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2001 Buick Century; no air coming out of vents!

Hi all,

There’s been an interesting progression of trouble with my 2001 Buick Century:

My heat/AC had been working fine for years. About a year ago, the dial which controls the force of air (off, low, high, max, etc.) broke. But the ‘off’ and ‘max’ portions still worked. I could get full blast, or nothing. I didn’t do anything, because I could still get what I wanted.

Just yesterday, I switched my heat to max - and nothing! No air comes out at all now. Obviously this is problematic for the upcoming winter.

I am of very limited car expertise (a Latin teacher who should probably just stick with chariots). What’s wrong, and if I take it to a mechanic, will they make me get a whole new climate control console? Is it fixable myself, or if not, how much should I expect to pay?

Thanks folks for all your help!

It’s probably your blower motor $40 if you buy it yourself, and an hour or two worth of labor. It could be a fuse so check those first. As for the all or nothing problem, that’s a blown balest resistor. Very cheap to fix and easy to do.

The earlier symptoms (only maximum speed available) point toward the need to replace the resistor pack on the blower motor. If nothing is happening at this point when you turn the blower on, it is entirely possible that the blower motor now needs to be replaced, but you might want to start with just replacing the resistor pack.

An honest mechanic should not charge a huge amount of money for this type of repair, but as was already suggested, you might be able to get away with just replacing the fuse for the blower motor before doing anything more involved!

I agree with gsragtop on the problem. But I won a 1998 Regal, and I’m sure the configuration is the same. The ballast resistor is difficult to get to, and you need to use the right tools to do the job. Anyone can do it, and if you want to try it, I can give you some pointers. The good news is that you have to remove the blower motor to get at the ballast resistor. You just have to remove the kick panel below the glove box, one electrical connection, and 3 bolts. Just follow the wires you just disconnected to the firewall, and you find the ballast resistor. You need patience, a 1/2-inch socket wrench (not ratchet), and a willingness to lay on your back under the dash for about a half hour.