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Fan not working

Hyundai Sonata 2003. We’ve been having a very frigid winter spell here. On Feb. 3 all was fine with the car. Plugged in overnight because temp. was expected to be -40C with windchill. Next morning car started fine but fan isn’t working. When I push the buttons to change the direction of air flow, I hear a click each time but fan will not start. What should I look at? Fan belt is not broken. What other possibilities?

I’d suggest to look in owners manual to find which fuses to check. If fuses are good the fan motor needs to be checked. If that tests good, then to the control unit. Unless it works on high speed, then the first thing to check would be the resister if it has one. And I am assuming you are talking about the heater fan for the interior of the car.

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Agree with above. Also. there is no fan belt om this car. Both the radiator cooling fans and the heater blower fan are driven by electric motors. The heated motor would be somewhere behind the lower right side of your dash.

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Thank you. Yes, the heater fan for the interior. I assumed the fuse(s) OK because I can hear a “click” every time I push one of the air flow direction buttons, so there is obviously electricity getting through somewhere.

One more dumb question - how long can I drive with it like this? I know in the summer heat I can only go a few km or miles before the gauge gets up in the red. I’m wondering, since it’s -25C right now, would there be enough frigid air being sucked in through the grill to cool the engine so that I could drive for about 40 minutes? I’m that far from the nearest auto repair shop. I called a couple of places for estimates over the phone and they both told me $400 - $800 depending on whether it just needs a new switch or fuse, up to complete replacement of the fan itself. Don’t have that kind of money and am hoping it’s something I can do myself.

Oh boy, I think You have bigger problems than a faulty heater fan. Have You checked the coolant level - with a COLD engine?

If You are lucky, maybe 300 feet further down the road. Sorry, but that’s not gonna help much.
You need to get that cooling problem sorted out first and foremost.
Is it possible that You have a neighbour that can lend an intelligent hand in asessing the problem with the cooling system so it can be made possible for You to get to the/a shop?

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I have a back-yard mechanic buddy who’s always helped me out but his shop is on his farm a good 40-50 km away, I would never make it there. I’ll check the coolant. I had an oil change in November and they supposedly checked all the fluids at that time but it’s worth checking now. Thanks for the suggestions.

You may be able to see some of the fan motor. If you can rap on it with a rubber hammer, or hammer and stick, that may free it up. Have the HVAC On and the fan speed set to its highest setting.

But the engine cooling problem may ruin your engine and is overdue for repairs.

Good luck and please let us know.

Hmm, that might take a lot of home made doughnuts and a lot of very good coffee to persuade him to just drop by and ask him to take a look at the cooling.
Check the oil level on the engine as well. If You have a separate expansion “bottle” next to the radiator, check both the radiator and the “bottle”.

Donuts would definitely be cheaper than some repair shop with $160.00/hr shop rates. I just hesitate to ask him to drive the 50 km to look at my car in the freezing cold, and by the time he’s finished work it would be dark here as well. I save him for when I’m crawling-on-the-ground desperate. I’m not that way yet. I’ll check the coolant and oil and radiator and do anything that needs doing there. If that doesn’t take care of the problem I may just find a nice high bridge and send this POS vehicle over the edge.

If your engine is overheating , that has nothing to do with you interior heating and cooling fan. Do you mean you have been driving it since summer with the engine overheating. If that is the case, it may indeed be time for that high bridge.

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HA HA!! No, it’s the interior heater that isn’t working. Engine has never overheated. I realize now that I didn’t ask the question properly. A lot of people have replied and they’re thinking that I was talking about the engine fan as well. I’ve located the fuse box but I don’t have the manual for this car so I’m going to find it online so that I can figure out which fuse to check. Of course it’s under my dashboard, so I have to kneel in the snow outside the car and twist my neck around like the girl in The Exorcist in order to see into the fuse box ! I have a lot more respect for mechanics now - I don’t know how they do this stuff all day long!

Thanks for your help today.

To check that the fan is working, listen for it cutting in and out, and watch the temperature gauge.

If the engine shows signs of overheating, stop and look to see if the fan is working. With the type operated by the ignition switch, keep the engine running.

Where there is a thermostatic switch in the circuit, start the car and let it run at fast idle. With no airflow through the radiator, it will soon warm up to the temperature at which the fan should cut in.

If your temperature gauge is going into the red as you stated then, YES your engine is overheating.
The clicking might be your blend door.
Then there is the question, your friend is 50 Km away, how far will he have to drive from his place to get parts?

Not the engine cooling fan. HVAC fan not running.
Unfortunately OP confused the issue by mentioning the fan belt, and more critical problem that the temperature gauge goes into the red after a short drive. OP has not yet clarified that engine temperature gauge comment.


If this gage goes near or in red zone you have an engine overheating problem and should not be driven when in that condition.

Yes, the car should be TOWED to a competent mechanic. If you are lucky you won’t have inflicted permanent damage to the engine.

Thank you to everyone who responded to my request for help with my non-working heater fan. In the end, a $1.50 fuse was all that was needed. When I removed the old fuse at the suggestion of several of you, it was indeed broken and actually appeared to be burned on one corner. Picked up a new one, put it in the fuse box outside the store and drove away with a working fan! Thanks to all of you!

First things first! Good goin’!

The fact that the fuse was burned on one side indicates there may be a loose connection to that side of the fuse so keep an eye on it to see if there is future signs of heat damage there. You may need to replace the fuse contacts or bypass that fuse slot with an external fuse holder.

If that happened, would it be an external fuse holder for just the ONE fuse or would I have to also move any other fuses close to that one? I checked the fuse that was beside the burned out one to see if it showed any signs of burning but it was fine.