AC/Heater fan comes and goes - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 03-07-2006, 06:54 PM   #1
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Default AC/Heater fan comes and goes

I lost my wife last week to an extended illness.
For the last 2 1/2 years, I have taken care of my late wife and my parents (lost my father 5-05, my mother is terminally ill).
Anyway, I'm not here for sympathy, but I do need some advice.

I intend to take a cross-country trip to clear my head and get away from home and all of it'* reminders and memories, both good and bad. I'm taking the Bonneville, since the low-mileage piece of *#!t Buick Ultra I inherited is not trustworthy enough to go 50 miles to Atlanta, much less go on a 4000 to 8000 mile wandering. Besides, it needs an intake- no surprise...

The problem: Since last Summer the AC/heater fan in my Bonneville has worked like a champ roughly 95% of the time.
Once in a while, and only after starting the car hot or cold, the blower motor refuses to operate. After a few miles it usually starts working and continues to do so. A few times the fan never worked at all, even on a 10 to 20 mile trip.
I noticed long ago how the fan waits for the car to warm up before blowing in the winter, but the described problem has occurred in both cold and hot weather. Once, during a failure, I slammed the drivers door in anger and the fan worked right
away. That trick has not worked since.

Can it be some kind of sensor, or do I have something loose somewhere?

Thanks in advance for any and all advice.
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Old 03-07-2006, 07:30 PM   #2
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It sounds like a bad blower motor. If you search under "blower motor" here you will have plenty to read. When they get old and balky, they can often be coaxed to work by just whackin' 'em with something heavy like a small hammer or a big screwdriver. (That'* probably what happened when you slammed the door.) They are located more or less on the center of the firewall, and are pretty easy to change. A rebuilt one from an aftermarket store is about $45.

Sorry 'bout your personal losses. A trip sounds like a good idea. Good Luck.
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Old 03-07-2006, 07:48 PM   #3
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There is another thing I want you to check... As this is what I found with my blower motor.. And I was a fool and burned my hand..

when I pulled the blower motor wire this is what I found... Motor was going bad and slowing down.. The resistance was enough to cook the wire and connector..



Here is the terminal on the blower... Notice the melting...



On the ECC or cars with Electronic Climate Control there is also a Blower motor control module... If this fails the blower is usually stuck on hi speed if memory serves but I believe it can fail leaving the blower inoperative...

Bill B, any other suggestions?

Also very sorry to hear about what you have been through.. You do need a breather.. Sometimes it helps to clear your head a bit.. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

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Old 03-07-2006, 08:07 PM   #4
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The only other simple thing to check would be to see if you have 12V at the connector. (See the connector in jr's3800 pic above.) You can use a 194 push-in 12V bulb to check for power at the connector. Unplug the connector from the blower motor, bend the wire contacts on the bulb and stick 'em in the connector. Then set the controls for fan and see if the bulb lights. That will let you know if it is the controller or the blower motor. If you are lucky, it will light. The blower motor is easier to replace than the controller.

But your symptoms are pretty typical for a blower motor on its way out.
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Old 03-07-2006, 10:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jr's3800
Th

On the ECC or cars with Electronic Climate Control there is also a Blower motor control module... If this fails the blower is usually stuck on hi speed if memory serves but I believe it can fail leaving the blower inoperative...

