Okay, this month’s post is not going to be a rant about how the world is falling apart. Nor is it likely to really fit into the “Living Off the Grid” category. This one is about passing on information to the next person in hopes that they do not end up with the mess I have.
The topic is Blower Motor Resistors.
First let me state that I hate working with anything that greasy & oily. Give me a piece of wood and there is not much I can not do with it and I am in hog heaven, but I detest machinery. But because I am cheap, I have a grand desire to learn anything new, & it is very difficult to find someone you trust to work on your vehicle. I tend to do a lot of work myself. My newest endeavor into the world of auto mechanic is a blower fan that stopped working. I figured the blower motor itself was fine, there was sickening sound that you hear of metal on metal when a spinning object is about to die. My first assumption was that it was the control switch in the cab going bad.
I had lost the first three settings of the fan control some time ago. And yes, I should have researched the issue back then, hence why I am telling you all this in hopes that you gain an advantage from my stupidity. I finally lost the highest setting a couple of days ago. Not wanting to be without the mighty blast of northern cool air that usually baths me like the music of an Ice Cream truck coming down the street. I jumped into researching how to replace the control panel.
I quickly found out that the most common, and easiest to replace, problem when a blower motor stops running is a burnt out resistor. Now, if you are like me and have limited auto mechanics experience, but have computer knowledge. A resistor looks like this:
Well, to my surprise, and a new lesson of the day, they come in other forms. My blower motor resistor looks like this when all shiny and new:
According the various YouTube videos I watched, these thing have tendency to burn out over time due to heat build up, use, and moisture. I learned I made two mistakes that I can determine from what I have learned from the videos and web forums. If you go back to image 1, you can see that to shut the fan off, the right most control needs to be pointing towards Santy Claus, North, or straight up to the “Off” position. Well, even on times when I was not actually using the heat or the ac, I would never move that control to the off position, I would just turn the fan control to the lowest speed. This was not good. This allowed the fan to operate, thus allow electricity to flow through the resistor and shortening its lifespan. So the lesson here is clearly, shut of the fan when not using it. Do not be a lazy bastard like myself who refuses to acknowledge the existence of that elusive far right control (it’s a lefty thing). My second mistake was not looking into the issue when I lost the first fan setting. This was the resistor telling me it is not feeling well, it could a check up, a little love. But I ignored it, which caused it to work harder, thus get hotter. The end result to all this is a welded mess of metal and plastic.
Removing the resistor from its location was easy enough. For mine, two small screws, resistor and wiring harness come right out. Now, removing the resistor from the wiring harness, not so easy. This was the results of tearing the resistor from its plastic male base;
After the resistor itself was drawn and quartered, leaving the male base:
which pulled right off of the female harness without a single cry of objection;
leaving the female wiring harness. This was the failure point;
Being that my beautful baby is working on her 17th year, finding parts tends to lead me to RockAuto.com because local auto stores tend to not have anything but the most replaced items in stock. Waiting a few days for parts to come in is nothing to cry over, but i could have saved myself having to replace the wiring harness end had I checked on why I lost fan speed when it was first indicated.
Hope you all benefit from my life lesson.
Love & Light