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96 Ford Taurus blower motor HOT!

My 1996 Taurus has 202,000 miles on it. One day a while back I was headed home from work. I had the AC on and fan on HIGH. I all of a sudden started smelling something hot. I threw my sunglasses into the passenger seat and saw a gray haze in my interior and slammed on the brakes and pulled over thinking my car was on fire. I got out quickly and looked under the car and then under the hood. I then followed the HOT ELECTRICAL smell to passenger side floorboard under dash. Blower motor. $26 part so I changed it. The weather got cool again so i didn’t need AC for a couple of weeks. Now, ANYTIME I try to put the fan on HIGH I get that hot electrical smell. The fan has 4 settings, on the first three it’s fine, but as soon as you put it on high it smells very hot. My AC isn’t as cold as it used to be but it was like that before the fan motor gave trouble. I think I just need to charge the system.

Any ideas on why my fan motor gets/smells hot on high setting. No fuses has blown. I definitely don’t want to burn this motor up. You guys should know that I got new fan motor that has the same electrical connection so I didn’t have to splice anything. Is something overloading??


Did you remove and transfer a molded rubber hose from the old motor to the new?

Have you verified that it is indeed the motor that’s getting that hot and not the resistor pack that handles the lower speeds? My thoughts are that if it isn’t the motor, that there’s a wiring problem or depending on how the switch and relay are wired, maybe the resistor pack is getting current switched through it in a way that wasn’t intended when you’re on high, and getting very hot from that. It could also be a poor connection and the wiring to the motor is getting hot and smoking when on high. Or you could have gotten a second bum motor with the same problem as the first one, assuming the first one was to blame.

Maybe a good start would be to put an amp meter on the motor lead and see how much current this thing is drawing when running on high and other speeds.

It could be that due to the age and high miles of the vehicle the dragging blower motor was also taking out the fan speed selector switch and that’s what you’re smelling now. Seldom does a long term electrical problem confine itself to one part only; it creates problems all along the chain.

I do not know if changes were made in the generation of Taurus/Sable you have but the first generation had the power supply for the blower running directly through the ignition switch with no relay involved. This means the smell can also be caused by an overheating ignition switch. Maybe that smell is both the fan speed switch and ignition switch.

Make sure the fan can move freely. If something like a mouse nest is making the fan slow down due to drag on it that would cause high current in the motor.

Not sure about the Taurus, but Escorts have a white colored electrical connector with 4 wires going to it for the fan speeds, it’s common on the Escort for this plug to get too hot and melt probably from either to light of gauge wiring or a dirty/rusty/corroded connection. I’d remove this plug and look at the condition of the plug and wiring associated with it. I’ve replaced the plug on my '94 Escort a few times, because of this problem. Usually after so long of time it gets so that part or none of the fan speeds will work.

@rodknox-yeah, I swicthed everything. the wiring harness was a factory direct hook up. I am suspecting that it is not the motor since the NEW one does it too.

Also, why would something all of a sudden be getting hot? Why would wires or whatever it was getting hot? I don’t have an amp meter let alone use one or know what reading I should be getting.

I may have to raise the white flag and take it in.

I may need to see what is actually creating this smoke.