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Dodgerench
Dodgerench, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 3121
Experience:  30+ years Dodge/Chrysler exp., ASE Master with L1 certification. Driveability/ combustion specialist
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I ahve a 1999 Durango- all 4 windows have stopped working-

Customer Question

I ahve a 1999 Durango- all 4 windows have stopped working- I checked the fuse on the side of the console and they looked fine. I've also noted that when the key is in the ignition, the power lock button only works to unlock, not to lock. when the key is out of the ignition, the power lock finctions fine. my biggest problem is getting windows to function. Thanks
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  Dodgerench replied 4 years ago.
HiCustomer welcome to Just Answer!.

When you lose all four windows at the same time, it's pretty safe to assume one thing in common with them was lost. It may be power, ground, a bad switch... or the switch connector fell off.

Before I go deeper into electrical circuits and testing, try this...

Turn the headlamps on and check to see if the green LEDs in the driver's door switch light up. If they do, the switch connector can be assumed to be connected and we can proceed to checking powers and grounds in a short while.

Your power window fuse is actually a circuit breaker in this year by the way... and is kind of tough to test thanks to its considerable size. Locate it in the fuse panel at the end of the dash (called Junction Block) and substitute a known-good 20 amp fuse just to see if things wake up if you've found the LEDs to be operational.

Wires can break in the harness loom that passes between the door and the main body thanks to the constant bending and twisting they do as the door is operated. Press a window switch and slowly open and close the door while holding the switch to see if some sort of activity from the window can be seen... even if it's only brief activity. If seen, try to locate the prime door opening point for this reaction. When you've seen enough to tell you that it's a broken wire... not a coincidence... you'll at least know where the break is.

Your door locks are actually working correctly. The theory behind disabling the lock function with the key in the ignition is that it makes it harder for the driver to lock their keys in the vehicle. It seems odd if you hadn't noticed it before, but it's designed to work that way.

I'll stop there for now and let you catch up. I'll be sending this as an answer, but it's only because there's content involved... we may have a bit more work to do.

Talk shortly!
Ed
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
the only led light that goes on is the front passenger window- so it's a switch connector?
Expert:  Dodgerench replied 4 years ago.
It might be. Have you ever had one of these door panels off before? They're pretty easy if you know the trick...

Ed
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I have the the procedure in the Haynes manual- is there any other trick?
Expert:  Dodgerench replied 4 years ago.
Not really as long as you realize to pull UP on the panel... not out. There are just the screws at the bottom, wing vent area and at the pull cup. I don't recall having to pull the panel to get access to the switch but that's what my info says to do. It seems like the switch pops out of the panel, so explore that before going in too deep. Start at the rearward section (closest to back part of door), lifting it lightly to see if it'll cooperate.

Ed
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
took the panel off- not sure how to test the connector
Expert:  Dodgerench replied 4 years ago.
It was still connected, huh? Dang, that would've been too easy!

graphic

Here are the power and ground locations on the switch. The Pin 9 position (B+ power source) is used by the auto-down function I believe... not used for normal window operation. See if you have 12v on the Pin 4 (tan wire) and that your ground on Pin 5 is good.

A test light connected to a ground source would work great for the Pin 4 test. A voltmeter would also work fine. See whether you have something close to 12 volts present with the key on and then activate one of the window switches if it's shown to be powered. If the power source disappears, it means you have a high resistance connection somewhere from the switch BACK.

Lost grounds are a pretty common window problem with our vehicles by the way. Put your test light or voltmeter on the black wire and actuate a window with the test light/ meter still connected the same way (to ground). If the meter shows voltage or the test light illuminates, it means the ground circuit is interrupted and isn't able to complete the circuit. Once again, look to the door wiring as the more likely trouble point.

Since the problem is likely a broken wire, locate each of these two wires in the door loom and give 'em a decent tug to see if they pull out of the harness at the break point.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
well. i'm back at it- no wires are pulling out- i assume that the "door loom" is where the harness passes from the door to the cabin, correct? is there a difference between a home test light (with 2 wires) and an automotive one?
Expert:  Dodgerench replied 4 years ago.
It's just a direct current device... connect one end to one polarity and the other to the one you want to test.

In the case of a positive source you want to test, connect to a good negative/ ground source and reverse things if you're looking for a bad ground.

Are you seeing a power source to the switch on the tan wire? Or a ground on the black one?

Ed
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I have the panel off and the connector to the switch disconnected. i see the thickest wires (black, and tan) going into the connector. i feel ignorant on the whole thing and i'm not sure where to go from here. i appreciate your patience.
Expert:  Dodgerench replied 4 years ago.
No problemo! (that's Spanish)

Connect your test light to a good ground source, which usually is a stud at the front of the steering column on these units. Look under the dash for any of the 4 studs that attach the column and hook up.

