Over the past 4 years, I have had to replace the A/C-Heater blower motor 3 times. The original was replaced about 4 years ago. The 2nd unit only lasted a year and was replaced. It is now 2 years since that replacement and the 3rd unit is shot. Electrical connection does not seem to be the problem as current was applied directly to the unit with no success. What is causing the repeated problem? Is there a service bulletin on this? I don’t want to put in a 5th unit as each (except the 3rd unit) costs about $500.00.
Repeated parts failures usually mean something is being overlooked. AutoZone shows this blower motor is pretty pricy for a Buick at 150 dollars, but 500 bucks? Is that a factory OEM one?
Have you tried connecting the blower motor directly to a power source (battery, charger, etc) with the blower removed from the car? There’s a reason for that question.
If you’re absolutely certain all of the blower motors have been fried, and assuming you’re not the unluckiest person in the world, then this problem could point to a dragging motor caused by the squirrel cage.
A dragging cage on the heater housing should be apparent by some noise that would be created but I assume the motor worked silently until it quit.
Another possibility for a dragging cage is the omission of a washer on the shaft between the motor and cage. If this washer is omitted the cage may drag on the motor housing nose. There may not be any noise but this excess strain on the motor will lead to a short blower motor life. Some motors use washers, others do not.
Hope that helps.
Thinking about the cost of the blower motor (and labor?), just for chuckles, how long would/should it take to re & re the motor?
That price included labor and was completed in one day. All work was done by the same authorized electrical shop and not a dealer. They told me they used GM authorized blowers. The third unit cost was only $100.00 as the manufacture picked up the cost of the unit and part of the labor. I’m guessing the 4th unit will not be “comped” as it is now over 2 years old - and we will pay full price again. The current unit (#3) was wired direct to see if it would run. It did not, however, it was done while still in the car. Have not heard any noise (when wife lets me drive this car (it’s hers). I thank you for your info and will give it to the shop.
I don’t remember how they broke down the original bill. This repair was done within one business day (each time). I am aware that I can purchase a new blower for $150.00 +/-. The rest is labor and I was told it was this high as this blower is in the dash and the dash needs to be take apart to remove and install new one. About a 4 to 5 hour job (if I remember correctly). At 4.5 hours, that translate to just under $80.00 per hour. ($500 - $150 = $350/4.5 hours = $77.77 per hour). This is the prevailing labor rate in this area.
Roadrunner, I’m afraid the flat rate time is unknown to me and since I’ve never changed a blower motor on this particular model maybe this total is correct. I’m mostly a “foreign car” guy but have done a lot of domestic work. Every blower motor I’ve changed on a domestic or Asian car has really never been that bad though; usually an hour at the most.
The only real pain in the necks have been some of the European cars; Benz, SAAB, etc.
The price could be about right but if the OP wants to verify that job labor wise then maybe a call to the Buick dealer to inquire about labor times will be in order. They will be honest and upfront about that.
JMHO, but something just does not sound right in these repairs. It stinks to be honest, and I think someone is making an error in diagnosis/overlooking something in the circuitry controlling that blower motor, especially if the car has EATC (electronic air temperature control) or overlooking something on the squirrel cage fitment. I would almost bet money on it.
Without car in hand I have no idea where the problem lies, but the chance of it lying on repeatedly bad blower motors is near zero IMHO.
Interesting OK. Thanks for the input.
I read on another site (the same one I mentioned below) (a Hummer service site) where they were changing the cage over from the burnt out motor to a new one and had to make sure the cage fins faced the right way.
It’s not all that unusual for a supplier (even GM) to have a run of faulty components in stock. That’s happened to a couple of other previous posters here a while back.
They may not have been tested before they were shipped.
Do you know if the tech is changing the cage from the old motor to the new one or is the new motor coming complete from the supplier?
OK may well be correct in what he suggested.
I read on another site that one fellow went through 3 blower motors (in two years) that were made in Mexico.
God only knows where GM gets their parts from these days.
At any rate, good luck and let us know how things turn out eh?
You can get the book labor costs at alldata.com, but it will cost you $25 to sign up. Are there any seals or tubes on this blower that might be missing? The reason I ask is that on my car the blower motor is under the hood. There is a small tube from the plenum back to a opening in the motor. I think it is there to cool the motor. It would be easy to have it drop off when removing the motor and not put it back on allowing water to splash up into the motor not to mention the fact that it would not be getting cooled like it is supposed to.
Some blower motors are vented. That is there’s either a rubber boot or a little flexible hose that connects to the blower motor. This draws in cold outside air to help cool the blower motor. If this vent hose isn’t connected to the blower motor, it can cause the motor to run hot. Which shortens its life.
Tester is right, A LOT of GM blower motors use a vent tube that runs from the HVAC duct to the back of the motor housing (the motor cools itself)… is it possible that yours disappeared and they never replaced it afterward?
I drive a '91 LeSabre. The blower is mounted on the engine side of the firewall, so access is VERY easy - just a few bolts that are easy to get to. My Haynes manual covers the fulls size FWD GM’s from '85 thru '02, and doesn’t show a different layout for different years.
That said, don’t take the info in the Haynes manual as gospel.
I’ll try and address all questions in this reply. Bill for this repair was $507. This was just a bit less expensive than what the dealer would have charged (I did get an estimate from one). The blower motor comes as complete assembly so the question of hitting something to cause dragging did not show up. What was found on this unit was rust on the cage shaft. This also happened on the 2nd unit. It seems that the Custom does not come with the cabin air filter as standard equipment even though the slot is there. It is standard on the Limited models. The air opening allows all air, moisture, etc right into the fan/cage area. No other points of entry for moisture were found (they may be hidden for all I know). This time, we installed the cabin filter hoping that it would catch any excessive moisture, and hopefully eliminate the rust on the shaft problem. If anything else turns up, I shall report back. I do thank each and everyone who responded. Hope some of what I learned, the cabin filter, may help someone else.
Keep us informed on this issue. I’m having a hard time buying rust on the shaft causing a problem unless water was somehow getting into the blower motor itself.
If that were the case, and being naturally inquisitive, I’m going to rip that motor apart and make sure that moisture is the problem, especially considering this has been a perpetual and expensive problem for you.
Has no one put one of those motors on the bench yet and connected a 12 volt power source to it just to make absolutely, etched in stone certain, the motor was bad?
Still a bit dubious about this anyway.