Repairing Citroen C5 08+ Electric Window.





Introduction: Repairing Citroen C5 08+ Electric Window.

This is my first instructable, and is done from memory, so if I've missed a step out or you need more information, let me know.

You're probably looking at this because like me something snapped and now your electric windows no longer operate, and you want to have a go at fixing it because the dealer wants to charge you lots of ££'s to change the complete regulator assembly because apparently you can't get the parts separately.

In my case I could hear the motor turning but no movement, so I went ahead and ordered a £19.99 kit off eBay that contained all the likely candidates for the item that had gone (didn't feel the need to go to the trouble of stripping everything down to have a look before ordering).

The kit contained 3 cables, 2 plastic sliders, 1 spiral pulley, 2 springs.

As it turned out, it was just the shortest cable that had snapped (rusted through!), so I changed that and the spiral pulley just in case. The whole process took about an hour.

Step 1: What You Will Need

Electric Drill. (to remove rivets round speaker housing)

Small screwdriver. (for lifting trim)

Torx screwdriver.

Grease. (I used copper grease because that's what I had knocking about)

Replacement parts.

Optional- automotive panel lifting tool.
Some spare panel fixing pins. (if you break them because you don't have the above tool like me)

Rivet gun and rivets or large self tapping screws (to re-attach speaker housing)

Double-sided tape or duct tape, whatever you need to stick panel interior back down.

I broke a couple of push fit fasteners from around the door card so need to get some of these, but still fits snugly without them.

Step 2: Removing Trim

1. Start with door lever trim, lift up using small screwdriver at the bottom of the widest part, work your way round to the top then lift, there is tab at the narrow end.

2. Next remove the trim on the door handle, start lifting with a small screwdriver at the points shown in the picture. You now have access to the 2 torx screws, remove these.

3. Lift out the window control panel (comes out easy) and unplug the cables, taking note where they came from.

4. Lift out floor light and remove cable.

5. Pop the door panel up starting at the bottom and try not to snap the plastic clips like I did (I believe there's a special tool for this but I don't have one).

6. Once the panel is separated all the way round carefully lift upwards and the panel is off!

Step 3: Gain Access to the Regulator Assembly

1. Slacken the torx screw holding the plastic extension arm and slide out.

2. Carefully peel away the polystyrene sheet (it tears easy).

3. The speaker housing rivets need to be drilled out to gain access to the torx screw behind (you could make a hole in the back of the housing after removing the speaker, but I didn't want to break it).

Step 4: Take Out the Glass

1. Undo the torx screws holding the glass to the sliders, the window needs to be half way down to get at them. When the screws are removed the glass SHOULD stay in place because there are hooks on the clips.

2. Now with one hand ready to take the weight of the glass inside, lift from above with the other. the glass comes out of the opening surprisingly easily. it seems to angle itself under its own weight as you lift just be careful not to knock the clips off going through the gap.

Be careful not to drop it and put it somewhere safe.

Step 5: Take Out the Assembly

You will need to remove the 4 screws holding the runners. and the 2 screws holding the motor.

Once everything's undone the whole lot will fold up so you can wriggle it out the gap.

Step 6: Replace Broken Parts

With the assembly out if the car you will be able to assess the extent of the damage. In my case it was just the small cable, so swapped this, and the spiral gear attached to the motor assembly for good measure.

Be careful to take note of the direction of the cables, and which way they are wound and connected before you take anything apart.

With the motor off, I was able to connect the cable to the spiral gear by wrapping one turn twist 180 degrees then flip round and repeat till fully wound up. the springs on the end of the cables, enable this quite easily (not connected to the runners at this point). You just need to make sure the last turn you put on ends up with the gear facing the right way up, or it won't go back on the motor shaft (I had to do it twice).

A few people have reported difficulty 'winding' the cable as it was very tight. This shouldn't be the case as there is enough room with the spring compression on the end of the cables to flip and rotate the spool. There is no winding involved here it's about getting the direction of the flip and turn right as you go.

Before putting the motor back on you can check that the operation is correct by sliding the runners up and down, both runners should move together, in the same direction, and have full travel, (this would be a good time to apply grease to all the moving parts and as much of the cables as you can expose).

Now back on with the motor, making sure the sliders, are in the center of of the runners so you can see the screw holes once back in the car, the gear should not bind in it's enclosure, if it does, its either upside down or needs pressing further onto the shaft.

Step 7: Reassembly

Before replacing the assembly back in the door you can plug the unit back in to test for correct operation using the first position of the window switch, you are looking for correct direction of travel and no binding. Remember to leave the sliders in the central position.

1. Fold up the assembly and push it up the opening and and screw back into place.

2. Slide the glass back into the door and carefully hang on the back of the sliders. Put the screws back in. Be careful to take the weight from inside and make sure it's correctly sat on the hangers before letting go.

3. Put the speaker, and housing back on using a rivet gun if you drilled out the old ones (I have used heavy duty double sided foam as a temporary measure until I get a rivet gun).

4. Make sure all the electrics that are covered by the liner are connected before before sticking it back on.

5. Now fit the door handle extension before hanging the door card (loosely for now). Feed all the wiring for the floor light, switches etc, out of the holes and reconnect.

6. Push the door card pack into place and screw down the door handles. Clip the trim and switches back into place.

Step 8: Program the Window

Now you've got everything back together you'll probably notice the window behaving strangely (i.e. not staying in the closed position and opening again to half way). This is due to the anti-pinch memory not being in the same position as it was, and needs reprogramming.

