Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Intratubes Can Be A Good Thing At Times

A while back a friend called and asked if I could help him with a problem he was having with his car. The heater blower motor wasn't working and he wasn't able to find it in his car. Under the hood was a layer of insulation on the firewall and it wasn't under that. I got on my confuser and googled removing the blower motor for his car. While still on the phone I was able to tell him how to go about finding and removing the blower motor. (When we first started using the Intratubes I wouldn't have been able to talk on the phone and look up stuff online as with dial-up it was either/or. Either you used the phone or you surfed the 'net.) Now with DSL I could talk on the phone and look up stuff online. I also looked up how much a new blower motor would cost. I was able to find a price on the Carquest website, but couldn't find a price on the Auto Value site [it doesn't even recognize that the local store exists] because it sucks the big one. (Those two auto parts store are the only ones in the county.)

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Anywho, he was able to remove the blower motor and free it up and get it working again. The only problem was it now only had two speeds, high and off. Talking with a parts person he decided he needed a blower motor switch resistor. Then after not being able to remove the heater controls to replace the resistor where he thought it should be, he called again. Even tho he had a repair manual* for his car, it didn't say anything about replacing the resistor. I googled "How to replace blower motor switch" and it suggested "replace blower motor resistor". I clicked on a couple of links and found a forum where a guy was complaining about the insulation getting in the way of removing the screws on the resistor. Then a day or two later I went over and helped him replace the resistor. I looked under the dash and saw the blower motor and behind it looked to be the resistor. I removed the blower motor and started to remove the screws on the resistor. Then I found out what the guy online was talking about. Two of the screws were difficult to get at as the insulation on the firewall was in the way. You had to push the insulation back to get the socket on the head of the screw. With both of us taking turns we got the two back screws loosened enough to pull the resistor out and slide the new one back in. The resistor had a circuit board that stuck up in the heater box. The circuit board looked like someone had bit a big chuck out of one corner, kinda like when you bite into a sandwich. That would explain why it only had the high speed. After replacing the resistor and putting the blower motor back in and hooking up the wires the blower worked on all speeds like it should.

30+ years ago my friend wouldn't have had much trouble figuring out how to fix his car, but he had some blood vessels blow in his head and that fucked him up. He has a field cut in his vision where he can only see things to the left of the focal point with his left eye and a pie shaped area to the left with his right eye. He has problems with short term memory and figuring out the logical progression of things like doing mechanic work. First thing in the morning he can usually read, but as it gets later in the day he gets confused and words become gibberish. It's amazing what he has been able to do since his head blew up, but he's too stubborn to give up and keeps trying. A lot of the time he'll have to redo today what he did yesterday, but he keeps at it.

*I used to think Haynes repair manuals were good, but after getting one for my Jeep pickup and now seeing his manual for his car, I have my doubts. I bought the Jeep manual when I needed to replace the chain for the transfer case. What the manual had to say about transfer cases was they "are complicated and if it needs repair, take it to a transmission shop". If I was going to take it to a transmission shop I wouldn't have bought the fucking manual. On his manual for his car, it didn't say anything about replacing the resistor. The only reference I found about the resistor is it said to remove it to spray cleaner into the heater box to clean fungus from the air conditioning evaporator coil. Even tho it said to remove it, it didn't say how to remove it or where it was located!!


  1. Maybe he shouldn't even be driving anymore?

  2. He's a more careful driver than I am. He knows his limitations and compensates for it by being extra careful when driving. Also he doesn't drive in areas with a lot of traffic like the larger towns in our area. Basically he stays in our county which is all two lane roads and no traffic signals, only a few blinking caution and/or stop lites.

  3. Most of us hate to give up driving, there is a freedom in it, I had to take my grandmothers car away from her.

  4. Boy, it's cold, the stuff in the outside fridge is starting to freeze.

    "Honey, this young skunk is freezing, look at it shaking."

    "Put it between your legs."

    "But it stinks."

    "Cover its little nose."

  5. I usually buy the manual from the car manufacturer. They are much more complete but often require 'special tools' to preform the more difficult work.

    The Ol'Buzzard


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