Diagnosing and troubleshooting blower on 2005 Pontiac Vibe


#1

The fan has finally stopped blowing either hot, cold, ANY air from climate control. I believe it’s the motor but what steps should I follow to trouble shoot this beyond this point and short of buying a fan or motor if it’s just a fuse that needs to be replaced? If it is the motor, how do I replace that!


#2

To see if the motor is really the trouble I suggest you apply power directly to it and see if that gets it working. If that trick works then the real trouble may be with the resistor pack or the blower relay.


#3

As Cougar mentioned one of the most straightforward things to do is just jumper 12V directly to the blower. If it runs that way then the motor isn’t dead. Another thing you can do if you have a voltmeter is just find out if you get 12V at the blower connector.

If you have to replace it, I don’t know the Vibe’s setup - but one of the most common is that its just mounted with about 3 screws up in the dash behind/under the glove box. Sometimes you have to remove a trim panel.

Mostly it sounds like you want to drop $20 at an auto parts store for a repair manual. Autozone’s website also has some basic, barebones repair info for most cars that is free.


#4

There are really only four parts involved here, the fuse, the switch, the resistor pack and the motor itself.

Check the fuse, if its OK, then the resistor pack would be next. If the motor works on the highest setting, then the resistor pack is defective, if not, then it’s the motor. The switch itself could be bad but that is unlikely.

The blower motor cannot be economically repaired. It is built in such a way that the brushes cannot be replaced. This seems to be the trend these days, make things that can’t be repaired so you have to fork over $200+ for a motor instead of $6 for brushes.


#5

The fuse box is located under the dash board next to the steering wheel. You need to crawl under the dash to see it. There should be a diagram showing the location and purpose of each fuse. Your owner’s manual may have a similar diagram. Find the fuse for the blower motor, pull it and inspect it. There will be a flat metal wire in a translucent, colored plastic block. If the wire is melted (disconnected) then it needs to be replaced. Other GM cars that I have provide a few extra fuses in the box in spare locations. You might be able to just plug one of those in. Even though this is also a Toyota Matrix, I expect this would still be the case.

keith, I’ve purchased aftermarket blower motors for far less than $200 - about $60, actually. Although it might coast $200 it the brshes were made to be replaced.


#6

I admit that I didn’t look up the price on this one. I had an 86 Toyota Tercel one time. I only found one blower motor for that one under $200 at the time. I eventually got one for around $85, but it was a generic. I had to splice in the connector, and the wires did not share the same color code.

RockAuto has one for this vehicle for less than $50.


#7

Well… the fan SOMETIMES works. I hit a street dip this morning and it came on! The highest setting worked but not always! However the other two not so much, a minimal air flow at best. I purchased a blower $41.03, a resistor $30.84. and a filter $4.77 all three on Amazon with free shipping! I purchased the motor because when I hit the button to recirculate the air I get a clicking noise, so why not get all three out of the way? I’m going to attempt to replace all three this weekend in the morning so I have enough light and time if this goes south and takes forever. Other than a philips and flat head, do I need any other tools? I’m thinking of taking pictures and maybe a video of it to post to Youtube or on here if possible. This car has surprisingly lasted for a good amount of time other than the stupid fuel pump which was expensive.


#8

Going from what you describe about this problem I think you may have purchased the wrong parts to solve the trouble. My guess is the trouble is coming from the blower relay. The contacts inside it wear over time and can cause the intermittent operation you described. You can verify that by tapping on the relay to see if that makes the blower turn on. You can locate it by turning the blower on and off and listening for the location of the relay click. You will be able to feel the vibration of the relay when you touch it to verify you have the right one.


#9

Ok, I understand where you’re trying to go but you lost met after “blower relay,” in the first sentence. I have very little car fixing experience other than replacing a driver side mirror assembly. So, I shouldn’t try replacing the parts I purchased? I’m happy to try your suggestion but I would need more detailed SIMPLER instructions please! I really do appreciate everyone’s input!


