How to Replace a Blower Motor in a Car

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The blower motor in a car is a small electrical motor located inside the vehicle’s heating and air conditioning duct. The blower motor works in conjunction with the heater core by drawing air from outside the vehicle and blowing it across the core. This heated air is then used to warm the passenger cabin. The blower motor on your car may fail with little or no warning, but if you notice your heater is underperforming or you hear a grinding or scraping noise coming from the firewall on the passenger side of the vehicle, it could be a sign that the blower motor will soon need to be replaced.

Things You'll Need

  • Wrench set
  • Masking tape
  • Marker
  • Socket set

Removing the Blower Motor

  • Disconnect the ground cable from the negative battery terminal. Loosen the retaining bolt using a wrench. Pull the clamp off the terminal.

  • Locate the blower motor. On most vehicles, it will be located inside the engine bay along the firewall on the passenger side of the vehicle. On some vehicles, it may be located inside the passenger compartment, below the dash on the passenger side of the vehicle.

  • Pull the wiring connector or connectors off the blower motor, using your hand. In most cases there will be one plastic connector. If there are more than one, use masking tape and a marker to label them for reassembly,

  • Using a socket, unscrew the screws that secure the blower motor to the heater case or firewall.

  • Pull the blower motor and fan blades from the vehicle as an assembly.

  • Unscrew the nut that secures the fan blades to the motor, using a socket.

  • Pull the fan blades away from the motor.

Installing the Blower Motor

  • Drop the fan blades into position on the new motor.

  • Screw on the nut that secures the fan blades to the motor.

  • Slide the motor/fan blade assembly into position in the heater case or firewall.

  • Screw in the screws that secure the blower motor to the heater case or firewall.

  • Press the plastic wiring connector onto the back of the blower motor.

  • Reconnect the ground cable to the negative battery terminal. Slide the clamp over the terminal and tighten the retaining bolt with a wrench.

  • Test for proper operation.

Tips & Warnings

  • Before replacing the blower motor, run the heater fan switch at all speeds. If the fan works at some speeds but not others (usually at the highest speed but not lower speeds), it's likely the fan switch--and not the motor--is at fault.
  • Always disconnect the ground cable from the negative battery terminal before servicing any vehicle’s electrical system. Failure to do so could cause electrical shock and short circuits.

References

  • "Chilton's General Motors Cavalier/Skyhawk/Sunbird/Sunfire 1982-96 Repair Manual"; Chilton Book Company; 1996
  • "Haynes Toyota Camry 1992 thru 1996 Repair Manual"; Chilton; 1999
  • "Chilton Saturn L-Series 2000-2004 Repair Manual"; Chilton; 2004
  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images
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