Blower motor only works on high. PSA - Jeep Commander Forums: Jeep Commander Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-14-2010, 11:42 AM Thread Starter
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Blower motor only works on high. PSA

I wanted to share my experience on this issue as a PSA.

To this date I have experienced 3 failures where the heater/ac fan will only work on high speed. The first 2 times the repair was covered under warranty, and the dealership replaced the blower motor resistor and the blower motor.

Well, this last time the dealership wanted to charge $467 to replace (again) the blower motor and blower motor resistor. I argued the point that although I was out of warranty the parts were just over a year old (still out of warranty for the replacement parts), and that it was a reoccurring problem, one that I shouldn't have to pay for. But, they wouldn't budge and said it would be $476.

So, staring $467 in the face, I questioned the service writer: "Why does the blower motor need to be replaced, it works on high speed? Are you sure it's not just the resistor?" He then spoke with the tech, who went to talk with another tech.

Turns out that the blower motor and the resistor are fine!!! and don't need to be replaced!! The problem is the pigtail wire harness that connects to the blower motor resistor. What happens is that the current draw through one of the pins causes the plastic harness to MELT (see attached photo). This then causes the pin to shift and lose contact.

The new harness is a $20 part but a 2hr install. I told the dealership that I would install the part myself buy cutting off the melted harness and use butt connectors to attach the new harness.

Just be warned! If the dealership wants to charge $467 to replace your blower motor and blower motor resistor, you may be able to fix the problem yourself for $20.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-14-2010, 03:39 PM
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It seems to me that you have a short somewhere in the system, if you are getting enough current to melt the connecter. Obviously replacing the motor and resister two times just masked the problem. Something else has to be wrong.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-14-2010, 04:04 PM
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What's wrong is that Jeep engineers continue to make the same mistakes for literally decades. This is a very common problem on the WJ.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-14-2010, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Briandl View Post
What's wrong is that Jeep engineers continue to make the same mistakes for literally decades. This is a very common problem on the WJ.
It is comforting and concerning that this is a common problem. The senior tech at the dealership simply said that the blower motor draws a lot of current and that causes this connection to heat up to the point of melting the connector. Amazing that this hasn't caused a recall. Wouldn't excessive heat and melting plastic be a cause for concern?

Has there been a fix for this issue in the WJs?
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-14-2010, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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So after a quick search on a WJ forum I found this...

http://www.wjjeeps.com/blower_motor.htm

I'll start looking for updated/repair kits for this problem. Keep ya posted.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-17-2010, 02:06 PM
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It's funny but I know what you mean. It's comforting to know you're not the only guy with a certain problem, it makes it harder to diagnose and fix it when you are, but at the same time melting and burning aren't the kind of things you want anywhere in your life except your stove or grill.

There actually has been a recall on this issue for the Dodge Ram. To me this obviously highlights a flaw in recall procedures for the NHTSA. I mean if one vehicle gets recalled, why wouldn't someone take a look at other vehicles that use the exact same harness and resistor? The Grand Cherokee uses the exact same parts as the Dodge Ram, both Chrysler vehicles.

Interestingly the recall wasn't because of any kind of fire risk, but because once the blower motor goes out you aren't able to defrost your windows during the winter, which is the hazard that caused the recall.

The tech was right that the issue is too much current for the gauge of wire.

I haven't read up on it in a long time but I did have the same problem on TWO of my WJ's. The link you posted shows a newer part than the one I used, maybe it's better.

The only other thing I can add is that on the WJ the blower would actually go out, not just work on high.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-21-2010, 02:14 PM
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Blower doesn't work at all!

This just happened to me on Wednesday of last week. We were driving to Portland, Oregon from Klamath Falls, Oregon when I smell something. Not quite electrical and not quite mechanical. The defroster was on and then it just cut off! Didn't work at all! I get back home on Saturday and wait till Monday to make a appointment for the Dealership (Lithia) to look at it and they tell me "the resistor failed so the Blower failed". They now want to charge me $522.00 to replace both. Oh, They also found that my Air Re-circ door is broken and would charge $1532.00 to replace all three. After reading this, I called them back up and told them to check the Pig tail harness to see if the connector is fried. You would think this should be a re-call?

Drew.

Last edited by "06 comandante"; 09-21-2010 at 03:22 PM. Reason: Forgot to add the Title
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-22-2010, 07:42 AM
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After looking at the Cherokee link and learning that the fan should (theoretically) only draw 13-17 amps I decided to check the Fuse size. Turns out that the fuse is a 40 amp fuse. If the motor starts drawing more amps due to any other issues it may have (dirt, leaves, etc) it won't exceed the fuse capacity before it becomes too much for the wire. Looking at some wiring charts for 12v DC it isn't reccommended to even allow 40 amps on a 10 guage wire and at the 20-30 amp range the wire length shouldn't exceed 6-10 feet before too much loss will occur. It would be wise to use it seems at least an 8 gauge wire for this application.

To limit the overheating of the harness (and therefore melting) it may be worth a try to throw a 30 amp fuse in place of the 40 amp and hopefully the fuse will go before the wiring.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-22-2010, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by "06 comandante" View Post
This just happened to me on Wednesday of last week. We were driving to Portland, Oregon from Klamath Falls, Oregon when I smell something. Not quite electrical and not quite mechanical. The defroster was on and then it just cut off! Didn't work at all! I get back home on Saturday and wait till Monday to make a appointment for the Dealership (Lithia) to look at it and they tell me "the resistor failed so the Blower failed". They now want to charge me $522.00 to replace both. Oh, They also found that my Air Re-circ door is broken and would charge $1532.00 to replace all three. After reading this, I called them back up and told them to check the Pig tail harness to see if the connector is fried. You would think this should be a re-call?
Interesting that they'd say the recirc door would break because from what I've seen it's a million times more likely that the part that sits between the motor and the recirc door itself is actually the part that broke, and it's a very inexpensive and simple part to replace, the only problem is that it will most likely break again.

I'd drop the glove box and take a look at the recirc door to make sure it's broken and not the gear that sits between the motor and the door.

Also, it's also unlikely that both the resistor and the motor went out, it's more likely that you have the problem described here and that the blower motor still works fine, but your resistor is fried to some extent.

Last edited by Briandl; 09-22-2010 at 11:33 AM.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-26-2010, 11:21 PM
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The dealership called me back (on friday) and told me that they definentely already looked at the connector. According to the Tech it is one of the "Check" items in their computer. He swore that both need to be replaced but I don't see how?

Since my warranty is up than I guess I can't void it by replacing the resistor and if so, the blower myself. Any advice on how to do this and where I can find this information and parts at a decent price? The dealership wants me to pre-pay for the Resistor and Blower which is 347.00 if they are going to replace.

I see you say to drop the glove box to view the door. Whats the procedure to do this? Since I bought the Jeep new, the only thing I've done to it is add the factory tow package. Any help with the dismantling for the blower and resistor replacement would also be very appreciated!

Drew.
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