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Chevy Cavalier (Possible) Fan Noise Issue

Any help would be greatly appreciated as I am concerned for the safety of the driver (my gf) of this car.

I do not have a whole lot of information to diagnose the problem with since I’ve only been in the car once since it has happened.

But when you turn on the fan (or w/ AC - I’m not certain as to which is causing the noise - the fan or the AC), it makes this noise that could be described as a rattling noise but it sounds like someone’s sticking something into a running fan.

I’m not sure if it gets worse with acceleration or anything.

If there’s key information you need to better diagnose the problem, please list them for me.

I’m wondering if it’d be even safe to still drive this car - she says it’s just the fan and it doesn’t affect the drive.

Also, I’d like to know the possible causes for this noise and the potential consequences so I’d have a better idea when the car gets serviced and not get ripped off or go about fixing the wrong things for nothing.

Thanks a lot for your help!


It’s quite common for a piece of debris (usually a leaf or pine needles) to get caught in the HVAC blower (fan) and make noise when the fan is running.

The fan is of the “squirrel cage” variety, not a bladed fan, and anything contacting the fan will make a ticking noise that increases with fan speed, sort of like sticking a playing card in the spokes of a bicycle wheel.

Often the debris will clear itself in a day or two. In the worst cases the fan has to be removed for cleaning.

Debris in the blower is not a safety issue. If the noise is being caused by something else . . .