Heater blower motor replacement (and fuse probably)

Tiny
ANNA POP-MURESAN
  • MEMBER
  • 2013 MERCEDES BENZ 300CD
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 59,000 MILES
Diagnosis: Heater blower motor replacement: full of water and froze. My question is: how much would the replacement cost?
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Friday, December 16th, 2016 AT 2:47 PM

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Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Any shop can give you an estimate to replace a part, but be aware when you ask for a specific repair procedure, like replacing the fan motor, that is exactly what you will get. If your diagnosis is wrong, you still have to pay for what you asked for.

If you ask for a diagnosis and repair, and the mechanic is wrong, you have quite a bit of leverage when it comes to the bill. Of course you could have gotten an estimate already and you are just verifying the estimate is accurate, but you did not say that, so I am just covering all the bases.

Most shops bill labor times according to a "flat rate" guide. That is a huge book that lists every procedure for every car model and year, and every variation of optional equipment. Some blower motors can be replaced in a few minutes. Some require considerable disassembly and can take all day. The flat rate guide will list the number of hours the job should take, with additional time allowed for things like dual zone heat, air conditioning, and things like that. This way every shop will charge the same hours. The only variable is their hourly labor charge. If the mechanic has invested in expensive specialty tools and advanced training, or has a lot of experience with your car model, he will get the job done faster, but you will pay the same amount. If he works inefficiently or runs into unexpected problems, you will not pay for the additional time.

You also need to address what is broken, disconnected, warped, etc, that water got into the motor housing. You do not want the same thing happening to the new motor. If that is not diagnosed and corrected, there wont be any warranty on the repair parts or labor.
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Friday, December 16th, 2016 AT 4:06 PM
Tiny
ANNA POP-MURESAN
  • MEMBER
So where is the answer to my question? This answer is too general. I gave you the diagnostic, I just wanted a second opinion. Thanks anyway for your time.
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Friday, December 16th, 2016 AT 4:38 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
You take the hours the job should take, which I do not know, times the shop's hourly labor rate, which you did not list, plus the cost of the parts, which you only listed the motor. If the heater box has to be removed, the air conditioning system has to be discharged, then it has to be pumped into a very high vacuum, then recharged. That will add a real lot to the time and cost. If you can provide those dollar amounts, I will do the math for you. Or, you can go to any repair shop in your city and get the information you're looking for. That is part of what they do.

I cannot find a listing for the model you listed. I looked up a blower motor for a C300. Two motors are listed from two different suppliers. One is $75.89 and one is $125.99. Which one do you want? Expect a repair shop to mark it up a little, just like at any other store. Those are wholesale costs, not including shipping. Neither one is an original equipment motor. I do not know what makes them so special. I put a new motor in my Grand Caravan two years ago. The retail price was $35.00 and it took fifteen minutes.

You still have not told me what caused the water to get into the motor. Also, how do you know the motor is bad? Dry it out and it will probably be fine. You do not know if a fuse is needed, but you want me to tell you the cost of the repair? Is there a leak around the windshield? If the cause if the problem is not diagnosed and solved, who will you blame when this happens again? If it was diagnosed, why wont you include that information?

If you still cannot figure out what to do, list the correct model number, then look up another repair shop in your phone book. Tell me their phone number and I will call them to find out what the cost will be for just the motor replacement. They are going to ask for additional information so I will have to get that from you later.

UPDATE:

I called a local shop, and they list the time at 1.3 hours for the front blower motor. There is no mention made about discharging the AC system, and that cannot be included in the 1.3 hours as it would take a lot longer than that. There is no stipulation as to manual system or automatic temperature control. Now you need to find out the shop's labor rate. Around here it is between $90.00 and $115.00 per hour at the independent shops. I do not know what the dealership charges per hour.
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Friday, December 16th, 2016 AT 6:42 PM

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