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We've got a 2002 Chrysler Voyager with something of an odd problem. The blower resistor likes to burn out. It's easy to replace, but after doing so, our vent speeds go out one by one, until all we have left is FULL BLAST. It seems to take between 500 and 5000 miles for the resistor to blow.

The HVAC works just fine in all other ways; the only other somewhat notable thing is that when it rains, when we first start driving the car, water will pour into the passenger-side footwell from under the dashboard. Maybe that's vent-related?

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Does the failure occur in sequence?As in you start off using high until it fails,Then use the next highest until it fails etc. or is it random.When it is working do you notice a puddle under the van after the A/C has been running. –  mikes Mar 5 '12 at 21:59
    
Nope, the high setting always works. Some of the intermediate settings fail, seemingly at random, until only high is left. I don't know about AC; it's just been winter. –  Nate Mar 13 '12 at 13:20

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Check to see if there is a recall. Ford Contours came from the factory with a resistor blowing feature. The fix was new wiring, a new resistor, and a new climate control switch. I fixed one that had a resistor that looked like it had been in a toaster. Wires were melted, too. And of course, the recall had just expired. Ugh.

Do your resistors just stop working, or are there signs of overheating or maybe corrosion? Are you sure you're getting the correct replacement part? Maybe try a different brand of replacement or check with a dealer to see if there is a part number change that hasn't worked it's way through the parts store systems yet?

Prediction: Running the blower on high all the time will eventually kill the blower motor. Guess what went out on the Contour shortly after I applied the fix kit?

Update

Found some hints at what might be causing your problems. It sounds like newer resistors are working their way into the supply chain, hopefully they're improved. Also, supposedly there is a filter next to the blower that can get clogged and cause the resistor to overheat.

Then again, water can't be good for a resistor, either. Some other hints indicate that your might have a plugged drain in your wiper well (you don't have a sunroof, do you?).

If none of that is it, I suppose you could have a blower motor that is going bad and drawing more current than it should.

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Hm, I'll check, though any recall would have, by now, expired. The resistors definitely burn out and look melted, and the wiring looks a little crispy, too :( "Replace the vehicle" may ultimately be the most cost-effective solution. –  Nate Apr 3 '12 at 13:28
    
@Nate If there is a recall, even if it's expired, you can possibly still order the fix kit the dealer would have used. Crimping a few new lengths of wire to replace the crispy bits is no big deal. Check to see if there is an updated part available on the resistor. Sometimes they change the part without changing the part number or pulling the old stock off the shelves. See if you can get a fresh one. –  Mark Johnson Apr 3 '12 at 13:56
    
@Nate Check the update, replacing the vehicle over a resistor problem seems extreme, but to each their own. –  Mark Johnson Apr 5 '12 at 4:58
    
Heh -- we'd only replace the vehicle as it has 140k miles on it, has Other Problems, and will die of something else fairly soon. Basically: we're not going to invest much money in a fix ;) –  Nate Apr 5 '12 at 16:00

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