leather-covered steering wheel for $10, tow hitch for $50) I do NOT suggest that you replace the switch module with one from a junkyard. In this particular case, the switches from the junkyard will have have seen a great deal of use, and might well have been exposed to the weather during their stay in the junkyard. I strongly suggest you buy new switch module from a trusted vendor, with a reasonable return policy.
During my junkyard forays, I have seen a great number of Foresters of this approximate vintage whose window motors and regulators have been removed. it is almost a rarity to see one of this year-range whose driver's side door has not been violated.
Keep in mind that you do NOT need to replace the entire panel with all its' switches, just the power window module. I'd buy that new.
FWIW, I just had to renew the electrics on the driver's side door of my 1996 Honda Accord. This included power window motor and regulator, electrical door lock actuator, and the electric window switch module. Done in my driveway for a hell of a lot less than I would have paid anyone else to do it.
Good news is that there are YouTube vids on how to do all this stuff. Watch more than one, as some people are a little more clever than others--witness the suction cup trick, mentioned above.
TL;DR: Check the fuse, ensure good contact, and then replace the switch module with a new one. If no joy, then replace the motor/regulator assy. The switch module you replaced was probably about to fail anyway (see Honda comment above). BTDT.
Last edited by RIBob; Yesterday at 12:34 PM.