A/C Blower Motor Won’ t Work

Reader Comment….or Question?

Hello TrustMyMechanic.com,

I have a few questions for you if you do not mind and have the time… though I need some of the answers as soon as possible, none are seriously high priority, so please just take your time and answer when “you” get the chance to. I am not an expert auto-mechanic be any means, but I know enough and do 90% of the work myself to my own cars. I used to do it because I enjoyed it and liked to take things apart and put them back together, and I also did it to upgrade performance, etc..

Now I do it for those reasons too, but also because I need to save the money and because I just do not “trust mechanics” anymore. Now, not all mechanics are dishonest, but lately, I can’t seem to find a honest mechanic that does not want to rip you off, and it’s not the shade-tree mechanics I’m talking about either, it’s huge corporations like GM for example. The last two times I went to GM, they have lied to me, just a flat out big fat LIE.

Two years ago I took my mother to go pick her car up from the service dept, and the AC was barely blowing cool air, I decided to leave it with them so they could check out the AC system to see why, the AC system is something I never liked fooling with and did not know much about. The next day when I went to pick it up, they gave me a quote of $689.00 to fix it, I think they said the condenser had a major leak in it.. I was like, hmmm… I can’t afford that right now, I will see this Friday when I get paid how my status is. He told me, well.. it’s blowing “cold air” right now cause we filled it with refrigerant and a dye, but it will leak out in probably within two weeks. Here it is, two years later and that same cold air is still blowing nice and cold.

Now, I know a lot of today’s refrigerant has leak stop in with it, but if it had a “major leak”, I seriously doubt it would have sealed the leak? I would have paid them close to $700.00 and my AC would be working no differently than it is right now.

I live in Mobile, Alabama.. where the heat and humidity is very high, so an AC system not working correctly would be easily noticeable… and the air the is coming from it is nice and cold.

Well, unfortunately for me, I also own two other GM cars also, and like with my other cars, I do “most” of the work myself. Well, a few months ago my car AC head unit (the part with the AC controls on it) started having issues, it has the following settings: Off, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. Well, only 2, 3, and 4 were working, the compressor would still kick in on setting 1 and 5, but it would “not” blow any air. A little later on setting “2” failed and I only had 3 and 4, then 3 failed about a month ago and all I had was setting “4” … then last week setting 4 quit on me!

The average temps lately have been between 94 to 102 degrees, the heat index has been about 10% higher. So it’s been friggin HOT. I figured it was either the “AC Head Unit” itself, or maybe the “Blower Motor”, but really was not sure. I do remember smelling a burning smell, like plastic burning or wires burning..

and I started thinking, it must be the AC Head Unit shorting out or something, if it was the Blower Motor, it more than likely would not work on any setting. I had GM look at it, they came back with a quote around $450.00, about $300.00 in parts (for the AC Head Unit / Controller) and around $150.00 for labor. Once again, I told them I would have to wait until I got the money.

Now I hate messing around with the AC system, but it’s been so damn hot I had to find a way to fix it myself. I checked the junkyards for the AC Head Unit, most quoted around $35.00 to $40.00 for the piece I needed.. which is not to bad. Next thing I needed to do is figure out how to replace it without tearing apart my dash. Before I went through the trouble of doing this though, I wanted to be positive this was the problem.

I was reading my Haynes manual for information/troubleshooting, it did not really cover this type of issue though. So I started using the BEST TOOL in the world for just about ANY PROBLEM, it’s called www.google.com …

I started reading about the Impala’s around my year and my model type, it seems this was quite a common issue, I read ALOT of complaints about this, and on 75% of them, the fix was the “Blower Motor Resistor Switch”, which is a part that cost right under $30.00.

So I went and got it, I will say it was a little difficult to get to, in fact the old one is still in place, I just unhooked it and hooked up the new one to make SURE it’s the part before I go through the rest of the trouble of getting the old one out and new one in place. Low and behold, my AC works now, and every setting BLOWS COLD AIR!

It’s fixing to be dark, so I will probably finish this up tomorrow, I have back and shoulder problems from a car accident and getting to parts like this is a killer for me.. but my wallet is a bigger killer, so it’s something I must do.

