A/C Blower and switch issue - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 55 (permalink) Old 11-17-2009, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
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A/C Blower and switch issue

A/C switch to the blower failed. I bought the part from my local auto parts store (cross references to a '70s Ford). Installed the switch, and that worked fine. . .until the switch quit again.

I took the car to an a/c specialist. He thinks a blower resistor is faulty. The resistor is supposed to prevent the blower from sending too much current to the switch and **PFT** fry the switch.

Has anyone had this problem? Where's the blower resistor or the blower located?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 55 (permalink) Old 11-18-2009, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Fubar1764 View Post
A/C switch to the blower failed. I bought the part from my local auto parts store (cross references to a '70s Ford). Installed the switch, and that worked fine. . .until the switch quit again.

I took the car to an a/c specialist. He thinks a blower resistor is faulty. The resistor is supposed to prevent the blower from sending too much current to the switch and **PFT** fry the switch.

Has anyone had this problem? Where's the blower resistor or the blower located?

Thanks!
the resistor pack is on the bottom of the blower motor... everything has to come apart in the front to get the motor out. do a search in the maintainance section for teardown pics.

one thing to note is that the resistor pack is only for the lower speeds: the high speed setting is straight through to the motor so its not a matter of the motor passing too much current. It is possible that the pack has corroded and is shorting to ground...
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post #3 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by rob13572468 View Post
the resistor pack is on the bottom of the blower motor... everything has to come apart in the front to get the motor out. do a search in the maintainance section for teardown pics.

one thing to note is that the resistor pack is only for the lower speeds: the high speed setting is straight through to the motor so its not a matter of the motor passing too much current. It is possible that the pack has corroded and is shorting to ground...
Does anybody have a link to the mysterious post about removing the hvac system in order to get to the blower motor? Everybody references it but I can't find it after searching forever.

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post #4 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 11:57 AM
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Does anybody have a link to the mysterious post about removing the hvac system in order to get to the blower motor? Everybody references it but I can't find it after searching forever.
You have to take the car to a certified AC tech. to get the refrigerant evacuated. Now you have to remove the whole climate box in order to access the blower motor, which has to be removed to get to the resistor pack. Basically, everything HVAC needs to be disconnected to get to the pack.
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post #5 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by TheViper View Post
You have to take the car to a certified AC tech. to get the refrigerant evacuated. Now you have to remove the whole climate box in order to access the blower motor, which has to be removed to get to the resistor pack. Basically, everything HVAC needs to be disconnected to get to the pack.
Michael
Correct, I had the freon evacuated the other day. I now have the clam off and everything disconnected at the hvac box but can't get it to slide out. The part of the hvac box that extends into the passenger side frame seems to have me hung up. I was hoping somebody had step by step on this part.

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post #6 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 01:11 PM
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What is this part that is circled in the pic and how do you remove it? It seems to be the last thing impeding the removal of the hvac box.
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post #7 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 03:06 PM
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You have to take the car to a certified AC tech. to get the refrigerant evacuated.
Technically not correct.

As a mechanic doing work for hire, you have to reclaim/recycle all referent from an AC system. As a private person you are free to vent it to your heart's content (as long as your neighborhood "greenies" don't catch you )

You can vent the referent R-134a from the system. Then when you are done with your repairs, you can vacuum down the system (you can find AC vacuum pumps easily for $100-150), and refill it with R-134a. You can use several individual "1 lb" cans (around $5 a lb) or do what I did - buy a 30 lb tank (around $2 a lb). You need 3 to 7 lbs depending on the car (I don't know what the Elise takes).

I bought all the AC repair equipment (vacuum pump, gauges, leak detector sensor, weight scale) a while back when I had a leak in one of our cars. Buying all the equipment (and the new sensor that was leaking) was less than the price quoted to me at a local shop (and he wasn't even going to replace the part that was actually leaking). Other shops gave similar estimates.

I even did the on-line test to get certified as an AC tech so that I can legally buy R-12 "freon" (for pre-94 or so cars).

