2008 Nissan Xterra Blower Motor

Hello Car Talk Community!

I live in Boston. I drive a 2008 Nissan Xterra and have had ongoing issues with my blower motor. It’s pretty clear when a blower motor goes – settings 1-3 don’t work, but 4 works perfectly fine. I’m on my 4th resistor and I have my 5th in the mail… This time is slightly different and I’m thinking there is another problem going on.

My most recent issue was similar. Settings 1-3 did nothing, but 4 worked less-than-perfect. Setting 4 wouldn’t work with AC…, but AC would work on 1-3 (if I was on the highway I could push cold air through). There was actually a position I could get between 3 and 4 to keep the AC on while the motor worked on 4, pretty nice. Well now, 4 has stopped working as well. At first, it was intermittent, but now it almost never works. One other piece of evidence happened on my commute this morning. I had my setting on 4 with full heat, so I could push warm air through on the highway. At some point, I cruised over a railroad track and the blower began to struggle on… weird right? What could be wrong???

I have some theories. There could be ‘junk’ in the blower motor that is causing resistance. In my mind, this could be why I’ve been going through so many resistors. If this is the case, I don’t think a new resistor will fix the problem, but I am pretty sure the resistor is dead. If it is a problem with the blower itself, is this something I can take on myself, or should I look for a shop to help me out!?


Before replacing the resistor pull the blower motor.
Remove the blower motor and give it a spin by hand. It might be starting to bind up, and in turn fries the resistor.
I had one just like that. After the second resistor in three month, I pulled the motor and you could feel the drag on it. Replaced the motor and the resistor and it’s worked fine on all speeds for a year straight.


" There was actually a position I could get between 3 and 4 to keep the AC on while the motor worked on 4…"

Possibly, the blower motor switch is failing.

The resistor is not the cause of the problem; it’s a symptom and more than likely the blower motor is dragging.

An ammeter to test the current draw of the blower motor would probably show a high current draw by the blower but it may be simpler to just replace the blower motor and skip the testing.

Should be an easy job after dropping the glove box.