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i have lost a substantial portion of skin from my knuckles, and gained two heating/cooling fan speeds. all of these things are in my car.
i've lived with only having the two highest speeds for several months now. but with kt and i embarking on a roadtrip to BOSTON [hi rachel!] at the end of next week, i thought it would be nice to hear each other over the blowing fans, and also to not require lens rewetting drops every ten minutes or so. after an oil change, a tire rotation -- and a $97.68 estimate on fixing the problem -- i decided to take matters into my own hands. behold: the magic of the internet.
after minimal research, i discovered that i in fact did not need a new reostat, but a new blower motor resistor. i found a forum thread detailing the fairly simple repair, with many caveats regarding the last screw in the process being a real bitch to remove. with this information and a quick trip to autozone [resistor] and the hardware store [7/32 socket], i was ready.
do you have any idea how hard it is to get leverage with a socket wrench as your body is completely wedged underneath the dash? ask me, i'll tell you sometime. i managed to get the blower motor disconnected and out of the way, and then it was on to the actual resistor. about three inches wide by four inches long and held in place by two screws, this thing was the bane of my existence for at least an hour. i still can't figure out how they got the damn thing on in the first place, because just as my friendly faceless internet friends had said, it was a real bitch to remove. i could see it, and i could get the socket on, but there was no way i could get the thing to rotate. i can't even begin to tell you all of the things i was yelling. i went back inside to cool off and browse the forum again. [okay, i'll be honest: i did this at least five or six times]. finally [finally!!] i found my solution. whoever it was that suggested using a hex wrench shoved into the socket, instead of the socket wrench itself? i am willing to have that man's babies. it was off within five minutes, and after ten more minutes of putting humpty dumpty back together again, it was time for the moment of truth.
i climbed into the driver's seat, let out a deep breath, and started the car. i turned the fan to low. my face fell. crap, i thought. it's not working. i just wasted an hour and a half. but wait -- wait. is that it? a faint sound of rushing air? i turned the fan to medium low; the noise became louder. i had become so used to the WHOOOOOSH of the higher fan speeds, i had forgotten that i could have airflow and still actually be able to hear myself think. it was working! my fans, behold, they were working! i believe at this point i honestly did a WOOHOO!! and then started playing with the fan controls like a little kid.
my arms hurt like hell and my fingers are tired and sore. BUT i saved $66.21 and am feeling a little empowered, and not so scared of minor car repairs.
tomorrow: removing the interior door panel and possibly fixing my passenger side door lock. i'm on a roll.
update: door panel was removed and subsequently replaced. unfortunately, all of the suspected problem points were completely unreachable for me. booooooo.
it's kinda fun taking stuff apart, though.  :) 
Posted on Saturday, June 16, 2007 at 09:32PM by Registered Commentermdog | Comments13 Comments

Reader Comments (13)

I'm seriously impressed, mdog!

You've given me a bit of courage regarding attempting a do-it-yourself replacment of my washing machine timer. :o)

Jun 16, 2007 at 11:12PM | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

Nice job!!!

Jun 17, 2007 at 11:01AM | Unregistered Commenterrachel mcH

I just wonder why you didn't read about the hex wrench the first five times you were on that page....hmm. Awesome job! Hope tomorrow works out for you.

Jun 17, 2007 at 03:23PM | Unregistered Commenterblk

thanks, all!

blk - it was only mentioned once, as most people were suggesting cutting holes in the firewall or using socket tools i didn't have, so i overlooked it. glad i found it though!

Jun 17, 2007 at 09:38PM | Registered Commentermdog


Jun 17, 2007 at 10:14PM | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Okay... this is really impressive. Wow. I would not have the guts to do something like that. And now you have battle scars! [Lydia toddles over to you and says, "Miss Maria, what's that?" And you point to you cuts and scapes and say, "Why, that is from the blower motor resistor battle of 07."

Jun 18, 2007 at 06:58AM | Unregistered Commenterpaul

or you could point to your "scrapes" rather than your "scapes." Your call.

Jun 18, 2007 at 07:00AM | Unregistered Commenterpaul

Pretty impressive.

I don't know if I'd even attempt the repair myself--let alone complete it!

Jun 18, 2007 at 05:17PM | Unregistered Commentermeegs

what a woman.

Jun 19, 2007 at 11:36PM | Unregistered Commenterliz

Very empowering. I'm proud of you. I've always thought women would make better mechanics because they have smaller hands and longer, thinner fingers... well except for me - I would be dropping the tools.

Jun 20, 2007 at 12:07PM | Unregistered CommenterTB

this is the most awesome post I have read from anyone in a long time.

will you fix my car for me when you get here?
also I have other things I want to consult with you about too.
you are SO GOOD AT LIFE.

Jun 20, 2007 at 04:43PM | Unregistered Commenterrachel

i am good at life? thanks, because i don't feel like it today.

Jun 20, 2007 at 04:52PM | Registered Commentermdog

I love that Rachel said YOU ARE SO GOOD AT LIFE. What an awesome compliment!

Also, your story is why I do not attempt any kind of repairs on anything with an engine. I always get banged and bruised and covered in black gunk I can't seem to get off of me, no matter what. Plus, cars are put together so much weirder than anything else (plumbing, electric, wall framing, you name it, cars are weirder).

Jun 22, 2007 at 01:49PM | Unregistered CommenterErin

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