Should I Remove Power Locks And Windows And Install Manual Versions Instead?

Power door locks and windows have become standard on most new cars, and if you look back at older models, you'll see many that have some sort of power connected to these items (e.g., door locks that you can open both manually and by pressing a button on the door, linked to the car's power system). But for a number of drivers, these powered amenities are actually annoying. One option is to retrofit the car -- remove the power connections to the locks and windows and install manual handles and locks. Whether you should take that step if you don't like power locks and windows, though, depends on a few issues.

Costs of Retrofitting

Retrofitting isn't cheap. This is more than just removing the door panel and unplugging a few things. Window handles have to be installed and connected, and the door locks have to be completely redone because in some car models, the interior levers fit so low in the door when locked that you can't get enough of a grip to pull them up. Make sure you're willing to part with that money because insurance won't pay for this type of work.

Freedom From Engine Power

One of the main issues people have with power locks and windows is that they require you to start the car partway to use the switches. In many models, you can't raise or lower the windows without that power, so if something happens to the battery, you have to leave the windows as is. Luckily many door locks already have a manual option and don't require power to use, but there are some car models where your only option is to rely on a powered switch to unlock the door. Not desirable for many.

No More Remote or Multiple Lock Access

One advantage to having power doors and windows is that you can lock and unlock all the locks at once, and you can raise a window on the other side of the car without moving to that side. That makes it much easier to let your family into the car in bad weather and to roll the window up and down to speak to someone on the other side of the car. If you retrofit the car to use a manual system, you'll lose that convenience.

Future Repairs Won't Involve Wiring

Whenever you have to fix something with the car's wiring, there's always the risk that the connection could go wrong after the repair is finished, just like any car repair has a risk of failing. But if you have manual locks and windows, there's no messing with the wiring in the car. If something fails on a window repair, it won't affect the car's electrical system at all. That's a plus, even though the risk of something going wrong is small.

When you're used to reaching for a handle to roll down the window, a switch can be tough to acclimate to, especially when you find you have to turn the engine on partway in order to make the switch work. Think through why the power setup annoys you, and if it's something that's more than just about getting used to new procedures, you may want to contact an auto body shop that can take apart the system and transform it into a manually operated one, with locks and windows you adjust by hand. Some shops might not be able to do this, but many can, so keep looking. Contact a shop, like Custom Kar Tops, for more help.