Burning plastic smell from 2002 Sebring

So my blower fan stopped working last week and today I went to the junkyard and had a blower motor fan pulled and out and put that in and it was not the issue so I bought a new resistor and now my fan works with the new fan and it seems a lot more powerfully but now I get a strong burning plastic smell also my new resistor get pretty warm with the fan on and I did not connect the resistor back to the location I pulled it from so right now it’s just hanging free under the glovebox but it’s not touching anything… please help!!! I can’t drive with my 4yr old with the plastic smell

Put the resistor where it belongs - where it can be cooled by the air movement produced by the fan.


I’ll be doing that tonight, I was on my way to work and my resistor that I took out was a card style and slid right out and the aftermarket has the bumps on it so i need to cut off a piece of plastic for it to fit in and I just noticed thy the smell was coming from the resistor.

Works great now :+1:t2:

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Besides cooling from the air flow, the resistor’s physical mount probably also acts as a heat sink to conduct heat away from the resistor to metal parts underneath. Sometimes we get folks here posting about coil failure problems where they’ve temporarily changed how the coil is mounted, and that usually causes a problem b/c the way it is mounted is also a heat sink for the coil.

Thanks y’all, I figured that coulda Have been the problem the resistor hanging out of the fans airflow but I had no idea that it gets that hot so I thought it could be a bad resistor or junkyard fan, well the burning smell was the resistor so when I mounted it back in it totally fixed the problem and I would have done it earlier but I didn’t have a knife with me to cut away the plastic to mount the aftermarket resistor. This is my first post in here and I hope I never talk to y’all again!! because I hope I don’t have anymore car issues lol

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The power to that circuit is divided between the resistor and the fan motor. On high speed the resistor gets none of the power, all going to the fan to make it go fast, so the resistor doesn’t heat up. On low speed the fan doesn’t get as much power so the resistor gets the most, and that’s when it can get really hot and need the heat sink and airflow. That’s why the low speed setting is often the first to fail. Lo speed hasn’t worked in my Corolla in many years, but all the other speeds work fine.

Thanks for posting the outcome, good for you. Happy motoring.

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