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Intermittent blower


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15 replies to this topic

#1 Arty

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 08:55 AM

'95 Legacy Outback

The blower for my car seems to go on and off when it wants. One second it will be working fine, the next it doesn't work at all. The blower motor itself is brand new, and I know that's not the problem. At first, I was able to just wiggle some random wires under the dash and have it come back on, but that doesn't seem to work anymore. Anyone have any ideas?

#2 Olnick

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 12:41 PM

Most cars have a "resistor block" that controls the blower speed, usually in 4 steps. They can burn out, or maybe the connections have corroded. Should be in the wiring just before the blower itself.

Good luck.

#3 Jessekrs123

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 08:19 PM

I had this problem with my Legacy a few months back.

An easy way to trace the problem is to look for power.

With your air system on, check for power to the blower motor, if power is getting to the motor, but it doesn't spin, the blower motor is bad. If there is no power to the blower motor then...

Check power to the blower motor resistor. If power is getting to the resistor but your blower motor still fails to spin, then your blower motor resistor is bad. If there is no power to the blower motor resistor then...

Check power to the blower motor relay. If there is power into the blower motor relay, but no power to either the blower motor resistor or the blower motor itself, then the relay is bad.

From my experience, it is rare that the blower motor and blower motor resistor go bad, so I would point my finger at the relay. A relay that is going bad will cause intermittent problems.

On my 1993 Legacy, the blower motor relay is located underneath the driver's side dash panel, where all the wires and junk are. If your car is anything like mine it will be on the left side close to the fender. The blower motor relay is just a white color, and it looks similar to the fuel pump relay which is green. The relay will be on a bracket, I just yanked it off the bracket for easier access because it is a tight fit in there.

Get a new relay from the dealer. In my experience, the relays are cheaper at the dealer than at the parts stores for some reason. Replace the relay and check your fuses. (I blew my blower motor fuses after I crossed some 12v wires and blower relay wires with my test light)

So check blower motor > blower motor resistor > blower motor relay.

My guess is it is your relay. Do the tests, develop a conclusion and report back here and we can furthermore help you out.

#4 Arty

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 10:00 PM

Thanks for the replies. I hope it's the relay, as I really don't want to have to ever mess with the blower motor again... that thing was a royal pain. When I turn the knob I hear clicks at the A/C compressor, so that tells me it's at least getting that far. Like I said, for a long time I could just wiggle random wires under the dash and get it going again, but I think it just kicked the bucket last night. The wires I moved around are also located in the exact area that the relay was described as being in, so I'm probably going to look at that first. It'll probably be a few days at the very earliest, but I'll keep you all updated.

Thanks again!!!

#5 zundfolge

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 12:50 AM

If you don' have one already, a basic digital multimeter will prove very helpful. Even a dumb test light would be better than nothing...

I always keep alligator clips, paper clips and t-pins around to help securely probe electrical connections with a meter.

Is the motor getting ~12volts? If not, then probe backward from there...

#6 Cougar

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 01:30 AM

I also suspect the relay is at fault. You could most likely tap on it and make the blower turn on if the relay is at fault.

#7 Arty

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 04:25 PM

Ok, guys...

I looked all over the place and was unable to locate anything that looked like it could be the relay for the blower. I found light relays a and so on, but I just couldn't find anything else. Can someone PLEASE help me?? It's 100 degrees here now and I'm dying :-(

#8 Jessekrs123

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 08:18 PM

Here is where it is in my Legacy. Probably not too different from yours.
Posted Image

This is the actual relay. The white/neutral color. It will be on a bracket, it is easy if you just break it off of the bracket.
Posted Image

#9 Arty

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 12:24 AM

Here is where it is in my Legacy. Probably not too different from yours.
Posted Image

This is the actual relay. The white/neutral color. It will be on a bracket, it is easy if you just break it off of the bracket.
Posted Image


Oh wow, ok. I did see a small portion of that while looking around, but it's far more buried in my car. THANK YOU for the picture. BIG TIME.

Also- it's interesting to see you're rocking the rubber-less clutch pedal as well.

#10 Arty

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 12:31 AM

I don't suppose anyone has the part number for the relay for a '95 on hand, do they?

#11 Cougar

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 11:03 AM

Try tapping on the relay to see if that gets the blower going. If it does then you know for sure the problem is with the relay.

#12 Jessekrs123

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 12:18 PM

Oh wow, ok. I did see a small portion of that while looking around, but it's far more buried in my car. THANK YOU for the picture. BIG TIME.

Also- it's interesting to see you're rocking the rubber-less clutch pedal as well.


Haha yes, the rubber was originally on the clutch but I moved it to the brake. I like to slide my foot off the clutch when I let it out.

The part number for my first gen 1994 should be the same for your second gen 1995. I'm pretty sure that part number is 82501GA240, it just says "RELAY" on my invoice but the date matches up to around the time I got it so I'm pretty sure that is the right one.

It costs $35. You might be able to get it cheaper at a local parts store or something, because I got mine for $24 because I'm very familiar with my dealer. It was like $28 at Advanced Auto Parts so I just got mine from the dealer.

#13 95legwagon

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 05:31 PM

had kinda the same problem and couldnt trace it anywhere...... i think it was the ignition circuit where it ties in somewhere...... it would work on 1 and sometimes 4..... then it gave out.... replaced the blower motor, resister, and control assy. ended up putting it on a 30 amp circuit..... mounted a switch on the kick panel..... its pretty nice lol..... except no speed other than high.... HA....

#14 Arty

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 11:49 PM

Ok, time for an update-

The relay seems to be fine. I can hear it click when I turn the knob and the compressor kicks on as well. So I guess it must be the resistor block. I don't have a multimeter, so does anyone have a solid picture of where this thing is? If so, I'll just grab one out of the junk yard and slap it in.

#15 Cougar

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 02:43 AM

Even though you can hear the relay click the switch contacts can still be bad. Unless you verify that power is getting past the relay contacts you are pretty much wasting your time. You can listen for the sound and feel the vibration on the relay when you turn it on. I think the location of it is above the fuse panel but I'm not real sure.

Edited by Cougar, 09 September 2011 - 02:46 AM.


#16 foxgap

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 01:30 PM

Just went thru the same type problem with my 90 Legacy. The problem with mine was similar, grab the wires and shake them, on came the blower. I had just replace my blower motor also. Out it came again and I found the wires connecting to the motor were slightly melted into the connector and not making good contact to the motor. I cut the connector off and soldered 2 new wires and teminals the same size as the ones on the motor. Put the thing back in and NO problems since.




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