Blower motor resistor - what tools to use?

The blower motor resistor in my 1998 Buick Regal LS needs to be replaced. It has 3 hex screws holding it in place (7/32"). It faces down and is between the blower motor and the firewall in the passenger foot well. I got the screw off closest to the blower motor, but the other two are behind the electrical connectors and blocked by the insulation on the firewall. It does not appear that I can get the insulation off easily, and it doesn’t compress well. Any suggestions on how to remove the back screws? I used a 7/32" socket on the front screw, but the sockets don’t fit on the back screws. It doesn’t look like there is room for a 7/32" wrench, either. Unless it’s a special offset wrench that I don’t own. The blower still has 3 speeds, so the car isn’t stuck in the driveway.

Wow, JT.

I’ve never seen the arrangement on a 98 Regal. I have had problems with taking screws out of resistors because there’s not enough clearance between the resistor and floor.

I have a complete set of 1/4" drive sockets, fractional and metric, 1/4" extension bars, 1/4" universal joints, 1/4" nut driver handle, etcetera. I have been able to create a tool from these pieces that can get into very hard to reach tight spots. Sometimes a little tape is needed around the universal joint to keep it from flopping around so it can be positioned and guided into place. Likewise, sometimes a little tape in the socket will hold a screw in there.

I have had to use a mirror and flashlight (shining the light into the mirror) to both illuminate the screw and see it in the mirror. in addition to the tools and it has taken an average of fifteen minutes for each screw, both coming out and going in. Tedious.

Without a manual or parts diagram I have trouble visualizing everything. I wonder if it’s possible to easily remove the part of the blower housing that the resistor mounts into and remove the resistor after it’s off ?


This morning I tried pulling it out with vice grips. The new one has slots rather than holes for the screws. But no luck. My next step is to try a 7/32" socket with a bar handle rater than the ratchet. That might overcome the clearance issue. I just got back from a shopping trip to the usual tool stores, including a couple of auto parts stores. No one had a 7/32" deep offset box wrench, which is what I think I need. I’ve seen them on line and 12-point, too. That’s my fallback right now.

I don’t think it’s mounted on the blower housing, but next to it on the underside of the dash board. If it is mounted to the blower housing, I’ll need to take the dash out. No thanks.

Here’s what I use to get at those two screws.

Also, don’t remove the screws, just loosen them.


I don’t believe those screws are 7/32. I believe they are 5.5mm but at this size and the torque put on them it hardly matters. This is a 1/4 drive ,cut away what you must situation.

If the bar/socket wrench doesn’t work, I’ll buy one of these. Every auto parts store around here sells a Ford ignition wrench, but not this one. Thanks for the suggestion.

I got the right-most screw loose with the 7/32" socket on a bar wrench. Then I used to vice grips to pull it off the last screw. I loosened the last screw a little and then slid the new blower resistor assembly over the screws. I am not going to tighten either of those things. I’ll just let the resistor assembly sit on them. The front screw was a can of corn to get in. Best of all, I have all the blower settings again. Thanks for the suggestions.