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Blower Motor and Blower Motor Resistor Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Blower Motor and Blower Motor Resistor Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$200

Talent:

****

Tools:

Phillips screwdriver, plastic prying tool

Applicable Models:

BMW Z3 (1996-02)

Parts Required:

Blower motor

Hot Tip:

Be careful not to damage blower housing

Performance Gain:

Replace faulty blower motor

Complementary Modification:

Replace blower motor and resistor together

The BMW Z3 is equipped with a climate control system (IHKA) with multiple sensors, controls, air temperature units and ducts. The blower motor, which controls air flow into the passenger cabin, is among the most consequential components in the climate control system. 

The blower motor resistor (or final stage) varies voltage to the blower motor to achieve the desired airflow speed. It responds to vehicle occupant input at the HVAC control panel by varying the high current signal, which controls blower motor speed. The blower final stage unit can fail resulting in a malfunctioning or inoperative blower motor. The final stage unit is a high failure item on the BMW Z3 and other BMW models as well.

If your blower motor fails, try replacing the final stage unit first using this procedure. If replacing the final stage does not remedy the problem, the blower motor itself is likely at fault. Over time, a blower motor may become noisy, as the motor electrical contacts wear. The blower fan cages also fracture, creating a vibration when the blower is ON. If it fails or becomes noisy, you can use this procedure for the repairs.

The blower motor is located behind the windshield wiper cowl and is serviced from the engine bay. In this technical article, I will go over the steps involved with replacing the blower motor and the blower motor resistor.

To avoid marring the paint and trim, work with a plastic prying tool or wrap a screwdriver tip with masking tape before prying out body or interior items.

Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches. 

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you're working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Do not work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability. 

Vehicle models change and evolve, as they grow older, so the vehicle shown in our illustrations may vary slightly from yours. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

Remove the wiper motor assembly. See our tech article on wiper motor and assembly replacing.

Working in the wiper cowl, locate the white plastic straps on the blower motor housing (green arrows).
Figure 1

Working in the wiper cowl, locate the white plastic straps on the blower motor housing (green arrows).

Detach both straps by pulling top of strap out of the bottom plastic nipple.
Figure 2

Detach both straps by pulling top of strap out of the bottom plastic nipple. Detach both straps.

Next, you have to remove the intake duct.
Figure 3

Next, you have to remove the intake duct. Start by pulling it up on the right side, detaching the two mounting spots (green arrows) from the threaded studs on the body. Once the right side is disconnected, repeat this step for the left side of the duct. Once both sides are detached, remove the duct from the cowl by feeding it out at an angle.

Next you have to unclip four metal spring clips from the top and bottom of the blower motor housing.
Figure 4

Next you have to unclip four metal spring clips from the top and bottom of the blower motor housing. This photo shows unclipping the spring clip located at the lower right of the blower housing (green arrow). There are two at the top corners and two at the lower corners, unclip them all.

Now comes one of the more delicate parts of the procedure.
Figure 5

Now comes one of the more delicate parts of the procedure. Each side of the blower motor housing has a fresh air flap (green arrow), right side shown. These flaps have to be removed from the top of the housing in order to get the top of the housing out.

Hold the flap still while you push the front of the housing outward, then pull plastic flap dowel (green arrow) out of front of housing.
Figure 6

Hold the flap still while you push the front of the housing outward, then pull plastic flap dowel (green arrow) out of front of housing. Repeat this for the left side when done.

Once plastic dowel is disconnected, lift the housing up while feeding flap out of housing.
Figure 7

Once plastic dowel is disconnected, lift the housing up while feeding flap out of housing.

Lift housing up while guiding flap out of housing.
Figure 8

Lift housing up while guiding flap out of housing. Once separated, remove upper housing from cowl.

Now you can disconnect the electrical connections at the blower motor.
Figure 9

Now you can disconnect the electrical connections at the blower motor. Start by cutting the wire tie securing the wires to the blower clamp (yellow arrow). Then disconnect the electrical connections (green arrows) by pulling them straight off the blower motor.

Using a flathead screwdriver, release blower motor retaining spring by levering bottom of spring off blower housing (green arrow).
Figure 10

Using a flathead screwdriver, release blower motor retaining spring by levering bottom of spring off blower housing (green arrow).

Then lift blower motor enough to be able to remove retaining spring (green arrow).
Figure 11

Then lift blower motor enough to be able to remove retaining spring (green arrow).

Then remove blower motor from housing and remove from wiper cowl.
Figure 12

Then remove blower motor from housing and remove from wiper cowl.

The blower resistor is mounted at the bottom of the blower housing (green arrow).
Figure 13

The blower resistor is mounted at the bottom of the blower housing (green arrow). If you are going to replace it, now is the time.

To remove it, slide it up and out of blower housing.
Figure 14

To remove it, slide it up and out of blower housing. You may have to wiggle it side to side a bit to free the connections. Install the new resistor, be sure it is seated properly and flush with housing. Reverse removal instructions for blower installation. When installing blower motor into housing, be sure wiring is orientated as it was before. The motor will drop into the housing and sit evenly, both blower cages in about the same position on each side of the housing. Be careful when reinstalling the plastic housing and covers, they can break if you force them into blower motor housing.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Romulo Comments: I saw a video on youtube regarding this procedure. It looks mostly the same, but it requires disassembly of the fire wall from my BMW 318i 1991..... and it looks a it different because the metal sheet on top, right below the windshield is not removable. Also there is a bit of confusion on the part that should be used. Part 64116912633 has been detailed in most web pages as the right one, but a BMW dealership stated that such a part is for a BMWZ4 of later years. Another part, AIRTEX / WELLS 3A1009 is stated as optional after maket piece, but the two pieces are very different. If ANYBODY can help me, I'd sincerely appreciate it.
August 25, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: This article doe snot cover your vehicle. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right part. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
cj Comments: How do I replace my blower resistor x5bmw 2008 4.8i
August 23, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: We don't currently have a tech article for your vehicle. If we get the chance to perform the repair, we will be sure to document it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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