My 2005-2014 Vauxhall/Opel Zafira B has recently been involved in a recall.
What is this for?
How can I tell if I'm affected?
If your car has had any previous work on the heating system, I would STRONGLY advise that you take it to a local dealership. Non-genuine parts may have been used, which could overheat and catch fire.
If you car meets all of these criteria, then you are definitely affected.
If any of these statements apply, you may be affected:
- You notice unusual characteristics with your heating and ventilation system (for example, a squeaking noise from the dashboard, a noisy fan, or any other abnormal noises when the fan is on)
- Your fan does not work in positions 1, 2 or 3
- Your car has had previous maintenance work on its heating and ventilation system.
If your controls look like this (ignore the colour):
Then you are affected. You should not have an AUTO button.
If your controls look like this (note the AUTO button):
Then you are NOT affected. You don't need to do anything
You should stop using the heater, and set the fan speed to Zero. You should NOT use the blower settings 1,2 and 3. If you need to demist the windows only use the full power setting (4).
Take your car to your local Vauxhall Dealership, where it will be inspected free of charge.
This is because the component which causes the different fan speeds. It is basically several resistors, with an integrated fuse. Some of there are faulty, or have been replaced with non-genuine parts (there are many clones around), as they are very expensive from Vauxhall. This means that if the blower fan is overloaded, then they can overheat and catch fire. When you use the maximum speed (fan speed 4), the resistors are bypassed.
When the resistors fail, they fail for a good reason. However, people don't investigate the real problem. Instead they have either:
What is likely to have happened is that the bearings have gone in the motor (they're starting to get quite old now). This means it requires more power to make them turn, so more current is being drawn through the resistors, which causes them to fail. The fuses are then bodged, or cheap non-genuine ones are put back in, where shortcuts have been taken with design or manufacture. They are overloaded, and overheat.
Regarding checking the heater system. You need to check the resistor pack and plastic surrounding the resistor pack for any burning. Replace if any holes are found.
Check the wiring loom for burns/chaffing - replace if any found.
You then need to check the current flow on the fan motor. You can do this either with a amp clamp or multimeter. With the engine running, you need to set the fan speed to 1 and check current. The current can be checked on either the Red/White wire or Brown wire. If its below 4.5amps the motor is not drawing excessive current. If its above 4.5 amps the motor needs replacing.
Check the pollen filter and filter box for dry leaves and replace pollen filter if it's dirty.
Check around the scuttle for any debris and remove if any is found.
If you find any issues above you need to contact Vauxhall - fingers crossed it will be done as a good will gesture but we all know how they like to riddle out of things. Nothing to lose by asking.
NOTE - The only way to check using a multimeter is to break into the wire. I do not advise this. You could depin the connector and use your multimeter probes between the terminal of the wire you just depinned and the fan motor terminal. Set your multimeter to MAX current setting.
The procedure has changed slightly from the end of November 2015 and half way December it was officially declared a recall by the DVSA and Vauxhall. In addition to the desciption above, Vauxhall also: 1. stick a piece of foam under the scuttle as a shield to avoid water going into the air inlet if the scuttle has been replaced badly. 2. replace the resistor in all cases (except if it has already happened since Oct.15).
The amp test can also be done with a multimeter by removing fuse 4 in the fuse box under the bonnet on the left side and measuring the current between the two fuse clamps (there is a bit of extra current that can be measured by placing the fan switch to 0).