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Pelican Technical Article:

Blower Motor Testing

Nick Czerula

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$20

Talent:

*****

Tools:

Plastic prying tool, T20 Torx driver, DVOM, test light

Applicable Models:

R52 MINI Cooper Convertible (2007-08)
R52 MINI Cooper S Convertible (2007-08)
R56 MINI Cooper Hatchback (2007-11)
R56 MINI Cooper S Hatchback (2007-11)
R57 MINI Cooper Convertible (2009-11)
R57 MINI Cooper S Convertible (2009-11)

Parts Required:

Blower motor, blower motor resistor

Hot Tip:

Use an incandescent test light to load the circuits

Performance Gain:

Proper working blower motor

Complementary Modification:

Replace cabin air filter

MINI R56 vehicles can come equipped with one of two climate control systems: IHKS manually controlled climate control or IHKA, automatic climate control. Each has multiple sensors, controls, air temperature units and ducts. IHKA has additional components to handle auto temp control. The blower motor, which controls airflow 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 speed. The blower motor is a D/C electric motor driven by varying current supplied by the blower motor final stage unit.

If your blower motor fails, replace the blower and resistor together. You don't want to have to go back in if one fails later. 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.

Replacing the blower motor is no easy task. You will have to work high up behind the instrument panel in an uncomfortable position. If you suspect your blower final stage or the blower is faulty, follow the instructions below on blower motor and final stage testing to confirm your suspicion.

I suggest using a current wiring diagram when testing your vehicle, as the wiring or circuit connectors may vary from my subject vehicle.

Remember that your car may have been serviced before and had parts 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. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Our vehicle may vary slightly from yours as models do change and evolve, as they grow older. 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.

The blower motor is located behind the center of the dashboard and is serviced from the interior of the vehicle. The blower motor resistor is mounted to the rear of the blower motor.

Remove the left side lower dashboard trim. See our tech article on lower dashboard trim replacement.

The blower final stage is located above the accelerator pedal in the heater housing (green arrow).
Figure 1

The blower final stage is located above the accelerator pedal in the heater housing (green arrow). With the lower kick panel removed, remove the two T20 Torx screws from the side panel (red arrows). The blower motor that controls airflow 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 speed. The blower motor is a D/C electric motor driven by varying current supplied by the blower motor final stage unit. Both of these components are located in the heater housing, behind the center of the instrument panel. Working at the left side footwell, open the fuse panel door. Check fuse #46 30 amps for continuity. Use the fuse sheet supplied with your vehicle to confirm fuse location and assignment. Also, confirm this with a current wiring diagram, as I find year to year there are changes.

Then, remove the side panel from the center tunnel (red arrow).
Figure 2

Then, remove the side panel from the center tunnel (red arrow). Slide it toward the rear of the vehicle to remove it.

The green arrow points to the blower motor resistor and the red arrow points to the blower motor.
Figure 3

The green arrow points to the blower motor resistor and the red arrow points to the blower motor. All testing will be performed at the resistor.

Start by connecting your DVOM to the power feed.
Figure 4

Start by connecting your DVOM to the power feed. Connect your red lead to terminal 4. On my vehicle this is the red wire (green arrow). Connect your black lead to battery negative. Turn the vehicle on but do not start the engine. It will be about 12 volts or battery volts, whatever the current charge of the battery is. Then, move to terminal 1. On my vehicle this is the gray wire. This should read close to zero volts (0.1 volts for example). It is the blower resistor ground. Next, connect your DVOM across the blower motor output connector. Connect your red lead to terminal 4. On my vehicle this is the red wire. Connect your black lead to terminal 3. On my vehicle this is the brown wire. The blower speed should be set to high. Your DVOM should read battery volts. If the blower motor is running, it will be about 12 volts with a vehicle power supply on. If you're just testing using your battery, expect a 2-volt drop from what open circuit battery voltage is at the time. If you get no voltage, try cycling the key off and waiting one minute, then cycling the key on with your DVOM already in place. If you have zero volts or lower than battery volts, the final stage unit may be faulty. In the next steps I will show you how to test it. If you have voltage but no blower motor operation, the blower motor is likely faulty. Keep in mind the blower resistor supplies ground to the motor. Earlier we checked the fuse and confirmed it to be good. You can also move the black lead of your DVOM to battery negative (ground) and keep the red lead on terminal 1. You should have battery volts. If you don't, there may be an open circuit between the blower relay and the motor. It's also a good idea to load the signal to see if the resistor can handle the load of the blower motor. I like to use an incandescent test light. In this case, the test light is adding load to the blower motor circuit. Turn the blower speed to high. Your DVOM should read battery volts. If the blower motor is running, it will be about 12 volts with a vehicle power supply on. If you're just testing using your battery, expect a 2-volt drop from what open circuit battery voltage is at the time.

Next, connect your DVOM across the blower control circuit from the IHKA /IHKS control head.
Figure 5

Next, connect your DVOM across the blower control circuit from the IHKA /IHKS control head. Connect your red lead to terminal 2. On my vehicle this is a gray and white wire (green arrow). Connect your black lead to battery negative. The blower speed should be set to low (inset). Your DVOM should read about 3 volts (red arrow).

Next, connect your DVOM across blower control circuit from the IHKA /IHKS control head.
Figure 6

Next, connect your DVOM across blower control circuit from the IHKA /IHKS control head. Connect your red lead to terminal 2. On my vehicle this is gray and white wire (green arrow). Connect your black lead to battery negative. The blower speed should be set to high (inset). Your DVOM should read about 10 volts (red arrow). The engine may have to be running to get the blower to run on high. If voltage isn't at about 10 volts, try starting the engine.

If the readings are wrong and you happen to be a lucky person with a MINI scan tool, you can also activate blower speed and monitor the voltage output.
Figure 7

If the readings are wrong and you happen to be a lucky person with a MINI scan tool, you can also activate blower speed and monitor the voltage output. 50% and 100% on the tool should match the readings above, step 5 voltage 50%, step 6 voltage 100%.

There is one final quick test for the resistor and the motor.
Figure 8

There is one final quick test for the resistor and the motor. I used a fused jumper wire (red arrow) and connected terminals 2 and 4. This will supply control voltage to the resistor, which in turn will run the blower. This tests the function of the blower resistor and motor. The blower motor should run on high.



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