#10

Relays are used to switch power on to devices that require a fairly high amount of current. The blower motor uses perhaps around 8 to 12 amps. The relay is a fairly small device and if you do a web search on a Bosch relay you will be able to see what they generally look like. The blower relay should be located somewhere under the dash. They unplug from a socket so they are easy to replace. Once you find the relay try tapping on it to see if the blower will turn on. If it does then replace the relay, it has bad switch contacts inside it.


#11

I’m searching for relays but only motor blower resistors come up. What am I doing wrong?


#12

I'm not sure unless you are searching on this site rather than a Google search. Here is one of the over 2.5 million hits I got for Bosch relay.

http://www.amazon.com/Tyco-Relay-SPDT-Formerly-Bosch/dp/B000P61E36


#13

Well I’m confused as to the relay’s location for the 2005 Pontiac Vibe. I don’t get any hits at all.


#14

Under the hood, most likely near the battery, or on the inner wheel fender, drivers side, you should find a black, mostly square plastic box. You should also be able to see a lot of wires (the harness) running into the bottom of it. Take off the cover (if you need tools, it’s not the right box). Turn the cover over in your hands, and look inside it. You should see a diagram of everything in that box, and what it does.


#15

Status report! I took out the motor and there’s still clicking! I looked and its coming from a “door” or “flap” that moves to circulating or outside air positions! Is it stuck? It appears like it stuck at the circulating position! Is it a fuse? Help!


#16

Ok, search results now say it could be a flap motor? Where would the relay be for that?


#17

ok, now I’m buying a actuator. I’m a little frustrated but I think I’m on the right track now. Any tips on GETTING TO the actuator? I know it’s above the blower motor. Can I remove the dashboard? Is it hard to do?


#18

I’m a little baffled here. You first stated the blower wasn’t working and now you are looking at a vent door actuator as the trouble. Though they work together in the air vent system they are seperate things. If the blower isn’t working that won’t effect the vent door actuator.


#19

I had the same problem w/my '05 Vibe. First, the fan switch worked only on the high speed. Then, not at all. Replaced the blower motor resistor. (Under glove box and to the left of the blower motor housing.) Even with the new resistor, the blower motor worked only intermittently. A good “slug” to the bottom of the glove box area would get it blowing again - at least for a few months. Then, nothing at all. Replaced the blower motor and all is well. I checked fuses, too. All of this requires laying/kneeling down on the floor under the dash, so it helps to be flexible. As for the clicking sound, I have that, too, but only if the Recirc button is NOT engaged. It’s not directly related to the blower motor and resistor issue, but it is annoying. The defroster will not operate in the “Recirc” mode, so if I need to use the defroster, the noise returns until “Recirc” is re-engaged. It’s as someone replied - it’s due to a broken gear tooth in vent actuator door assembly (or something like that). I found all of this information - including how-to photos and additional advice - on the genvibe.com website.


#20
Thanks for the genvibe.com info. I did find it useful up to a point but they assume alot and I'm a newbie at this. So in fact I have TWO issues. The fan will intermittently work on the occasional bump in the road AND the clicking noise. I thought both were related. I have to tell you you guys. I learned SO MUCH and I really appreciate every one's input. Did I need to buy a new blower motor? Probably not but since I was there and the the components in question were original and the motor was $40 I thinking why not while I'm down there and it's a really difficult to maneuver much less learning a new orientation working upside down. So, now over the weekend I purchased the actuator for approx $45 through Amazon, other wise it would be $90+ locally. Yes it's adding up but, I'm doing it myself and a real sense of  satisfaction. Total for parts approx $120.
Here's what I need help on now. Where can I purchase the plastic push pins I had to break to remove the rubber seals investigating an easier access to the actuator? I was hoping I could do it via the hood but the firewall is blocking me. I'm thinking I can do it if I remove the radio and reach through there and NOT have to remove the entire dash.