Question about 2009 Saturn Aura
Where is the blower motor resistor located?
Posted by Anonymous on
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
I've seen this issue many times on many GM vehicles over the last 15 years or so; GM had one of the first things they cut corners on is the switches. I SPECIFICALLY had this problem on my L100, so I know the culprit; your burned up connector is the SYMPTOM, not the disease. And yeah, I know you tested it "with a meter"; believe me, there's a big difference between "good with a meter" which tests to a few microamperes load, and the 5-15 amperes a blower motor will draw.
If you pop the top off your switch (there are 3 or 4 tabs which hold it together) and inspect inside (be very careful - there are spring-loaded brush contacts and a spring-loaded detent ball inside - don't lose them), you'll find that the crappy lithium grease they used inside it has dried out into a varnish causing poor contact, and in some cases, the resistance has caused enough heat to make some of the contacts melt into the switch substrate. If this melting is excessive you may not be able to save the switch; but it doesn't hurt to try anyways.
Using denatured alcohol and an old toothbrush, clean ALL grease residue from inside the switch body, the brush carrier (the part that moves) and the brushes themselves; remove the brushes & inspect the carrier under them. Make sure the springs aren't melted into the plastic of the brush carrier too; you need the brushes to be able to move up & down freely - to "float" across the contact surface once it all goes back together.
Now that you have it ALL apart, get a small STEEL or STAINLESS STEEL wire brush and clean ALL the contact areas until they are shiny copper or brass; do the same thing with the brush contacts. If there are burned areas, scrape them with a knife until no carbon residue remains, then polish the area again with the wire brush. Do the same to the connector lugs if they are burned.
Now clean EVERYTHING again with denatured alcohol and you are ready for the final bit: use Silicone Dielectric Compound (The funky white silicone grease made for spark plug boots) such as Permatex #81150 to lube up the contact areas and the brush contacts (don't put any under the brushes or on the springs), reassemble the detent ball & spring with a little grease to keep it in place. If the spring action of the brushes is not firm, try stretching the springs underneath A LITTLE BIT to firm it up. Now, do one last double-check for everything in its correct place, then reassemble the body.
If you've done everything right, you should now have a switch that actually works again!
If your connector is burned up you'll need to fix it; if you're lucky it's just one or two of the brass inserts and you can just remove them (digging with a small screwdriver or similar tool) and clean up the opening enough for a replacement. If you have access to the correct crimp ends from GM you can try & replace them correctly; otherwise, use generic crimp ends from the auto parts store to repair the wire (you may have to remove the colored plastic sleeve to get the end to fit inside the connector casing), then plug it into the empty slot in the connector using needle-nose pliers AFTER you plug the switch into the connector.
Inspect the wire strands when you strip back the insulation to put on the new terminal; if they shows signs of corrosion or are heat discolored, clean them up with some 120 grit sandpaper to make them shiny for a good connection. You can also work some of that silicone grease into the strands to help make that connection; if you crimp correctly, you won't have to worry about the end coming off; if you don't crimp correctly, it's going to come off grease or no.
But WAIT! Before you put the connector back together, squeeze a little of that silicone grease into each of the sockets on the connector; it really helps make better connection, plus it acts as a moisture barrier to reduce oxidation which STARTED this whole mess.
I have fixed dozens of cars this way that had fan switches of this type; they are very often ABSURDLY expensive (Like GM didn't KNOW they were going to fail) or even "back-ordered indefinitely".
Of course before you go through all this trouble you should do a reality check; I've found some models' switch IN-STOCK for $23; and my time's worth more than that.
The resistor is mounted on the side of the heater box under the instrument panel. It is accessed from the passenger side footwell and it is at the extreme front and high, near where the firewall goes from angled to vertical. It helps to remove the small positioning motor for the recycling flap to access the resistor. You will need stubby phillips and a "z" shaped angle phillips driver to access the bolts. It also helps to remove the controller box (powertrain control module?) to get access. You will be working on your head.
Thank you for using fixya and good luck
Posted on Jun 12, 2010
Testimonial: "I wasn't quite sure if you were talking about but i took the resistor switch apart and it didn't look like there was any grease in their and i found the resistor card in the back under the passanger side. It's metal V was broken so it was welded back.. Now all of my setting works but it keeps kicking off and then back on do you think its because of the switch?"
Access to change the headlamp bulbs is through the wheel well. The recommended method is to remove the front tire and then the plastic inner fender liner. Once removed, you'll have easy (more or less) access to the rear of the headlamp housing.
Posted on Oct 04, 2010
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