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Old 06-20-2012, 10:53 AM   #1
mjsmiley
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Default AC/heater fan stopped working 2003 Vue

Yesterday, I drove to work with the AC on and when I got in to drive home, the fan does not work... sweating..... pout! 3 L V6 2003 Checked the fuses.. AC seems to be still able to cool, the light for AC comes on, but no fan...

Any suggestions?

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Old 06-20-2012, 12:03 PM   #2
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Default Re: AC/heater fan stopped working 2003 Vue

Fan speed is selectable between four settings ... L, M1 and M2 connect different value resistors in blower motor ground path to control fan speed.

When High is selected - the resistor network is bypassed and the motor has 12 volts on one side and ground on the other (through the speed switch and there's also a HVAC BLO relay).

Logical candidates could be blown 40 amp fuse (underhood fuse & relay box), corroded / melted power wire in C200 which is behind the left-side kick-panel (next to drivers left foot), a bad blower motor, a bad HVAC controller (switch failure), bad BLO relay (center console - next to front passengers left foot), or wiring in between.

My troubleshooting method would be to check the fuse (unless you've done so) - next I would use a meter or test light to check for voltage on the orange wire at the blower motor (behind glove-box). If voltage is present I'd skin a bit of insulation from the purple wire (blower motor), attach a piece of insulated wire (14 or 16 awg) and touch to ground.

If the motor runs you narrowed possibilities to HVAC speed switch, BLO relay or associated wiring.

I've attached a thumbnail of the circuit and offer my apologies in advance if you have a good grasp of how to troubleshoot electrical problems.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg HVAC Blower.jpg (94.3 KB, 53 views)

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Old 06-20-2012, 11:23 PM   #3
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Default Re: AC/heater fan stopped working 2003 Vue

Thank you far2grumpy for that info... today it was officially 92 degrees.... as i was driving the fan turned back on... it had been set on high.... it went off and back on a few times as if the power to the fan shut off. no noise of any sort, just stopped.... I begged it to come back on and it did so. did the same a few times the rest of the day, but mostly on. Tonight, I even turned it down cause it was too cold and it still was working when I shut it down for the night.

I has found and checked the fuses and they are fine, they dont look corroded either. Can I get to the blower motor easily? I have a test light ( I think) thank you for the diagram. I have no real experience at this type of trouble shooting, but I will give it a go. I had a old Volvo back in the early 80s and the wiring was almost always the issue when it was not working properly. I could usually figure it out enough to at the least tell the mechanic what the problem was... That was back when you were not in fear of blowing up a $300 computer chip if you touched the wrong thing...

I have only had this since December and before that I have had older pickups.. you know the kind, with a motor that looked like a motor and a girl could look under the hood and still understand what parts were what...

So anyway, does the fact that it has come back on give more of a clue? faulty wiring? I had not hit a bump or jostled any thing in any way that made it come back on or go back off... I will take a look in the daylight at the blower motor if I can get to it. With all the plastic that is in these things, "remove the dash" might not be so hard as it used to be.

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Old 06-21-2012, 11:14 AM   #4
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Default Re: AC/heater fan stopped working 2003 Vue

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjsmiley View Post
Thank you far2grumpy for that info... today it was officially 92 degrees.... as i was driving the fan turned back on... it had been set on high.... it went off and back on a few times as if the power to the fan shut off. no noise of any sort, just stopped.... I begged it to come back on and it did so. did the same a few times the rest of the day, but mostly on. Tonight, I even turned it down cause it was too cold and it still was working when I shut it down for the night.

I has found and checked the fuses and they are fine, they dont look corroded either. Can I get to the blower motor easily? I have a test light ( I think) thank you for the diagram. I have no real experience at this type of trouble shooting, but I will give it a go. I had a old Volvo back in the early 80s and the wiring was almost always the issue when it was not working properly. I could usually figure it out enough to at the least tell the mechanic what the problem was... That was back when you were not in fear of blowing up a $300 computer chip if you touched the wrong thing...