Thing is, even after I have verified which part is bad, I still refuse to take it to a mechanic shop. I’m no idiot when it comes to most things on fixing a car, yet places like this still try and LIE to you and stick you for every cent they can. What is wrong with these people? Why do they do this kind of crap?

GM just came out of a huge bankruptcy, mainly because people would rather buy Japanese cars than American cars, and now I am getting a sense of why. I think most Americans just do not trust them.

You would think that GM and other places that do these things would change their thinking… but they don’t. I still have the quote the GM service manager gave me.

I am going to go up there Monday and present him with it and the old part I replaced, with the $26.99 receipt I paid for the part, and then ask him what he thinks about that, and tell him about the previous time they quoted me $680 for my other car that is still blowing the cold air they filled it with. I am real curious to see what they say.

Another thing.. GM disgusts me on their faulty parts they refuse to issue RECALLS on. Take for example their “plastic intake manifold gaskets” on the 3100, 3400, and 3800 engines.

Mine started leaking on my Impala w/ 3400 engine last year, GM wanted $1,100.00 to fix it.. I crapped my pants when the said that, I read about it online and found out how common of a issue this was, average mileage for the replacements was 67,000 miles ..

Ummm, are you kidding me? I’m sorry, but this should not occur at 67,000 miles under normal driving conditions. Where’s the recall on the “faulty gaskets” made of “plastic”? So I took this on myself, took me about 15 hrs to do it, but I did it and used FelPro metal gaskets.

I also had the plastic Plenum crack and leak on my Bonneville with the 3800 engine. Seriously.. this is completely ridiculous. My Bonneville only had 79,000 miles on it when this happened. I see all the problems my cars have, and find that the majority of them are so common it’s crazy.. yet I see no recalls, I just don’t get it.

GM and their “Dex-Cool” coolant, this is an issue too. At first I thought nothing of all the rant and rave about this stuff, thought it was just people trying to sue and get some money. My coolant in my Grand AM turned into a gooey sludge, GM tried to say someone mixed another type of coolant with it, I told them “no one has added any coolant to it”.

This was “before” I read about the “Dex-Cool” problems, after doing some reading and how people claimed Dex-Cool long-life coolant ate through rubber/plastic and could even corrode metal, I drained my Impala of it and Bonneville of it, and flushed the system myself and filled them with the standard green coolant.

My Grand AM unfortunately still has it, because the cooling system on it is set up different (no radiator cap, etc..), but I will remove it too! Now, here is what really got my attention. In my den, where I keep my tools and car parts, etc.. I had two regular milk jugs with coolant in them, one was the standard green stuff, the other was Dex-Cool ..

one day I walked into my den and noticed orange stuff all over the floor, I thought that maybe my daughter accidentally turned it over or bumped into it.. I cleaned it up and wiped the bottom of the jug off, made sure the top was tight and put it back down, two days later more orange stuff on the floor.

I picked the jug up and wiped it off, held it up was was looking for a leak, but did not see anything. I placed 4 rubber stoppers on the ground and placed the jug on it, the next morning there was several drops formed on the bottom of the jug .. the coolant was actually coming through the plastic, in holes so small you could not see them with your eyes.

It ate through the jug!!! Now I know, a milk jug is not a certified container, but the green coolant did not do this, in fact, it’s still in my den with the same green coolant in it. I also have noticed a “crusty orange buildup” around the edges of my radiator hoses on my Grand AM now, and these hoses are only a year old.

I’m not scientist, but I believe these people are right about Dex-Cool, it’s corrosive over time and can harm your rubber and plastic parts on your car. Maybe one reason GM’s plastic gaskets fail so quickly (besides being plastic, wear metal should be used).

I have came to the conclusion that GM is a major auto company that is corrupted from top to bottom (I sure hope you don’t work for them .. lol?). Seriously.. they try and rip you off, they do not back their products, and they use cheap parts.

The parts you get from AutoZone are just as dependable as OEM parts from GM in my book. Things like this, should upset people like you as well… “they” give people like “you” a bad name, when people start to distrust mechanics, unfortunately they just group them all together.. GM’s dishonesty will overflow into the rest of the industry.

