2001 Buick Century fan dying, level by level

I have a 2001 Buick Century which is more or less reliable. Last year the fan stopped working on the first (low) setting, but continued to work on levels 2-5. Air came out of all of the vents, using the fan, A/C, or heat with no problems. A few days ago, level 2 stopped. The next day levels 3 and 4 stopped. The fan still works on the highest setting, but it’s just starting to be summer in Minnesota and I’m worried that level 5 will stop on the hottest day of the year. Is this a simple fuse problem I can fix myself? Complicated repairs are probably beyond me, but I can do basic repairs. Please help!

More than likely the blower motor resistor pack requires repalcement. http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/moreinfo.php?pk=2888256&cc=1377086

All the lower speeds to the blower motor pass thru the resistor pack. The high speed to the blower motor by-passes the resistor pack.


It’s not a difficult repair, but you have to place yourself under the dash board on the passenger side. You pry off the panel under the dash, and the big black can you see is the blower. The resistor pack is mounted under the dash behind the blower motor, and it is easiest to remove the blower motor first. You unhook the wiring harness from the blower motor and remove 3 bots that hold the blower motor in place. If this sounds like too much, a shop can do the job for you. If you are still game, let us know and we can tell you how to get the resistor pack out.

Wow, thanks guys! I am game to try it myself, so more info would be much appreciated!

If all the low speed resistors are being taken out…
The blower motor might be developing undue strain as it attempts to spin ( due to age ) drawing way too much amperage ( the resistor blows out by temperature, it has a thermal breaker in it .). The next to blow will be its main fuse.
This is a caution to be ready for. You could replace the resistors and see ,but if they blow too this is the reason.

If your Century has the upgraded temperature controls where you set the temperature, the methods below might not work. On the Regal, the upgraded controls contained everything IIRC. You would have to replace the whole control system. If not, then have at it.

You need a 1/4" socket set with an extension. The ratchet won’t work on the back bolt of the resistor pack. The ratchet is too wide. You need a flex handle (see image below on left) or another flexible handle that has a narrow head.

You need to pull off the interior panel retainers for the kick panel under the dash on the passenger side. You can use a flat blade screw driver, but it’s easier with a panel retainer/clip removal tool you can buy for about $5 at the auto parts store. It’s pictured below, too on the right.

After the kick panel is off, you need to remove the blower motor. First unclip the harness from the blower motor. Follow the harness to the other end and you’ve found the resistor pack. It’s behind the blower motor, so it is easiest to remove the blower motor. It is held in place by 3 bolts that thread up under the dash. You will need your socket wrench and an extension to get them out. Once the blower motor is out of the way, you can see the resistor pack at the top of the carpet in the passenger foot well and in the center. Three bolts hold it in place. You can take the front 2 bolts out, but just unscrew the back one enough to slide the resistor pack out. It will be very difficult to thread it into that back-most hole. You also need to use the flex handle for the back bolt. Once the resistor pack is out, unplug it from the harness and plug the new one in. Slide the resistor pack over the rear-most bolt. If you can thread it in, good for you. I just used it as a shelf and tightened down the front two bolts. Reinstall the blower motor and plug in the harness. You might be able to use the old retainers, or you can buy them at an auto parts store. You should be back in business. But test the blower motor before you reinstall the kick panel.

I don’t have experience w/your make/model, but have had a similar problem w/my Corolla, where the low speed stopped working. It was due to the blower resistor. As said above, the low speed part of the blower resistor takes a hefty beating as it has to dissipate the most power, compared to the higher speeds. A friend of mine who also has a Corolla (newer model) had a problem where her cabin air filter was plugged up, and it prevented proper air flow through the fan, which somehow put extra strain on the blower resistors. So my guess is a bad blower resistor, possibly combined with something restricting the air flow. Make sure our cabin air filter is clean if you have one, and the fresh air vents just under the windshield (on the outside of the car) are free of leaves and debris.