Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Hillsboro, OR
Car Year: 2008
Car Model: Forester X
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Check your blower motor connection!
The blower motor in my 08 Forester (80k miles) stopped working this weekend without any previous indication of problems. After doing some troubleshooting I traced the problem back to the two-wire connector at the blower motor behind the glovebox. The connector was burnt, melted and the two wires leading to the connector had burnt insulation. One wire had completely broken right at the connector.
After searching the forum I found a couple other examples of this so I though I would throw my experience up here. Sorry for not posting pics, but I was in hurry to get the thing fixed.
I ended up buying two new female spade connectors and splicing in both heavier gauge wire AND an inline fuse.
There was A LOT of corrosion on the back side of each wire coming off the plastic connector. It looked to me like a manufacturing defect where the stripped wire leading to the spade connector inside the plastic clip was stripped too far and left exposed outside of the plastic connector. There was visible corrosion and fraying leading up to where the two wires go together back into the plastic loom. It appears that the stripped wires were allowed to be to close together as the wires led back into the plastic loom. Over time these wires probably began to short our and heat up further removing the insulation and finally causing the one wire to break opening the circuit. This looked like a combo shorting-out/fatigue type problem.
For some strange reason, this failure caused no blower motor resistor or fuse popping problems-- which is a bit mysterious as this problem is exactly what fuses are for right?
Looking back, I think the blower was not running as strongly as possible before the failure since it seems to be working extremely well after the rewire.
The reason I am posting this is to suggest that people look at this connector next time they replace their cabin air filter. I fear it might be a common problem and is easy to inspect with the glove box off. If you find the same over-stripped wires I found, you may be able to take the connector apart and add some heat shrink or tape before the problem gets too worse. Make sure the two wires leading away from the connector are well insulated and well seperated before being tied back together in the loom.
I don't even want to know how much a dealer would have charged to troubleshoot and fix this problem, as a new wiring harness pigtail would probably be required.
Next time you change your filter take a quick look and save yourself some problems down the road!!