My wife’s 2005 Ponitac Vibe would occasionally refuse to control the cabin temperature. We could feel a little bit of coldness (or hotness) near the vents on a really hot (or cold) day. The symptoms ended up pointing to the blower motor. I did some research and it appears that this is a fairly common component to wear out. Additionally, there is a resistor that controls the speed of the motor that fails over time. So I decided to take on this project to save some serious labor bucks. In the spirit of sharing knowledge, I took pictures while replacing these parts so anyone else taking on this project will have a simple document to guide them.
Here is a picture of the new blower, drain tube, and grommet:
and here is the resistor (still covered in bubble wrap):
The first step is to remove the ground connection from the battery:
Next, remove the glove box. The globe box just sits in a grove in the dash so it basically just lifts right out after removing this screw:
With the glove box out, the next step is to remove the control box that’s located under the blower motor. Once this box is out of the way, we can lower the blower motor out of it’s home.
To remove the controller, take out these two screws (there is a third screw but that is actually tied to a guide that pops out with the controller frame).
After removing these screws, we’ll pull out the black plastic retaining plugs from the bottom of the dash (see arrows above).
They look like this:
Remove the wiring harnesses from the controller:
You should be able to just wiggle it loose now. Notice the guide piece I mentioned earlier:
After the controller is out of the way you’ll have full access to the blower motor. Disconnect the drain plug and the wiring. All that remains are the three 5.5mm screws holding the motor up. Remove those and lower out the motor.
Since we’re replacing the motor, we might as well replace the resistor too. It is a wear part after all. The location is shown in one of the pictures above. Unclip the wiring and remove the two 5.5mm screws. The rear screw is pretty painful to reach. I ended up using a 7/32 socket to back it out. This is a prime use case for a universal socket joint. It wasn’t difficult enough to warrant running to the hardware store to pick up another tool so I just patiently backed it out with the tools at hand.
Once the two screws have been removed, the resistor will lower out.
Now we’re ready to put everything back together.
Screw the new resistor in and connect the wiring harness.
Screw the new blower motor in, connect the wiring harness, and attach the new drain tube.
Remount the controller and attach the wiring harness.
Since I was in here, I also replaced the in cabin air filter (it was pretty clogged and may have contributed to the premature motor failure).
Attach the ground wire to the battery and test out your work.
This is a pretty simple and straight forward project. DIY and save yourself some cash.