I have only had this since December and before that I have had older pickups.. you know the kind, with a motor that looked like a motor and a girl could look under the hood and still understand what parts were what...

So anyway, does the fact that it has come back on give more of a clue? faulty wiring? I had not hit a bump or jostled any thing in any way that made it come back on or go back off... I will take a look in the daylight at the blower motor if I can get to it. With all the plastic that is in these things, "remove the dash" might not be so hard as it used to be.
The motor is behind the glove box - there's a plastic panel protecting from fly-away passenger feet but you can drop the panel by removing a few screws.

The sad news is - if you probe the orange wire you'll probably see 12 volts. This is because there'd no load on circuit ... so you may have to trim insulation from the purple wire to install the jumper mentioned in a previous post.

I think my next effort would be to remove the left side kick-panel (near drivers left foot). The panel is an extension of the door / carpet runner - so more screws to remove - then pry, prod and poke until the silly thing is out of the way - you'll most likely have to remove the upper close-out to free the left-side panel.

Purpose of this effort is to find connector 200 - which contains most circuits running from under hood to inside the cabin. You're looking for larger wires and blackened contacts.

Keep in mind - the blower power wire is connected to the battery bus - meaning it'll be hot at all times - so be careful while handling the wire.

Consult the drawing for wire colors and contact location and repost if you need more extracts.

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Old 06-25-2012, 10:16 AM   #5
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Default Re: AC/heater fan stopped working 2003 Vue

Thank you again. The very odd thing is that it has been working fine now. Perhaps you are more powerful than you think.... anyway, i have kept this information, but I believe it is difficult to find such a problem when it is actually working properly... Thank you for the "remote fix", keep up the good work!

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Old 07-05-2012, 02:07 PM   #6
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Question Re: AC/heater fan stopped working 2003 Vue

Quote:
Originally Posted by far2grumpy View Post
The motor is behind the glove box - {snip}

Consult the drawing for wire colors and contact location and repost if you need more extracts.
Thank you for the info. Hard to find anywhere else and they all want your credit card number.

I have a similar problem and it is kind of a compound problem with the HVAC system. Steps I have taken so far before finding the partial schematic here:
-Took it to a mechanic friend and he performed all tests. Compressor and clutch are fine and so is the gas level (he can't find the electrical problem, not his area of expertise)
-Blower has an open resistor. Low speed does not work and it reflects on both AC and heat.

Behavior:
-Heat works fine at any speed except low (1st setting)
-Fan blows air at any speed except "low."
-AC blows air at any speed except low.
-AC only "engages" the AC light at the low speed (which does not work).
-AC will intermittently engage at the other speeds but it won't engage at all sometimes. After leaving it for a few seconds in the low (non-working) speed and switching quickly to high, you can feel the cold air coming out but the light goes out and no cold air comes out after that.

Looks as if it was a loose connection, but the fact that it will work normally sometimes is puzzling. From the picture schematic I can see that the resistor in the blower fan shouldn't have any relation to this, and in fact worked fine for a long time before the intermittent problem started.

Questions:
-I see an "AC request" wire in the picture going to a computer I presume?
-Would this problem be related to a computer sensor somewhere?(not in schematic) and would that "disconnect" the AC without reason?
-Would bypassing this electronic control (if any) by rewiring the compressor clutch relay to activate manually (or another circuit) solve the problem?

As an engineer I'm tempted to "mod" my Vue and bypass the HVAC controls and put my own computer circuit there (auto fan/heat/ac), I just need to know if there are any ECM signals that would get messed up if I did (diagram of full electrical system/ECM would help)

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Old 07-05-2012, 04:47 PM   #7
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Default Re: AC/heater fan stopped working 2003 Vue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thanos_of_MW View Post
Thank you for the info. Hard to find anywhere else and they all want your credit card number.

I have a similar problem and it is kind of a compound problem with the HVAC system. Steps I have taken so far before finding the partial schematic here:
-Took it to a mechanic friend and he performed all tests. Compressor and clutch are fine and so is the gas level (he can't find the electrical problem, not his area of expertise)
-Blower has an open resistor. Low speed does not work and it reflects on both AC and heat.