Our mechanic we use at work for our company trucks, well… unfortunately he is just as bad. My AC unit in my Impala quit working completely a few months back too, it was still blowing air, but it was HOT air.

He said he would look at it for me… he came back and told me my compressor was froze up, I told him, are you sure? He said yes. It was a Friday, I started looking at stuff on Saturday and found a blown fuse. Now, you see what I mean? Fuse = $0.50, compressor = $350.00. I’ve known this guy for 20 yrs too. So sad…

I’ve got to the point to wear I hurt myself working on my own cars because I do not trust anyone anymore. I just got over a ruptured disc in my back 6 months ago, I wake up in pain every morning… when you get thrown from your car doing over 90 mph, been drinking, and have no seatbelt, it does things to your body it was not designed to go through.

(I know, I’m an idiot, lucky I can still walk and talk). I pay for the stupid mistake everyday since I turned 30 too, I feel it everyday, and currently my back is killing me from the position I was in putting in that blower motor resistor switch. I really should not be doing this type of stuff anymore, especially when I do not always have the right equipment, like the means to get my car in the air.

My catalytic convertor clogged up on my Impala recently, probably from the “leaking lower intake manifold gaskets” spewing coolant into my exhaust system. I purchased a Magna-Flo hi performance cat (I know, not really any difference, other than being shinny stainless steel, but it was cheaper than OEM or a muffler shop), I paid $160.00 for it, it was a pain in the butt because I had to do it using car ramps, but I did manage to do it.

This is my point though.. if people were fair and honest with pricing, they would still make just as much money. When people have someone they can trust and know won’t rip them off, they WILL come back to them.

Everything is so difficult now though. I do all my own oil changes, mainly because I use either “AmsOil” synthetic motor oil 0w/30, or “Castrol EDGE” synthetic 5w/30 motor oil, if you get a synthetic oil change at a place like SuperLube or AllAmerican, they’ll reem you good, and they don’t even use the “good synthetic oil”. Truely, only 3 types of synthetic oil are “true synthetics”, those are “AmsOil” with PAO additives, “Castrol EDGE” (not Syntec) with PAO additives, and “Mobil 1 Extended Performance” (not Mobil 1 synthetic) w/ SuperSyn (fancy name for PAO additives).

These 3 are capable of long drain intervals. I change my “AmsOil” every 10,000 to 12,000 miles, though rated for 25,000 to 35,000 miles, I do not want to wait that long. There IS a difference between them too, alot of people think oil is oil, but that’s not true, it is a better oil.

Anyway, after I changed my oil, I could take it to SuperLube and they would dispose of it for me for free, now the “charge you” to dispose of it. Also, before I could bring my AmsOil and AmsOil filter to them and they would drain my oil and put the new stuff in for $12.00, now they charge you the same rate as a “normal oil change”. Why?

The majority of people do not do this, probably less than 2% of us, yet they stick it to you. I’m not paying $50.00 for my AmsOil and filter, then pay them another $35.00 to put it in for me. Atleast AutoZone still takes it for FREE!

Anyway.. I was curious to how you felt about all this? Reason I chose to email you was, your website name caught my eye.. I started thinking to myself, it would be nice if you could “trust your mechanic”.

Now, please do not think I am judging you in any way, because I am not. It’s just my experiences I’ve had and how I feel that the business is getting dishonest. People are hurting for money, they do not need mechanics like GM has. It’s wrong and in the long run, it hurts not just people like me, but people like you also.

Now, to my question (sorry about being so long winded): The part I changed had “two plug ends” on it, one that goes to the Blower Motor itself, and one that I assume is the wiring harness that comes from the AC head unit, on the other side of this resistor is what looks to be some metal electronic components wrapped in heavy duty heat shrinking tube, and it gets HOT.

I know this cause I do not have it mounted fully yet. I was curious as to how much amperage passes through this piece? Any ideas?

Thanks for your time and help,
G.K

 

Hey there GK, I feel your pain and understand where you are coming from….kinda :) Sorry but I don’t have an answer for you on your blower motor amperage question.

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About the Author:

Austin Davis, consumer car repair advocate. "Hi there! I love to help people solve their car repair problems and I hope my site was helpful to you today. Thank you for stopping by."
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