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"Universal" blower motor resistor?

The blower motor resistor’s been burnt out in my 1989 Toyota Pickup for a while, but with winter coming it’s just starting to get annoying. Unfortunately, the local parts stores don’t sell just the resistor, the dealer wants almost 60 bucks for it and it’s a non-AC truck, which is hard to find at the junkyards. I’m wondering, why can’t I just wire in any old rheostat, say a interior light dimmer switch, and use that instead? Or could I go to Radio Shack and just solder some new resistors on?

Also, I was fiddling around with a resistor from an AC-equipped truck that has the same electrical connections, but won’t fit in the mounting space. I noticed that the wire coils get red hot. Is this normal?

the price at the dealer is XXXXXX

try at a radiator/AC shop.

the shop should be able to at least be a fair value.

if you can get this far, the replacement of the speed control is simple.

price shop.

Why do people try to do this stupid stuff?

If you need a resistor block, and that’s what you go and get! Geez! The resistor block for my 91 Mazda cost $80.00 from the dealer!


Soldering in resistors will not work and neither will the dash light rheostat. The latter is designed for light duty use and a fan motor, especially an older one, will probably fry it in the first few minutes of operation.

The wire coils get red hot so yes, that is normal. That is also why they’re located in the airstream inside the heater box.

AutoZone shows a resistor for 45 dollars. That’s still pricy for something like that but it’s either pay it, find one from a salvage, or adapt a cheap Chevy one in.

A cheap resistor for my cheap 96 Chev Cavalier was 25 bucks at the car parts store or 35 at the dealer; same part, appeared identical to the car parts store resistor. I think that these fail due to corrosion from water entering the plenum during rain, or possibly salt spray in winter and wetting the resistor so I covered what looked like solder connections at the base of the resistor on the resistance element side with a little epoxy to keep the water off. We’ll see if that works.

Well, gee, it’s an elementary electrical component that’s only expensive due to the specific application. I don’t think it was unreasonable to ask if there’s some other way to do it!

Anyhow, I managed to find a decent one off of an AC-equipped truck and was able to solder the resistors off of it onto the mounting piece for my old one, and so far it seems to be working great!

You’re lucky yours uses discrete components. That last one I repaired was carbon deposition on a ceramic substrate. I used bus wire to bypass the defective trace.

Power resistors are expensive. You might be able to fix it by winding the right kind of wire. Take it out and look at it.

Good work. If it was me Id have done the same thing. Many times, nothing is REALLY dead. It just depends if you have the skill and ability to fix whats really gone bad. Its kinda sad, we live in such a throwaway society these days.

Well this posting is old so I doubt if anyone reads this but these resistors are not expensive on MOST cars. For a Dodge Dakota, for example, it is from $11 TO $14.