Question about 2001 Chevrolet Prizm

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Heater fan only works on high after replacement of heater core

I changed the heater core on my mom's 2001 Chevy Prizm. Upon completeion the heater fan would only run on high speed. I can hear a faint noise when I turn the fan to low but the fan does not turn on until the highest speed setting. I asked my mom if this was a pre-existing problem and she said that, on low speeds when it was very cold out, -20F, it squealed for a while until it warmed up but that was it. Please let me know what this could be or how to start the trouble shootong process for this problem. Thank you.

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  • Jaemoe Feb 13, 2009

    Is there a good way to confirm a faulty motor?

  • almagnifico May 11, 2010

    Jaemoe, how hard was the heater core replacement?



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It's very possible the fan motor has quit. The squealing noise is caused from motor bearing failure. As the bearings wear out or dry up the motor is harder to turn and require more current to run the motor. On lower speeds, the motor runs off a series of resistors that reduce the amount of voltage and current so the fan runs a lower speeds. If the bearings are worn, there is not enough voltage or current to turn the motor and that's probably the humming noise your hearing.
Good observation by the way.
Let me know.

Posted on Feb 13, 2009

  • Bruce Bracey
    Bruce Bracey Feb 14, 2009

    Jae, Before you remove the blower motor, use a voltmeter or test light to check for voltage at the motor connector in all speeds. Starting at the lowest setting you should see a dim test light or low voltage with the multi meter. As you turn the switch on the dash toward hi-speed, the brightness of the test light will increase or the multi meter voltage will increase.

    If that checks out remove the blower motor and check for free hand turning force. The motor fan should free spin very easily. Also, try moving the fan from side-to-side and check for bearing slop. A couple of millimeters of movement will allow the motor stator to contact the magnets and cause a bind.

    Hope this helps, let me know.


  • Bruce Bracey
    Bruce Bracey Feb 17, 2009

    Jae, Did we fix the blower motor issue.




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