But Michael is correct, the proper way (and environmentally correct) to do things is to take it to a shop, have them vacuum out the existing R-134a and recycle it. Then take it back and have them re-charge it when everything is done.

Oh, one thing. If you open the system (i.e. remove the condenser), then ensure that you cap ALL the openings to prevent the system from absorbing moisture from the air. Other wise, you will have to replace the drier/accumulator as part of the repair (it's job is to absorb the moisture that is trapped in the AC system).




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post #8 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 03:10 PM
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What is this part that is circled in the pic and how do you remove it? It seems to be the last thing impeding the removal of the hvac box.
You've circled the vacuum brake booster. The part on the forward part is the brake master cylinder (has the metal lines out of the sides and the rubber hoses going to the plastic fluid reservoir on the top. How to remove and replace it is covered in the shop manual. But you should be able to do thing without removing it - I've never heard of anyone having to remove it before...




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post #9 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by TimMullen View Post
You've circled the vacuum brake booster. The part on the forward part is the brake master cylinder (has the metal lines out of the sides and the rubber hoses going to the plastic fluid reservoir on the top. How to remove and replace it is covered in the shop manual. But you should be able to do thing without removing it - I've never heard of anyone having to remove it before...
Thanks Tim, another forum member confirmed that the brake booster does not need to be removed. Just have to work at it a bit. A project for tomorrow, that's enough for the day.

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post #10 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by TimMullen View Post
Technically not correct.

As a mechanic doing work for hire, you have to reclaim/recycle all referent from an AC system. As a private person you are free to vent it to your heart's content (as long as your neighborhood "greenies" don't catch you )

You can vent the referent R-134a from the system. Then when you are done with your repairs, you can vacuum down the system (you can find AC vacuum pumps easily for $100-150), and refill it with R-134a. You can use several individual "1 lb" cans (around $5 a lb) or do what I did - buy a 30 lb tank (around $2 a lb). You need 3 to 7 lbs depending on the car (I don't know what the Elise takes).

I bought all the AC repair equipment (vacuum pump, gauges, leak detector sensor, weight scale) a while back when I had a leak in one of our cars. Buying all the equipment (and the new sensor that was leaking) was less than the price quoted to me at a local shop (and he wasn't even going to replace the part that was actually leaking). Other shops gave similar estimates.

I even did the on-line test to get certified as an AC tech so that I can legally buy R-12 "freon" (for pre-94 or so cars).

But Michael is correct, the proper way (and environmentally correct) to do things is to take it to a shop, have them vacuum out the existing R-134a and recycle it. Then take it back and have them re-charge it when everything is done.

Oh, one thing. If you open the system (i.e. remove the condenser), then ensure that you cap ALL the openings to prevent the system from absorbing moisture from the air. Other wise, you will have to replace the drier/accumulator as part of the repair (it's job is to absorb the moisture that is trapped in the AC system).
I paid $118 to have the 134a evacuated. They told me they charged me a little more than normal because labor was longer. I'm not sure if that is correct or not but doesn't surprise me. They extracted .75 lbs of refrigerant. This is an 05 with no previous hvac service. 17,000 miles.

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post #11 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-05-2010, 07:34 AM
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Just took a little patience but everything is out now. The blower motor wire connector was not even attached to the resistor pack any more.
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post #12 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-08-2010, 10:39 AM
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Has anyone experienced a second failure (after a warrantiy replacement with the drain holes "installed")? I think mine is about to give out, and I had mine repaired under warranty about 2 years ago. I plan to ditch the resistor pack and go with the all or nothing fan option to avoid this costly repair in the future.

laissez le bon temps roulez
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post #13 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-08-2010, 10:50 AM
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Has anyone experienced a second failure (after a warrantiy replacement with the drain holes "installed")? I think mine is about to give out, and I had mine repaired under warranty about 2 years ago. I plan to ditch the resistor pack and go with the all or nothing fan option to avoid this costly repair in the future.
I haven't had a 2nd failure but I am in the process now of bypassing the resistor pack. But, I also ran the wires into the fuse panel box so that I can add the resistor pack later if I want without taking the front clam off.

