How to Choose a Blower Motor
Your car HVAC or climate control system depends on the blower motor to work. When you’re getting little to no air coming out of the AC vents, it means the motor is failing or even already broken down. A new one is needed or your car will be uncomfortable to sit in. Many people do not know how to go about buying this little known car part so we prepared this article. The article is meant to make your shopping for a blower fan easy.
How a Blower Motor Works?
The blower motor is an assembly that primarily consists of an electric motor and fan. It’s usually found under the dash in modern vehicles and the engine bay in older ones. If your car is the large types such as SUVs, you may have two blower motors installed; one in the rear and another in the back. Both blower motors serve the same function which is to condition the air in the cabin.
The blower fan and motor form part of the air heating and conditioning system in an automobile. Its function is to push air through the AC system of your car and warm or cool the cabin. The cool or hot air then makes the cabin comfortable for both driver and passenger. Without a working blower fan, your car interior would be too hot in hot weather and too cold in winter.
A working blower fan does not only ensure cabin comfort. In some cars, the AC system also operates the window defroster. When the motor fails, it means the defroster not working and the windows not drying up quickly. Other components of the AC system include the ducts that channel air through the system, the evaporator, and heater core, among others.
The blower motor depends on the car’s electric system to operate. Upon receiving voltage, it starts to spin and rotates the blower fan. The fan is a “wheel cage” consisting of a circular arrangement of blades. When it spins, the blades move air, forcing it through the car’s HVAC system. The air finally comes out through the AC vents to warm or cool the cabin.
The method to control a blower motor’s operation is either manual or automatic. Manual controls consist of physical resistors to vary the voltage reaching the motor. The varying resistance regulates the motor’s speed of rotation and, therefore, the amount of air moved by the fan.
Manual AC controls are found in older vehicles and usually provide up to 4 or 5 different speed settings. In modern vehicle, automatic controls are commonly used. These make use of transistor-based resistors or voltage regulation. The motor is also normally the brushless type which allows for gradual speed control.
Besides the blower fan, other parts of an automatic cabin climate control system include sensors and an electronic module. Automatic AC blower motor controls offer more advantages such as convenience, efficient sensor based climate control, and easier integration with other car systems.
When Should You Replace a Blower Motor?
How do you know that you need to install a new blower motor? There are different signs that can help you tell that you have a bad blower fan. The component is prone to damage in many ways. It can burn out from excessive current or wear from many days of use. The fan assembly may also get clogged with dirt, or have debris get stuck between the blades. While not every problem requires replacing the blower motor, there are those that do, such as those listed below.
- The blower motor blowing a weak airflow
- No air coming out of the vents even when the AC or climate control system is on
- The blower motor not working at all speeds
- The blower motor or AC system producing a lot of noise when on
It’s not always that the motor is the cause of failed AC system. Most issues that appear to be blower motor problems are actually caused by a bad resistor or control module. Resistors do burn out or get damaged while a control module can fail over time. A bad blower resistor causes the motor speed settings to fail. A control module too, if you have an automatic AC system.
It could also be remote components such as fuse or relay that have failed, or bad connectors. Before deciding to replace the blower motor, it’s good to determine the problem first usually by testing its circuit. If the circuit records voltage, you have a blown motor. If there is no power, the problem is likely to be the wiring system and other parts.
Change a worn or blown motor as soon as you notice a failing AC system. Doing so ensures a comfortable car at all times. But how do you choose the most suitable blower assembly for your car? Find out below.
How to Buy a Blower Motor
Just like any other car part, your car’s make, model and year of manufacture should be your starting point. These details will help you obtain the blower motor that suits your car without compatibility problems such as installation challenges, wiring difficulties, and so on. Apart from using your car details to buy the blower motor, you need to consider these factors.
Identify the Type of Blower Motor for Your Car
Blower motors are available in a range of designs despite looking identical. The one that you choose should match your car details such as make and model. And if considering specific preferences, your needs and requirements
Blower motors are basically classified based on where they are installed and type of motor. In that regard, there’s the front and rear blower and brush-type or brushless blower motor. Manufacturers will usually specify the front and rear blower fan.
Most cars only use one blower motor installed in the front, either under the dash or engine compartment. Large cars have an additional blower fan assembly in the rear. When buying the motor, know the specific type that you want. That’s because the mounting options will be different. The wiring too, which might bring about compatibility problems.
If you have a modern car model, the blower motor is most probably the brushless type. Blushless motors offer the advantage of infinite speed control and the integration of clever electronics to automate the AC system. The brush-type motor is mostly used in older cars with manual controls. When buying the motor, it’s good to understand the type that you need in your car.
Choose the Right Brand
Manufacturers do not build blower motors in the same way. Some will be better than others, usually based on the type and quality of materials used or even the construction of specific parts. Companies also price their products differently with some being pricier than others.
For a good quality blower motor, you will need to select the brand carefully. Research the manufacturer to see how well the make their products. You might also want to know how reputable they are on the market. It does not need to be the most popular brand, which in most cases would cost more than what’s a fair amount.
Buying a blower motor should not be an uphill task. You only need to understand the different types on the market and the version that your car needs. Also, the best brand based on reputation in the auto parts industry and your preferences for different features. When choosing the blower motor for your car, ensure you know the things to look for as outlined in this article. You will find the blower that best fits your car AC system as well as one that will last a long time.