Hi Oppo! My wife came home complaining about a burning smell in her car and a non functioning window. Problems with this car are common, so it hardly phased me when I heard something else had gone wrong. I had her pull it in the garage and I got to work. Poking my head inside I sensed a faint smell of burning electronics. So I sniffed near the door and the smell was stronger. Took the door panel off, sniffed the window motor, bingo! First time I’ve diagnosed a car with my nose. I disconnected the motor and left it that way until I got a replacement. I did this job a couple weeks ago, but I took pictures to share with you all. Here’s a step by step of replacing the window motor in a 2004 Beetle convertible.

1. Remove the trim on the handle.

2. Remove the two screws in the handle.

3. There are three torx head screws along the bottom of the panel. Remove those.

4. Work your way around the perimeter of the door and carefully pop the clips out of the door. You might need to slide a screwdriver in the bottom and carefully pry up to get started.

5. Reach in behind the inner panel and undo all of the electrical connectors and undo the cable going to the door handle.

6. Use a screwdriver to pull up the latch on the window motor’s electrical connector. Pull the connector out.

7. Remove the three screws holding the motor in.

8. Remove the motor. The window should stay up, but if you push on it it will fall. Just pull it back up if you need to.

9. Install the new motor and connect the wiring harness. I thought it would be a good idea to try the new motor before reassembling everything. So, I removed the window switch from the door panel by pressing on the tab and lifting it out. I then connected the switch to the wiring harness and tried out the window motor.

10. Assembly is the reverse of disassembly.

11. To “teach” the car where the up and down limits of window travel are, hold the window down switch until it reaches the bottom. Continue holding for several seconds (I did ten seconds). Then raise the window and hold the switch up for several seconds again. All done!


It’s a pretty simple job and the procedure is probably similar for most cars. If you happen to be looking for a Beetle convertible window motor for the driver side, good luck! Nobody has the aftermarket part in stock and nobody knows when it will be in stock. Used ones on eBay are going for around $100. I found the VW part online for $300. Ouch!