Blower motor repair can help restore a failing car AC system. Although not every problem is fixable, there are faults that do not require changing the entire blower assembly. This chapter discusses how to fix a blower motor.
In addition to the repair process, we will also look at the problems that can be corrected and those that cannot be fixed. At the end of the chapter are tips to help you repair a faulty car blower motor or, as it’s also called, heater fan.
Why Do We Choose Blower Motor Repair
Blower motor repair comes with both advantages and disadvantages. When you choose repair, you save on replacement costs, some of which can run into several hundred dollars. Furthermore, some faults, such as bad control module or resistor are not related to the motor. Replacing the motor, therefore, may not change anything.
Some of the downsides of blower motor repair include the lack of assurance that the motor will work. The motor may not even offer any useful service life after the repair. Sometimes, the entire assembly is almost near the end of its life and fixing it only offers a short-lived relief.
Before you can decide whether to repair or replace your AC blower motor, you want to know the things that you can repair and those that require a new motor assembly.
Symptoms of a Bad Blower Motor
- Bad blower motor relay symptoms such as the motor not working or working intermittently
- Blower motor switch symptoms that include faulty speed settings or the blower motor not working when you switch on the AC
- Blower motor not working on any speed due to a faulty resistor
- Blower fan malfunctioning from a faulty control module
- Blower motor making noise as a result of lodged debris in the blower cage
- Blower motor not working at all due to a blown fuse
- Intermittent operation that results from faulty connectors and cables
Before starting the blower motor repair processes, it’s important to confirm if the parts necessary to its working are functional. These include fuses, relay, and resistors or control module. After confirming their condition, you can proceed to repair the motor assembly.
How to Fix a Blower Motor
Now that you know when you can consider blower motor repair instead of replacement, here is the process. Note that you will need to have your car’s repair manual around. That’s because the blower is located in different places across vehicles. Here is how to repair blower motor assemblies and associated components in most cars and trucks.
Ratchet and socket set (and extensions depending on the blower motor location)
Flat tipped screwdriver
Piece of cloth
Blower Motor Repair Steps
Step 1 Disconnect the battery’s negative (black) cable to prevent accidents when working on the blower motor
Step 2 Find the blower motor assembly. It’s usually under the dash can be located in the engine compartment depending on your type of vehicle and model
Step 3 Take out the AC assembly mounting bolts and remove the parts that cover the motor itself. After you have reached the blower, remove the screws that secure the assembly and detach the electrical connectors.
Step 4 Remove the bad blower motor and fan assembly and place it on a flat surface
Step 5 Remove the motor housing or cover to access the bearing or bushing. You may need to detach the fan as well to access the bearing on the other side of the shaft. Apply oil to the bushing or bearing to restore it smooth rotation.
Step 6 As part of the heater blower motor repair, remove any stuck debris from the fan cage and blades. Remove, also, debris from the heater box. If the heater core is clogged with dirt, spray it with cleaner then wipe it with a piece of cloth.
Step 7 Replace every part of the blower motor assembly
Step 8 Install blower motor using the reverse of removal process
Step 9 Re-attach the motor’s wiring harness and replace the battery cable
Step 10 Test the blower to confirm its working. If there are still problems, replace it.
Blower Motor Repair Cost
The amount to spend on blower motor repair depends on the type of damage and its extent. It also depends on the type of components that will need replacing such as relay, fuse, and resistor or control module. Generally the cost to repair the motor assembly alone ranges from $100 upwards.
Additional expenses include the cost to repair blower motor resistor, fuse, or relay, and other electrical components such as cables or connectors. Most of these components need replacing when faulty. However, they are low cost parts, with prices ranging from $25 to $100.
Compared to replacement, repairs save money. Knowing how to repair blower motor is, therefore, a skill that you want to learn. Below are useful tips to help your car for your cars AC blower, and when fixing it, to ensure as successful process.
Blower Motor Repair and Maintenance Tips
Knowing how to fix the AC fan in a car is an important skill. Apart from helping you lower the costs to maintain your car, you will find it useful if you are a DIY enthusiast. Follow these repair tips to help make the process easy and, depending on the type of your car, ensure you do not end up causing more damage.
- Most blower motors do not contain serviceable or replaceable parts. Avoid disassembling the motor. The best you can do is clean and lubricate it to make rotation smooth.
- The blower motor repair procedure described here may not apply to your car, especially concerning the removal of the motor assembly. Consult your car’s manual for the blower motor location. If that isn’t possible, look for the component under the dash, behind the glove box, or engine bay.
- When fixing the blower, avoid prying the fan using a metal object. It could cause the plastic assembly to break and lead to unexpected expenses. Use a blower motor removal tool or better still, leave it on and only lubricate the bushing on one end.
- If the motor is burnt out, you only have one option; to replace it. Check the coming chapter for steps on how to do it.
- Unless you check and replace the parts of the blower motor circuit, fixing the motor will not help. Start with those parts.
- To extend the motors lifespan, avoid using it in conditions that strain it such as when the fan is stuck with debris or using a clogged cabin air filter
- Regularly service the blower by cleaning it
- When servicing the blower, remember, also, to clean the cabin air filter so it doesn’t strain the motor
Blower motor repair is only one of the options when your car AC system shows signs of failure. And while fixing problems will keep the motor going for a little longer, it isn’t possible if it’s too worn or burnt out. If you cannot fix it, replace it. Fitting a new motor and fan assembly has its benefits, too, as we will see next. We will also be explaining the procedure to change a faulty blower motor.