Turn the key on and check to see if the tan wire has power. If not, it MAY be the circuit breaker in the left-of-the-dash fuse block, but I've never seen one go bad. Still, you have to check, so pull the breaker and install any size fuse. You just want to have power supplied, the amperage doesn't matter when the connector is removed.

If OK, you need to find a good power source to connect the test light to. I'd use the tan wire at that point.

Stuff a paper clip or small screwdriver into the wire side of the connector to contact the tan power source and connect the test light clip to it.

Test the circuit by touching the test light to a known ground source... like the door striker or the steering column studs (better). When it lights, you know you have a good connection. Test the black wire on your switch to see if it lights as well. If it does, I'd go with a new switch.

If not, we have a broken ground path somewhere.

Let me know!
Ed
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Ed, i can't get anything to light up- i'm probably doing it wrong- i wondering if its a bad switch. i may try to get a used one and swap it out. what do you think? would the power lock button work on the switch if the power or ground were disrupted? i'm just shooting in the dark here. either way, i had to button everything back up for the night. thanks again
Expert:  Dodgerench replied 4 years ago.
Sorry shiffty! The wife got home and I kinda lost track of time...

Power door locks are a separate circuit on the switch, so you can't use that as a reference. It looks like they're working OK.

Take your test light out to the battery just to see if the unit works OK. Connect the clip to either battery terminal and touch the test lead to the other battery lead. It should light up if OK.

It's not always easy to get a good ground connection inside the truck, so I connect the clip... twist a bit... and check it against a known good power source then, like something in the Junction Block just to be sure I've got a working circuit.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

i'll try tomorrow. essentially what occurred was that my wife was driving, my son was in the rear right seat and wanted the window down (the lock switch was on) when she unlocked the window, his switch still didn't work. she tried the right front window- it went down aprt way, stopped, and wouldn't go back up. if i find a used switch and swap it out, and it works, i'll let you know. thanks

 

Expert:  Dodgerench replied 4 years ago.
Are there any windows that work right now?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
nope
Expert:  Dodgerench replied 4 years ago.
OK... continue checking power and ground. If you've got both, I'd have no reservation to replacing the switch.

Ed
Dodgerench, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 3121
Experience: 30+ years Dodge/Chrysler exp., ASE Master with L1 certification. Driveability/ combustion specialist
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
so, one las ttime- touch the prong of the tester to the back of the connector, where the wire inserts. then touch the other lead to metal the is sure to be gounded. (similar to jump starting the car, correct?)
Expert:  Dodgerench replied 4 years ago.
That's it.

You just need opposite polarity connection on the clip end for something to happen. For testing a positive source, you need to be clipped to a good negative source. The door striker is sometimes OK for that, but you can't depend on it.

Just test the circuit with your test light before testing the actual feed you want. With the tester connected to a ground source, find a good positive source in the Junction Block to make sure it lights up when touched.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
dumb question- what's the junction block?
Expert:  Dodgerench replied 4 years ago.
Sorry! It's the fuse block at the left end of your dash. Pull the cover off and that's where you'll find the circuit breaker for your window switches. It should be shown on the map on the inside of the cover.

If not, look for a large silver device that plugs in like a fuse. That's almost certainly your power window circuit breaker. Stuff another fuse of any size into that location if you don't see power out at the switch just to check circuit continuity.

If that restores power, you just have a bad circuit breaker which you can substitute a fuse for in the short term. Use a 20 if that's the case.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
not sure if this indicates anything, but I've blown 2 fuses in my circuit breaker test. disconnected negative battery cable, inserted 20amp fuse, reconnect and pop. no time to work on it tonight- start again tomorrow.
Expert:  Dodgerench replied 4 years ago.
It sure does!

If the fuse blows without even pushing a switch, there's a dead short somewhere.. most likely with the switch or within the door, shiffty.

Disconnect the switch if you haven't done that already and load another fuse. If it doesn't blow, replace the switch assembly.

If it does blow, inspect the door harness for any signs of abrasion, especially in places that have contact with the wiring. These will almost certainly be shorting opprotunities since there isn't much in the door that isn't metal.

I wouldn't be surprised to hear that your circuit breaker's... broke as well. If you've had this short going on for a while, it may have overheated and burned itself out. Or it will work but quit during normal operation from a weakened bimetallic element within the unit.

No matter, you're getting close. Talk tomorrow!

Ed
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
finally found a used switch, replaced it and everything runs great. thanks a million.
Expert:  Dodgerench replied 4 years ago.
I do love a happy ending. Thanks, schiffty!

Gobble gobble,
Ed

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