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post #14 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-08-2010, 12:24 PM
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I plan to ditch the resistor pack and go with the all or nothing fan option to avoid this costly repair in the future.
I believe that the current replacement part is sealed and weather tight (sealed in epoxy). It should be able to live in a pool of water indefinitely and still function correctly.




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post #15 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-08-2010, 12:32 PM
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I posted this on the other thread, but thought I'd also put it here. To me the new parts (and their new location) in the Lotus resistor pack kit look like they will last much longer than the original design.

I had to replace my resistor pack a couple of months ago. This was my first experience removing the front clam, which turned out to be relatively easy. Getting the blower out to get to the resistor pack is a bit tricky, but with a bit of patience if will come out.

I used the Lotus resistor pack kit, which included a new resistor pack, a mounting plate for the new resistor pack, a jumper harness, some foam gasket material, and a block off plate to cover the hole left from removing the old resistor pack. The parts guy at Symbolic also made a copy of the service bulletin for me. I thought it was a pretty well thought out retrofit kit--there is no wire splicing involved, but the new mounting plate does need to be pop-riveted in place, and you will probably have to replace a corroded spade terminal or two.

I'm not sure if the Lotus kit is really worth $150, but it does save you the hassle of splicing wires and fabricating mounting brackets that you have if you just by replacement resistors and relocate them yourself.

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post #16 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-08-2010, 02:08 PM
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Corrosion, may be the premature reason the "resistor packs" fail early, however there is another. Due to the heat generated by the resistors, eventually they will fail, hence the reason they are located in the air stream of the blower, to help cool them.
Michael

Last edited by SirLotus; 09-08-2010 at 02:28 PM.
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post #17 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-09-2010, 06:48 AM
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Thanks for the info. I'm not so sure how well the replacement resistor pack will stand up given the fact that it is failing agin. I presume the one that was put in 2 years ago was the updated unit. Obviously, I'll see when the clam comes off. If it is indeed corroded or burned out I don't see any reason to stick with a design that necessitates laborious replacement every 2 years or so. I can live with a single speed fan. Staggarlee, if you get a chance, maybe you can post a pic or description of what you ended doing for the bypass.

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post #18 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-09-2010, 06:55 AM
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Thanks for the info. I'm not so sure how well the replacement resistor pack will stand up given the fact that it is failing agin. I presume the one that was put in 2 years ago was the updated unit. Obviously, I'll see when the clam comes off. If it is indeed corroded or burned out I don't see any reason to stick with a design that necessitates laborious replacement every 2 years or so. I can live with a single speed fan. Staggarlee, if you get a chance, maybe you can post a pic or description of what you ended doing for the bypass.
I will definitely post pics. I'll try to get them up tonight. I took many. What I basically did was to extend the the blower motor wires so that the whole wiring harness for the resistors and blower can be relocated to the fuse box area that is accessible by only removing the right access panel on the front clam. I soldered the blower motor wires to the original wires cut from the resistor pack and then taped off the 2 resistor wires that are not in use anymore. This method will allow you to reinstall the resistor pack in the fuse box area later if you wanted to.

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post #19 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-09-2010, 06:56 AM
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As I only ever use the 3rd speed, if my pack failed I would do away with the resistors and direct wire.
Michael
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post #20 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-09-2010, 09:02 PM
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Staggarlee, if you get a chance, maybe you can post a pic or description of what you ended doing for the bypass.
I bought some 10 gauge primary wire wire at Radio Shack and cut 2 pieces long enough to run from the blower motor to the fuse box area. I should have bought some red and black but only got red. I then removed the original blower motor wires(noting which one was positive and negative with a Sharpie) and removed the plastic connectors. You can reuse them.

I attached my new wires to the connectors that go to the blower motor. I cut the wires going to the resistors before their connectors. I then soldered the other ends of the new wires to the orange and black wires that are attached to the 4 wire harness that connects to the fan switch. I taped off the red and yellow wires as they are not used anymore. The harness can now be located in the area of the fuse box which is easily accessible. I may add the resistors at a later date since the wires are only a 3mm bolt away.
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