2001 Toyota Solara blower working intermittently

Tiny
NOVABETH
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 TOYOTA SOLARA
  • 141,000 MILES
A couple of months ago I had driven my car for about 20 minutes, got out to go into a store for about 10 minutes, got in my car and no air would blow out of the vents. (A/C light was on or if I clicked the A/C button light would go off, outside/recyled air button would go on/off if pushed, etc.) And I could feel cold air 'seeping' through the vents, but not all out blowing. I started driving my car and within a minute it came on and worked just fine (on all fan speeds, etc.)

Since then, this is a constant problem. Sometimes the blower works (and works on all levels) and sometimes it just simply does not work at all. I have tried moving all the knobs, trying different things, nothing will help. Generally within a few minutes, it will come on all of a sudden and then will work fine.

However, the past couple days it wouldn't come on the entire time I was driving (15 minutes or so.) It's getting very hot and it was pouring today and I couldn't get any air to move at all in the car and it was miserable!

I had my car in the shop last week to have a timing belt replaced and had them look into it. (Shop I've used for 30 years.) They said they couldn't 'get it to fail' so couldn't figure out what it was. They mentioned 'relay' but weren't convinced that's what it was.

From what I've read online it could be the blower motor resistor or the blower motor itself. I am not a car person, but I consider myself fairly bright, and the instructions to replace the motor or resistor don't look that horribly difficult.

So my questions are:
a) What do you think is the problem?

b) Can a non-car knowledgeable fix this problem on their own?

Thanks!
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Sunday, June 30th, 2013 AT 4:41 PM

13 Replies

Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
The first thing we need to do is figure out why its not working. When it doesn't work have you tried wiggling the connector to it to see if the fan starts up? Also do you have a multi meter to do some testing?I think we can figure this out.
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Sunday, June 30th, 2013 AT 5:58 PM
Tiny
NOVABETH
  • MEMBER
You've got me on 'wiggling the connector.' Where is that? :) And I don't have a multi-meter. (That is to test how much power is going, right?) Again, novice here, but I can usually figure things out.

I've only tried wigggling things on the face of the dash (fan knobs, etc.) But I read somewhere to bang on the passenger side dash to see if that then makes it connect.
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Sunday, June 30th, 2013 AT 6:01 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
The blower motor will be on the right side of the dash under behind the glove box area you will find the connector and blower motor there. Smacking it is a valid test/way to narrow the problem down Also a multi meter/volt ohm meter to test actual voltage to things grounds etc.
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Sunday, June 30th, 2013 AT 6:21 PM
Tiny
NOVABETH
  • MEMBER
Ok, will try smacking it tomorrow to get that data :)

Where is the actual connector to 'wiggle' once I open the dash cover to the passenger side?
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Sunday, June 30th, 2013 AT 6:25 PM
Tiny
NOVABETH
  • MEMBER
It also seems my dad has a multi-meter so how can we do that testing? :)
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Sunday, June 30th, 2013 AT 6:31 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
The connector is pretty close the blower motor itself.I also need to know which engine you have?Also do you manual ac or auto climate control?
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Sunday, June 30th, 2013 AT 6:39 PM
Tiny
NOVABETH
  • MEMBER
Ok - I'll look at some of these things tomorrow.

I have a 4 cylinder, SE and I think it's manual AC (if you mean I have to turn the temp up and down myself?)
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Sunday, June 30th, 2013 AT 6:49 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Yes you manual control the temp yourself not set the temp to a certain temp?
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Sunday, June 30th, 2013 AT 7:33 PM
Tiny
NOVABETH
  • MEMBER
Yes, I control the temp myself (lo - med - high) there is no setting it to a certain temp. My car is old :)

Also - the air wasn't blowing when I started my car this morning, but I whacked the dash on the passenger side and the third time I did, the blower came on. Could be coincidence or could've been from that. Does that tell us a connection is loose?
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Monday, July 1st, 2013 AT 7:29 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Loose connection or bad motor we have to narrow down which of the two it is.
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Monday, July 1st, 2013 AT 12:07 PM
Tiny
NOVABETH
  • MEMBER
Would a bad motor make a lot of noise if it was bad/going bad? I haven't noticed any sounds coming from it.

So would I test the connection by wiggling the connector (rather than banging on the dash ;) and seeing if that directly gets it to come on?
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Monday, July 1st, 2013 AT 12:09 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Also you need to just wack the blower motor itself to narrow you didn't jar anything else beside the blower motor or its connection.
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Monday, July 1st, 2013 AT 12:09 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Most of the ones I have seen go bad don't make any weird noise they just stop working. Yes you would wiggle the connection and unplug it and look at the female connector or loose open terminal. Also check the male connector or arch marks from a loose connection.
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Monday, July 1st, 2013 AT 6:50 PM

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