Winter is obviously the worst time for your heat to give out. If you have the misfortune of getting into your car and discovering it has, this repair is something you’ll want to take care of sooner rather than later.
There are a number of things that can go wrong with your heating system, but if the air stops blowing altogether and the same is true on cold air settings, a blower motor replacement is likely in order. The good news is that it’s a fairly straight forward repair.
First Thing’s First
It cannot be stressed enough: If you have a sudden issue with a component on an electrical circuit, check the fuse first. Fuses are simple to check and simple to replace, and if you waste time performing other diagnostics only to find it was a bad fuse, you’re going to kick yourself. Give the fuse a visual check, or switch it with a good fuse to see if the problem corrects itself. If it does, you know the fuse was the culprit.
If it’s not the fuse, however, you’ll have to dig a little deeper and check the wiring. The blower motor is usually located under the dashboard on the passenger side of most vehicles. Look for any loose plugs that may have been accidentally kicked loose. If everything is plugged in it is time to check the wiring. You will need a wiring diagram and a probe or multimeter to check each wire connection. Once you are sure that the wiring is good, then you can move on to the motor.
Checking The Motor
If the wiring is fine, the next step is to confirm the problem is the motor. Using a repair manual for guidance, remove the blower motor from the vehicle. Check the fan for any debris or other junk that may have physically stopped the blower from moving. Rodents are notorious for building nests in heater boxes! If the wiring is good and the motor turns by hand, it may be worth testing the motor itself at your local NAPA AutoCare.
Replacing The Blower Motor
Blower motor replacement is usually fairly straightforward. Buy a new one, bringing along the old part to make sure it’s the same model. If you’re unsure about doing in yourself, simply head over to your local NAPA AutoCare and their experts can tackle it for you.
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Photo courtesy of Blair Lampe
Blair Lampe is a New York-based professional mechanic, blogger, theater technician, and speechwriter. In her downtime she enjoys backpacking wherever her boots will carry her, rock climbing, experimental theatre, a crisp rosé , and showering love on her 2001 Sierra truck.