My neighbors 01 Dodge Dakota pickup truck was having an HVAC blower motor issue. It worked on high only and sometimes not at all.
When I typed a description of the problem in my favorite search engine, the number one result was: do you have a 2001-2004 Dodge Dakota, or 2001-2006 Dodge Durango AC blower motor fan speed locked in one position?
I said to myself, yes I do and after doing a little research I discovered that a lot of other people are going through the same thing.
Here we'll discuss the common issue of Dodge blower motor problems and the recommended steps to help prevent melted connectors, damaged wire harnesses and repeat failures of the blower resistor.
Although it was the Dakota that tipped me off to this problem, I can see the Durango from 2001 through 2006 uses the same part number and wiring harness repair kit.
These are not the only Dodge or Chrysler vehicles that are experiencing problems with this component. I've seen Sebring 01-04 and Dodge Stratus owners from 2001 through 2006 without climate control systems complaining about the same problems.
To round things out I had a Dodge 13 passenger van about a year ago that had the same malfunction. It would seem an extremely large number of vehicles are involved with this blower resistor failure issue.
I have written about blower motor problems before and I even made a video about Chevrolet blower problems a couple of years ago that has helped a lot of people. The Dodge circuit is very different than the GM set up. After digging out a wiring diagram I was surprised to learn that there was only one fuse and no relay.
However, it was not the configuration of the circuit that is causing the blower motor resistor to overheat. The overheating is so profound that in many instances the connector is damaged.
This is why when people just replace the resistor they might find the automobile is not fixed. The terminals can get so toasted they no longer provide a physical connection to the resistor bridge.
In this situation the connector and pigtail harness will have to be replaced along with the resistor. I think the question is why the resistor got so hot.
Although I cannot provide a definitive answer of what's exactly wrong with everybody's car, I can tell you what I found on my neighbors 01 Dodge Dakota. Then you can see if yours is the same way.
The type of carnage I found with the connector and resistor signaled me to pull out the blower motor and take a look at it.
What I found was the motor, although still operating when voltage was applied, was more difficult then it should be to turn by hand. It felt a little stiff too me.
And when I gave it a good push it had no free wheel it just stopped instantly. When we sourced a new blower motor it was much easier to move by hand and when I gave it a good flick it didn't spin by itself long but it did not immediately stop like the old one.
I can't guarantee that the blower motor is responsible for taking out everybody's resistor bridge, but I can say it might make sense to go ahead and replace the motor along with the resistor and connector.
As far as my neighbors 01 Dodge Dakota pickup truck I haven't seen him since the repairs. No news is good news and I believe his truck is fixed for the long-term.
After stopping by a few message boards and reading some notes before writing this article, I see many people are not replacing the blower resistor connector and are opting to make repairs to what's left of the original connector.
I think it's worth taking the extra step because the heat was so intense it made the connector brittle and reduces the integrity of the electrical connection between the terminal on the resistor and the connector on the harness side.
What I don't like about the available repair kits is they don't come with instructions or a terminal repair tool to help remove the metal connector from the plastic holder.
Another issue is all of the wires in the kit are the same color. For this reason it's recommended to perform splice repairs one at a time, so they end up in the same place as the factory connector.
I noticed that some people are struggling with small issues that I learned to deal with over the years and now take for granted.
For one, the Chrysler factory connector is of the snap lock variety. It requires two actions to release it from the blower motor resistor. On the Dodge Dakota I worked on, there was a red lock tab that required removal.
Then a black locking tang needed to be depressed and held while the connector was removed. It was still a struggle because the plastic from the connector had melted and fused to the plastic of the resistor bridge.
When you attempt to pull wires in an out of the plastic connector. They are retained by a locking mechanism that's released with a jeweler’s screwdriver or a terminal repair tool.
The metal electrical connector also has a top and bottom side so when it slides into the connector the right orientation must be selected for it to smoothly lock into place.
Personally I think this is a great do-it-yourself repair that only requires some basic skills to accomplish. A Dealership would probably charge a couple hundred dollars parts and labor just to replace the connector and resistor.
If you order the connector kit shown on the right amazon will offer you a package deal where it say's Frequently Bought Together items.
This includes the Dorman 973-026 Blower Motor Resistor for Chrysler or Dodge automobiles and TYC 700071 Replacement Front Blower Assembly for around eighty dollars.
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