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1999 Chevy Express Motor Blower Failure

by Felicia Williams

The title is misleading. The motor blower unit itself didn’t fail. It was the supporting hardware, aka resistor, that brought the juice to it that failed. But, of course, being the novice I am, I replaced the motor blower only to find out later that wasn’t the problem. Fortunately, the motor blower isn’t a very expensive part if you purchase it on Amazon or RockAuto.

Here’s the Long Tale of Woe


I hop into the car, it’s about 30 degrees outside so I turn on the heat. No heat. The blower didn’t turn on. Fortunately, as I drove down the road, the motion of the air blowing through the engine forced some of the heat into the car, but my blower wasn’t working. Ugh!

My first line of troubleshooting was to check the fuse compartment inside the van. The 20-amp fuse was intact so I knew that wasn’t the problem. I then wanted to check the fuse in the fuse relay box in the engine compartment, but that box was just too difficult to get to. I tried and tried, but that doggone fuse box is tucked in so tight that I couldn’t even get the lid entirely off. There were too many things in the way. So, I went to plan B. I replaced the blower motor.

Replacing a Chevy Blower Motor

Replacing the blower motor was an easy job and didn’t take long at all. First, I removed the coolant tank in order to access the blower motor. With the motor accessible, I disconnected the wire connector and cooling tube. With those out of the way the next thing I had to do was remove the 4 or 5 screws that held the blower motor in place. This allowed me to remove the blower motor and replace it with the new one. I replaced the screws, connected the wires, cooling tube and put the coolant tank back.

1999 Chevy Express Blower Motor

Here’s a video if you’re looking to do it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpGE6J67kz8

The only problem was the old blower wasn’t the problem. When I tested it out, nothing. No warm air and no blower.

Stumped, I called my mechanic and explained the problem. He asked, “Did you replace the resistor?” Huh? What the heck is a resistor? He told me what to look for so I went to check and replace the resistor.


He did warn that I might see a burnt connection when taking the resistor out and disconnecting it from the “connectors”. He was right! The resistor and the connector had a burnt terminal (for lack of a better word).

Burnt Terminal

Replacing the Resistor and Connector

So, off I go to the auto parts store to pick up a resistor and connector. Replacing the resistor was easy, but the connector was a bit challenging. You see, the connector has 6 wires that had to be snipped and butt spliced to the replacement connector. For an expert, that’s an easy task, but for me, Queen Novice, it wasn’t as simple as it should have been.

New Connector

My challenges were twofold. First I had to buy a wire cutter to cut and butt connect the six ends of the newly purchased connector. The new connector had very long wires that I thought were too long for my needs so I cut them down to size. I tossed away about half of the wire. The second challenge I had was stripping the wires to butt connect them.

Stripping the wires on the new connector was easy enough to do because I sat at my kitchen table to get it done. The other half of the task was to cut and strip the old 21-year-old wires that were in the van. The thicker wires, although tough to cut, were easy to strip. The thinner wires were easy to cut, but hard to strip because they were so fragile. The wire cutting tool was either too strong, or I didn’t know how to use it gently enough for the fragile wires. So I had to pull out my good ol’ Swiss Army knife.

My knife and I got to whittling and we managed to strip the 4 fragile wires, while the wire cutter handled the thicker ones. I then butt spliced them all and wrapped the wires together with electrical tape.

Installed Connector

And the Final Result...

I crossed my fingers and started the van. Whoo-hoo! There was heat...sort of.

The fan worked as long as I didn’t use the highest (4th) setting. From what I understand, the highest setting is relegated to the 50 amp fuse in the hard to access fuse relay box. So, for now, I can use the first three heat settings. I think I’ll take the vehicle to a mechanic who has better tools and knowledge about accessing the fuse box.

About the Author: Felicia Williams is a wife, mother and grandmother who likes to write about a host of topics.

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Last Modified: 9 April 2020

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