Diagnostic Corner: Knowing When Your Blower Motor Is Shot


You step out of the gym, into the blistering summer heat.  Surely your shoe soles won’t melt on the blacktop…right?  You hop into your truck, quickly roll down the windows to release some of the built up heat, turn the vehicle on, and switch your A/C to HIGH in the hopes of getting some relief.




You turn the knob down to 1 (low) and the A/C is giving you a light breeze of cool air, but all of the other speeds are non-existent.  Murphy’s Law has struck again, and, on the hottest day of the year, your blower motor has let you down.


Alas, you put all of the windows down, climb into the truck, and hope that you don’t hit any stop lights or traffic on your way home…


What Does a Blower Motor Mean to Your Vehicle? 


Acting as the central driving force behind your vehicle’s climate control system, the blower motor is an important part of passenger comfort.  Without it, you are at the mercy of Mother Nature’s temperature fluctuations, which usually results in an uncomfortable ride.  By pushing air through your vents, cool or warm air cannot reach the cabin without the help of the often underappreciated blower motor.


diagnostic corner blower motor


A failing blower motor, while not crucial to the operation of your vehicle, can leave passengers in an uncomfortable position.


How to Identify a Failing Blower Motor


As we noted above, a blower motor failure is actually quite easy to spot.  There may be some cases in which ALL of the AC/Heater speeds do not work, but in most situations, this particular issue is diagnosed by only a couple of the speeds failing.  For example, you can turn your A/C to “level 1”, and it works just fine.  However, when you move to “level 2”, there is no response.


Additionally, any time you are running the climate control system and smell a strange “burning” scent, there’s a chance that the wiring is faulty, and the blower motor will soon fail.


Repair Prognosis


Blower motor repairs are generally quite simple.  The blower motor in most models will be located beneath the glove compartment inside the vehicle.  Others may be found in the engine compartment, just on the other side of the firewall on the passenger’s side of the vehicle.  The second placement noted is usually for American made trucks and SUVs.


Regardless of where your blower motor is located, replacing one is simple.  The space can be a bit difficult to work with, but usually with a small socket, ratchet, and perhaps a “flex-joint”, the repair takes just a few minutes.


Replacing a blower motor on your own can save time and money!  While it may be good practice to leave the advances repairs to professionals, components such as these are quite simple to replace.



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