Tip & How-To about Chevrolet Venture
Blower motor problems are a pretty common topic. This is a basic guide on how to diagnose the problem and will work for most vehicles.
The diagram is generic and loosely based on GM's setup and more specifically a Silverado. Most manufacturers have a similar setup and the only major differences would be a ground side control (instead of the switch supplying power to the resistor it would be grounding the power from the resistor if this is the case you test light would need to be connected to power to test the switch) and late model Chrysler minivans (they use a module that looks for a difference in a/c voltage from the switch)
If the blower works on high only than likely the resistor assembly is the culprit since power to the blower essentially bypasses all of the resistors and/or the resistor assembly entirely. The reason why none off the other speeds will work is that the resistor or the circuit for the speed four setting has burned out. The lower the setting the more resistance you need to drop the voltage to the blower. The first speed setting requires all four resistors to drop the voltage enough to turn the blower at its slowest speed. Speed 2 needs to turn the blower a little faster so it uses three resistors. Speed 3 uses two resistors and speed 4 uses one.
In some cases the fan will work on high and speed setting 4. The likely cause for this is the speed 3 resistor or circuit has burned out. Speed 4 still works because it doesn't use the lower speeds resistors to control the speed of the blower. If the speed 2 resistor burns out than speed 1 and 2 will not work but 3, 4 and high will continue to work. If the speed 1 resistor burns out than speeds 2, 3, 4, and high will continue to work.
This leads us to how do we know if its the resistor or the switch or the blower. If the blower works on high than we know the blower works. That leaves us with either the switch or the resistor assembly (there are many other possibilities) which can be easily tested with a test light (or a voltmeter if you choose) The first thing to do is locate the resistor assemble. They can be behind the glove box, under the dash close to the blower motor or under the hood, again usually close to the blower motor. It will typically have 5 to six wires going to it. We'll start by unplugging the connector, turning the key on and connecting your test light to ground.
1.Turn the switch to high and backprobe all the wires. Two of them should illuminate the test light. In the diagram below this would be wire E & F. If you don't have a diagram then hold the test light on one of the two wires and move the switch to another speed setting. the wire that continuously illuminates the test light regardless of the switch position will be the constant power for high blower speed and will not need to be rechecked in the following steps.
2. Turn the switch to the next lowest setting. Backprobe the remaining wires to see if one of them illuminates the test light. Repeat until you have checked all of the speed settings.
3. If the test light has illuminated a different wire for each setting then we can reasonably assume that the switch is functioning as intended and the source of the problem is the blower resistor.
If you find one or more settings (but not all the settings) on the switch that does not illuminate the test light on any wire than we can reasonably assume that the switch has failed.
There are a few other things that can cause blower motors not to work as intended. The switch or the resistor assembly are the two most common problems.
Posted by Jeremy W. on
Dec 29, 2016 | Cars & Trucks
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