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Diagnosing and troubleshooting blower on 2005 Pontiac Vibe

The fan has finally stopped blowing either hot, cold, ANY air from climate control. I believe it's the motor but what steps should I follow to trouble shoot this beyond this point and short of buying a fan or motor if it's just a fuse that needs to be replaced? If it is the motor, how do I replace that!


  • To see if the motor is really the trouble I suggest you apply power directly to it and see if that gets it working. If that trick works then the real trouble may be with the resistor pack or the blower relay.
  • As Cougar mentioned one of the most straightforward things to do is just jumper 12V directly to the blower. If it runs that way then the motor isn't dead. Another thing you can do if you have a voltmeter is just find out if you get 12V at the blower connector.

    If you have to replace it, I don't know the Vibe's setup - but one of the most common is that its just mounted with about 3 screws up in the dash behind/under the glove box. Sometimes you have to remove a trim panel.

    Mostly it sounds like you want to drop $20 at an auto parts store for a repair manual. Autozone's website also has some basic, barebones repair info for most cars that is free.
  • There are really only four parts involved here, the fuse, the switch, the resistor pack and the motor itself.

    Check the fuse, if its OK, then the resistor pack would be next. If the motor works on the highest setting, then the resistor pack is defective, if not, then it's the motor. The switch itself could be bad but that is unlikely.

    The blower motor cannot be economically repaired. It is built in such a way that the brushes cannot be replaced. This seems to be the trend these days, make things that can't be repaired so you have to fork over $200+ for a motor instead of $6 for brushes.
  • The fuse box is located under the dash board next to the steering wheel. You need to crawl under the dash to see it. There should be a diagram showing the location and purpose of each fuse. Your owner's manual may have a similar diagram. Find the fuse for the blower motor, pull it and inspect it. There will be a flat metal wire in a translucent, colored plastic block. If the wire is melted (disconnected) then it needs to be replaced. Other GM cars that I have provide a few extra fuses in the box in spare locations. You might be able to just plug one of those in. Even though this is also a Toyota Matrix, I expect this would still be the case.

    keith, I've purchased aftermarket blower motors for far less than $200 - about $60, actually. Although it might coast $200 it the brshes were made to be replaced.
  • I admit that I didn't look up the price on this one. I had an 86 Toyota Tercel one time. I only found one blower motor for that one under $200 at the time. I eventually got one for around $85, but it was a generic. I had to splice in the connector, and the wires did not share the same color code.

    RockAuto has one for this vehicle for less than $50.
  • Well... the fan SOMETIMES works. I hit a street dip this morning and it came on! The highest setting worked but not always! However the other two not so much, a minimal air flow at best. I purchased a blower $41.03, a resistor $30.84. and a filter $4.77 all three on Amazon with free shipping! I purchased the motor because when I hit the button to recirculate the air I get a clicking noise, so why not get all three out of the way? I'm going to attempt to replace all three this weekend in the morning so I have enough light and time if this goes south and takes forever. Other than a philips and flat head, do I need any other tools? I'm thinking of taking pictures and maybe a video of it to post to Youtube or on here if possible. This car has surprisingly lasted for a good amount of time other than the stupid fuel pump which was expensive.
  • Going from what you describe about this problem I think you may have purchased the wrong parts to solve the trouble. My guess is the trouble is coming from the blower relay. The contacts inside it wear over time and can cause the intermittent operation you described. You can verify that by tapping on the relay to see if that makes the blower turn on. You can locate it by turning the blower on and off and listening for the location of the relay click. You will be able to feel the vibration of the relay when you touch it to verify you have the right one.  
  • Ok, I understand where you're trying to go but you lost met after "blower relay," in the first sentence. I have very little car fixing experience other than replacing a driver side mirror assembly. So, I shouldn't try replacing the parts I purchased? I'm happy to try your suggestion but I would need more detailed SIMPLER instructions please! I really do appreciate everyone's input!
  • Relays are used to switch power on to devices that require a fairly high amount of current. The blower motor uses perhaps around 8 to 12 amps. The relay is a fairly small device and if you do a web search on a Bosch relay you will be able to see what they generally look like. The blower relay should be located somewhere under the dash. They unplug from a socket so they are easy to replace. Once you find the relay try tapping on it to see if the blower will turn on. If it does then replace the relay, it has bad switch contacts inside it.


  • I'm searching for relays but only motor blower resistors come up. What am I doing wrong?
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