.
I have a 98 which had an erratic fan speed due to the control module on an automatic air system. It seemed to be running at a lower speed than usual at times and then other times it would cut in and out. The dealer found the module was the problem rather than blower motor. If you have that problem they're available from Advance Auto now--they're not a dealer only part. It'* easily replaceable from under the hood.
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Old 03-12-2006, 09:24 AM   #6
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Thanks for the information.
Naturally, the blasted fan has worked perfectly since my last post, so I have not been able to whack it to see if the motor itself is the problem. The heck with it. The car has new O2 sensors, catalytic, plugs and wires, Mobile1, and a two-day-old set of tires.
Tomorrow, 3-12, I'm hitting the road. Think I'll go to Panama City, Fla. first for a few days of beach-sitting and soak up some sun. Then, I'll zip over to New Orleans for a stout dose of seafood, jazz, booze, and general debouchery. Then I'll go to San Antonio and visit an Uncle and his wife. After that, I'll point the SSEi West and go until I get to the Pacific ocean, San Diego, probably, and then LA. From there, who knows? Lets just hope the fan doesn't lay down for good while I'm crossing the desert out West!
With any luck, my resemblance to sanity will stop being an impersonation during this road trip. I promise to be a good boy and drive safely and rationally. I intend to keep my drivers license in my wallet and the .45 in the console. In other words, I'm staying out of trouble, even if I am probably the biggest nut case on this board presently....
We are best described now as "The Alcoholic Addams Family, on Drugs". Maybe by the time I return, that amusing but depressing description will no longer fit.
Then, I'll go back to work for the first time in 3 years and start a new business.
Thanks again, and please wish me luck.
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Old 03-12-2006, 10:11 AM   #7
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Hope that blower fan holds in during your travels. Have a safe drive, and check in here every so often. Things I hope will eventually get better for you.
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Old 03-12-2006, 11:21 AM   #8
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Good luck!
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Old 03-13-2006, 09:18 AM   #9
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I'm sorry for your losses, but good luck on your trip!

Probably too late, but carry a ratchet set with you. If the fan goes, it'* at most a half hour job to replace it.
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Old 03-19-2006, 01:15 PM   #10
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Default Back home already

Went to Panama City and landed right in the middle of Spring break. Partied with a bunch of college kids. Fun for a while, but I'm 47 years old. After a while, screaming "show us your ****" and such juvenile activities got old for a man my age.
Grandpa here DID manage to drink and smoke Ďem all under the table, though!

The next day I went to New Orleans. Since they managed to have Mardi Gras this year, I incorrectly assumed the place was functional. The city is still a wasteland, for the most part. You would have to see it to believe it, and you DON'T want to see it.... The interstates are all elevated, and I drove for miles and miles looking down on empty, wrecked neighborhoods, stores, schools, churches, hospitals, etc. About half of the traffic signals in town still don't work. Temporary stop signs are everywhere, turning intersections into 4-way stops. Debris is piled everywhere. Parked the SSEi on the corner of Canal and Bourbon streets. Bourbon St. was tacky, touristy, loud for the wrong reasons. It literally stank. Homeland Security Feds patrolled the streets. Under all the elevated roadways were thousands and thousands of ruined cars, old and new. It has to be the largest auto junkyard in the world!
That city has had it'* heart and soul ripped out, and is desperately trying to rebuild and reinvent itself. It reminded me of myself, and it was far too depressing for me to bear.
Driving around crying is not my idea of fun, and I couldn't find a hotel. The only money I spent in the state of Louisiana was the $100 bill I contributed to those poor people.

I want everyone reading this to know that New Orleans and it'* people NEED HELP.
Please do what you can manage to assist them...

Got back on I-10 that evening, and decided that what I needed most was to be around the few people I truly care about, and care about me, especially my 5-year-old Godchild, who my wife and I pretty much raised. Canít live without her, so I headed East and spent the night in Mobile, Al.
Leaving Mobile Thursday morning, the fan finally acted up. Sure enough, a gentle tap on the motor revived it. Iíll replace it in a day or two, and thanks to everyone for the advice and encouragement.
I drove a little over 1200 miles, cruising between 75 and 90 MPH most of the time on the interstates, and averaged almost 24 MPG.

Donít worry about me. After a solid and faithful relationship with my late wife Deborah for almost 20 years I have decided to renew my long-dormant career as a male **** for a time. Why not? Deborah would approve. My Godchildí* hot young mother has plenty of hot young single friends. I am super-fit for my age, weigh less than I have since the age of 15, and can easily pass for 10 to 15 years younger than I actually am. Iím comfortable financially, live in a big beautiful hilltop home in the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains, and need to live it up for a while. Besides, I own a Bonneville! Canít hurt, right?
Anyway, if any of you get to North Georgia, look me up. Iíll be the dirty old man in the ganja cloud, with a glass of Scotch in one hand and the butt of a 20-something in the other hand! The last 3 years could not kill me, so Iíll probably manage to survive this new life. If not, Iíll die with a smile on my face!

Randy Eccles
Murrayville, Ga.
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