1998 Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT Limited - No air coming from vents

Hi! I have a little 1998 Subaru Legacy that I absolutely love, but it’s run into a few problems, one of them being the air flow inside the car. In the two years I’ve had it, the air conditioning was very poor, but the heat worked perfectly. Today, however, both stopped working completely.

For extra info, my Subaru has 194,000 miles on it, and the clutch and radiator were replaced within the last year. I also noticed that right before my radiator blew (in part due to errors from a mechanic while replacing the clutch), very little air came from the vents and it was not at the correct temperature I set it to. This may or may not be related, but in the past, when it has been very hot in the summer my car has started to shake violently when coming down from a high speed and then stalls (this hasn’t happened in awhile but used to occur frequently in hot weather). No mechanic was ever able to determine why that happened. I added that it’s a 2.5 GT model; I’m not exactly sure what that means, but I do know a mechanic who worked on it didn’t realize this car was a “different” and apparently less common model than other Subaru Legacies he’d worked on, so he made errors and I got $2000 of free labor on an originally small repair.

A last note; the previous owner was not too kind to this car, and one of many decisions he made was to disengage the “check engine” lights on the dash, so technically I don’t know if that information could have helped me understand the problem as I can’t see them.

If you have any ideas or advice about what is wrong or how to fix this please let me know!

Right now we won’t be too concerned that the ac wasn’t blowing cold . . .

Is there any air volume at all . . . at any of the blower speeds?

Is the blower motor spinning at all . . . on any of the blower speeds?

Is the blower motor getting proper power and ground?

Have you checked the fuse for the blower motor?

There is no air flow whatsoever, regardless of air temperature or setting. Im not sure how to check the blower motor, but I’m assuming it has completely stopped working.

With all due respect, isn’t that an indication that you need to take the car to a qualified mechanic?

Do you know how to use a 12 volt test light . . . ?!

Even if you don’t, they’re pretty cheap and there are undoubtedly youtube videos which show you how to use them

They come in pretty handy

Turn the ignition switch on.

Set the blower speed to high.

Reach under the passenger side of the dash, and with a handle of a screwdriver rap on the blower motor.

If the blower starts working, the blower motor requires replacement.


Maybe this is a simple fix. Has the cabin air filter ever been changed? Try that first.

1998 Subarus did not have cabin air filters.

I don’t know but on two different auto part sites, they list one for this model. Advanced and Napa.

Given a 20+ year-old car, no diagnostic tools or experience, and an understandable desire to try to fix it himself before shelling out $$ at a shop where they will NOT diagnose the problem but will replace every related part at 100% markup to be sure there won’t be a comeback, I would suggest the following:

  1. Look at the legend on the fuse box and check that the blower fuse is not burned looking. Replace if questionable. 2) Buy a blower motor relay (about $20). May take some Googling to figure out where it is located on the car. 3) If it still does not work, buy a blower motor resistor (about $50), located under the dash screwed to the side of an air duct.
    At that point you will have better than even odds of having fixed the problem, and you will have replaced 20+ year old parts that the shop most likely would have replaced anyway, but you will have paid less for them. The other suspects are more difficult to replace so you probably will give up at that point.