Changing your car windows to be automatic from the driver’s side, sounds good, right?
In theory, the idea sounds great. One touch window up or down. Some fancy FOB combinations make windows perform set functions. Automatic windows up when locking the car.
I purchased the Trac Electronics auto window & mirror module for my Dmax X-Terrain. I’ve used it for about 18 months. When I installed it we were still in and out of covid lockdowns here in Melbourne, so the little I drove the car, it was OK. As all the covid nonsense ceased and freedom ensued, I started to despise my choice every time I used the car.
The automatic mirror function is amazing. You lock the car and mirrors tuck away. You unlock, they open. No problems with that. In fact, that is the module I now purchased and have removed the auto window version installed.
When cars come with a driver’s side auto-window, the switch operates across two points in both directions, so the driver can pull it slightly to control operation, or fully and let go, automating the driver window so you can focus on driving. The other three switches which this type of module gives automatic function, do not have a dual-stage. This is where the issue starts.
This is not about Trac Electronics. The company make products that do what they say. This is about my choice, and how in my case it was the wrong choice for me. I didn’t think about the problems caused by a module like this, and was only focused on automating windows and having FOB functions.
Driving along you want to put down your passenger window a little, to let some air flow. Alas, you touch the button and the window goes fully down. So now you pull up, automatic again. Now you touch the switch again to make it stop, but it doesn’t stop in the right place and not enough air is coming in. Now you touch it to go down a little, but it runs away in automatic. So you double-touch it, to start and stop, but it goes too far down. It’s a friggin nightmare.
Whilst driving the car, this system turns your window control into a nightmare. You become more focused on trying to get passenger or rear windows to the height you want, instead of driving. We all become used to controlling car windows. You know just how much to touch the control for the window to do what you want. Not with this addon, all that goes out the window.
Now it sounds great that all your windows go up when you lock the car. Until they don’t, because electronics being electronics, sometimes it fails. It happened enough times when I had all four windows down, when locking the car I waited to ensure they all went up, as I had experienced times when one window stopped short or didn’t close at all.
It sounds cool, get out of your car, hit lock-unlock-lock on your FOB and all four windows crack slightly to let air through the car to keep it cool? In practice, the windows crack the tiniest amount that lets little air through the car. In reality, with your weather shields installed, you have to go through the above nightmare to crack each window to a desired height, then get out and go through the FOB function otherwise all your windows will automatically close (built-in feature). As stated, it barely moves the windows, and when up, mine didn’t crack lower than the seal. I honestly feel the function failed.
FOB functions sounded great, but they were honestly more gimmicky to me. I also had to try and remember them all, and just stopped using them because they were useless or I hit the wrong combination so the wrong thing happened and I just put all the windows up to do what I had to do.
This is my experience, my opinion of trying to automate windows that were not designed for it. Sounds lovely, but fails miserably in reality. The switches are not designed for this operation, so it makes controlling the windows difficult. It does not matter the brand. I don’t know if there are other brands making these. I know I used Trac Electronics system. I know it is not the company or the product at fault, it was me. I thought it sounded cool, it wasn’t. Maybe someone else thinks automating their windows sounds cool, and maybe this gives a little thought before you do it. Maybe this is all useless information because you just love the function. Which is great, if it works for you.
If I lived up North where I did for the first 35 years of my life, let me say, this box would have got pulled out about a week or two after I installed it. Never would it have lasted 18 months installed. I don’t use the car a lot, it is our holiday and offroading vehicle, not a daily driver, which is probably the only reason the system lasted this long before I pulled it out.