To do this, simply press the down button CAREFULLY (don't catch the second switch position or you'll have to start again) once the window has gone all the way down hold keep holding the button for 10 seconds. Repeat this for the all the way up position and you're done.



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    16 Discussions

    The top screws are in a hole behind the grey sponge stickers

    Have today done the drivers side, even using the clamps this proved onerous, what was the reason: look at the actual diameter of the new drum, which is usually a tight fit over the OEM motor splines and may be 1mm or so larger in diameter, then compare the spring guages & look at the compressed length. Moral of the story is compare the new with the original to ensure, that taking all into consideration, it is identical not made with cables that are in effect too short due to too heavy a spring guage or a larger drum. Obtain an OEM version if you can find what make it is and check which version you have, otherwise you will not get it to fit unless you take some outer cable off both cables that fit onto the drum or some other action. There should be some spring action and your sliders must slide freely or the anti pinch mechanism will cut in on going up. A sad reflection on the aftermarket suppliers quality control, but you could be lucky.

    1 reply

    Hi Colin I may have got lucky with the quality of my cable, got it from eBay and was about £15. it was slightly different as you mentioned (spring compression etc). however, this didn't make any difference to the installation or operation. Both the new and old drums were very snug fit in the holder.
    I have mentioned it elsewhere, but there should be absolutely no need to have to compress the springs when installing the cable (you cannot wrap the cable round the drum.. this will not work at all) if you are coming across this problem it's because the technique isn't correct.
    It's a bit like a puzzle once you've found the correct method of flips and rotates in the right order you'll get that eureka moment and you'll see how easy it was.

    I also found a problem with the passenger door a year ago which prompted me to make 2 slide on clamps that keep the springs compressed and solve the "tight" problem, I now have the driver's door to do on a 2009 tourer. It is usually the bottom cable that rusts through but I believe there are Stainless Steal one available - but they may fatigue earlier.

    Hi mate i have discoloured silver panels on my door panels and because you taken apart all panels wascwondering if there is an easy way of just removing the silver bits on my driver and passenger arm bits (the boomerang part)

    1 reply

    Hi Matt was a long time ago and didn't pay much attention to the trim so can't be much help. The only thing I would suggest is to remove the door card just to check the trim is not held in from the back with clips or something similar. That way you won't break anything if you pry them off.
    Regards David


    These are good instructions, however we are a bit stuck when we are trying to put the cables back on the spiral gear and no matter how much we try we can't seem to make it.

    We managed to put them in one direction but when connecting the motor it doesn't work properly. When you press the button to go up the window goes down and the other way round? Any idea what we might be doing wrong? Would it be possible to be a bit more specific about the 180 degree turn and also would it be possible to explain which cable you put first and which second?

    Any help would be much appreciated.



    1 reply

    Hi ChrysothemisS,

    As I said in the update to my instructable you cannot wind the the cable on the pulley there simply isn't room to do that. Instead you have to do a combination of rotations and flips. Its quite difficult to explain and I can't make a video of how to do it as I don't have the car anymore. But once you use the technique you will realise how simple it is. Flip away from facing the then twist 180 then flip towards from facing and repeat. If the window goes the wrong way then simply spool the cable in the opposite direction to what you have now.
    Hope this helps,


    These are good instructions, however we are a bit stuck when we are trying to put the cables back on the spiral gear and no matter how much we try we can't seem to make it.

    We managed to put them in one direction but when connecting the motor it doesn't work properly. When you press the button to go up the window goes down and the other way round? Any idea what we might be doing wrong? Would it be possible to be a bit more specific about the 180 degree turn and also would it be possible to explain which cable you put first and which second?

    Any help would be much appreciated.




    2 years ago

    Great instructions, problem I have is the one touch operation does'nt seem to work,

    I replaced all 3 cables (only the short cble was damaged) anybody have any ideas

    1 reply

    Should work OK once you complete the programming of the window. It is important to hold the button in the first position for at least 10 seconds in both the open and closed positions. If the window stops during automatic mode this could mean the anti pinch mechanism is kicking in due to lack of free movement. If this is the case make sure all points of contact are lubricated.

    Thanks for your kind remarks. Sorry to hear you had difficulty with tight cable. I have edited the tutorial to explain getting the cable on the spool a little better.

    djsainty - you are a sainty!

    Without your informative guide this would have been a long day.

    Kit cost £8.99 delivered off eBay and was fitted in 3 hours.

    I'm sure I could have been quicker but like Nelthewire I found wrapping the wire round the cog fiddly and mine had to have been tighter than as tight as a tight thing in a tight factory!!! I salute you sir and thank you.

    I would just like to say a big thank you for taking the time to produce this step by step guide in repairing the regulator cables in the C5. I am not by any means a mechanic but have a good idea as to what to do when instructed and your tutorial was excellent. After buying a replacement cable set online for £14.99 and fitting this myself (following your instruction) it took me a little more than an hour or so but saved me another £310 from what the garage quoted me allowing me to have a good Christmas. Thanks again.

    Thank you for taking the time to write this up. I did the repair today. I had the same broken cable as you. the OEM cables rust like hell. I got a replacement kit that is all stainless steel cables. the replacement spool didn't fit the motor so I used the OEM spool. total time 4 hours! I cleaned & greased everything very well.

    Just done mine wrapping the cable round the cog was very fiddly and the cable was as tight as a tight thing in a tight factory, but I have to say thanks for the tutorial I couldn't have done it without it. It took me about three and a half hours and saved me a fortune !!!!!! CHEERS