Grande Punto – Fixing the Heater Blower Motor
I finished my last post ready to tackle my AC/heater blower issue, so let me start by explaining the issue, and diagnostic steps I took before committing any money or repairs onto it:
- The heating, cooling, demisters did not work, on any setting.
- The heater blower resister was hanging down in the foot-well, with crimped wire joints, and the previous cable block was found in the car – evidence of a previous repair job, or half of one. The old connector did have the tell-tale signs of burning.
- The current resistor, although looking suspicious in position, looked to be pristine as far as the pins, connecting block and resistor itself went.
Known Fiat issue
So in my initial Googling, it became quickly apparent that this was a known issue, not just within Grande Punto’s, but a few other Fiat models. Had I read this particular post first I probably could’ve saved myself a lot of bother.
The resistor is between the heater strength dial, and the blower motor itself. If the fan is set to 4 (full power), the circuit bypasses the resistor entirely, sending a full 12v to the blower motor. As you dial the setting down, the resistor is ‘resisting’ more, which brings with it an increase of heat (usually resulting in the resistor or wires burning out).
So generally, as in the above linked post, if 1-3 of the fan’s settings aren’t working but 4 is, you can generally say it’s the resistor or wiring loom. If 4 isn’t working, it’s quite likely the blower motor, which looked to be my case as none of them worked. By this point, I’d already checked all of the fuses once I finally found where the interior ones were hidden away.
Replacing the heater blower motor
Removing Fiat Grande Punto Heater Blower Motor
- Tools needed
Large flat head screwdriver
Socket set (6mm)
- Accessing the Heater Blower Motor
I found it a bit easier by removing the glove box, although certainly not needed. I just happened to have it off already, from when I’d removed the glove box USB port to access the fuse panel behind it.
Open the glove box, and to the left of the deepest part, is a plastic fixing. Use the large screwdriver (or anything similar), to ease it out. You can then pull the glove box off the fixed remaining pin on the right-hand side.
Next you need to remove the air ducting. It’s a black plastic piece held in by a single screw, and then slides off the white ducting that takes air up into the vents.
- Removing the Blower Motor
The blower motor is held in by 3 screws, 2 towards the rear (where you are), and one towards the far end where the cables connect to it.
Unplug the cable, then unscrew the 3 screws. When you get to the last one, get ready to support it with your spare hand to prevent it dropping straight down.
Testing the heater blower motor
With the blower motor removed, I needed to test whether it worked. Now, the proper way is through the use of a multimeter, but I couldn’t justify buying one at this point. So what I did, was to get down to Halfords and buy some 27 Amp cable, designed for a maximum of 12 volts.
From this, I fashioned myself 2 lengths of cables with some of the end coating off at each end, similar to this photo, although I’d recommend giving yourself a bit more length.
Then, with the engine OFF, and the fan in a position where you can access it’s terminals whilst still being free to spin, should it just happen to work (maybe get someone to hold it), connect one end of each cable into a battery terminal (I just stuck it into a small gap on the main terminal clips); then, being careful to not touch the now-live ends of the cables together, press each one to a terminal on the heater blower.
At this point, the fan will either spin or not and you’ll have your answer.
Installing new heater blower motor
Mine didn’t, so as you may have noticed in the photo above, I ordered a new one from Ebay. It cost £44.95, but apparently you can get one for a little less, by ordering one meant for a Vauxhall Corsa D.
Before I installed it, I repeated the above test, and prayed – sure enough it spun into life!
I reversed the removal steps, and ensured the resistor was clipped into the ducting where it should have been before. It relies on the air moving through it to prevent it getting too hot. Then it was time to test whether my work had been in vain…
Success! It felt so satisfying having got this working myself, to feel that hurricane force air flow. I definitely couldn’t have done it without some of the guys on FiatForum though – for describing the mechanics and circuit layout behind it that enabled me to pin-point the cause.