Behavior:
-Heat works fine at any speed except low (1st setting)
-Fan blows air at any speed except "low."
-AC blows air at any speed except low.
-AC only "engages" the AC light at the low speed (which does not work).
-AC will intermittently engage at the other speeds but it won't engage at all sometimes. After leaving it for a few seconds in the low (non-working) speed and switching quickly to high, you can feel the cold air coming out but the light goes out and no cold air comes out after that.

Looks as if it was a loose connection, but the fact that it will work normally sometimes is puzzling. From the picture schematic I can see that the resistor in the blower fan shouldn't have any relation to this, and in fact worked fine for a long time before the intermittent problem started.

Questions:
-I see an "AC request" wire in the picture going to a computer I presume?
-Would this problem be related to a computer sensor somewhere?(not in schematic) and would that "disconnect" the AC without reason?
-Would bypassing this electronic control (if any) by rewiring the compressor clutch relay to activate manually (or another circuit) solve the problem?

As an engineer I'm tempted to "mod" my Vue and bypass the HVAC controls and put my own computer circuit there (auto fan/heat/ac), I just need to know if there are any ECM signals that would get messed up if I did (diagram of full electrical system/ECM would help)
Thanos - welcome aboard ... your symptoms are classic for a bad resistive network.

We've found the fan speed schematic is not accurate. The resistor card has other components and circuits including AC compressor enable functions.

A replacement card (AC Delco) typically runs less than $40 at places like RockAuto.com.

BTW - the HVAC controller routes the AC REQUEST signal to the BCM when either the AC button is pressed and fan is not OFF, or when the air delivery switch is set to defrost and fan is not OFF.

The BCM forwards the request to PCM (04-07 with V6) which checks refrigerant pressure - if level is valid the PCM latches the AC compressor clutch relay and you know the rest.

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Old 07-05-2012, 05:29 PM   #8
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Thumbs Up Re: AC/heater fan stopped working 2003 Vue

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Thanos - welcome aboard ... your symptoms are classic for a bad resistive network.

We've found the fan speed schematic is not accurate. The resistor card has other components and circuits including AC compressor enable functions.

A replacement card (AC Delco) typically runs less than $40 at places like RockAuto.com.

BTW - the HVAC controller routes the AC REQUEST signal to the BCM when either the AC button is pressed and fan is not OFF, or when the air delivery switch is set to defrost and fan is not OFF.

The BCM forwards the request to PCM (04-07 with V6) which checks refrigerant pressure - if level is valid the PCM latches the AC compressor clutch relay and you know the rest.
Thanks for the great information. I'll check on that replacement part, but from your very detailed explanation it seems that if I ignore the "check pressure" on the compressor (or better: route it to my own board) the function can be taken away from the BCM. Mmm... to mod or not to mod....

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Old 07-05-2012, 06:01 PM   #9
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Default Re: AC/heater fan stopped working 2003 Vue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thanos_of_MW View Post
Thanks for the great information. I'll check on that replacement part, but from your very detailed explanation it seems that if I ignore the "check pressure" on the compressor (or better: route it to my own board) the function can be taken away from the BCM. Mmm... to mod or not to mod....
All the AC circuits are spread-out and inter-related. As previously mentioned the HVAC controller gets the ball rolling but lots of other stuff has a vote before the AC ducts run cold.

The BCM monitors the evaporator temperature for "freeze" condition - and will inhibit - or pass AC request to PCM - based on input evaporator temperature.

Here an extract regarding PCM and pressure sense circuits:

A/C Refrigerant Pressure Sensor

The A/C refrigerant pressure sensor is a 3 wire piezoelectric pressure transducer. A 5-volt reference, low reference, and signal circuits enable the sensor to operate. The A/C pressure signal can be between 0-5 volts. When the A/C refrigerant pressure is low, the signal value is near 0 volts. When the A/C refrigerant pressure is high, the signal value is near 5 volts.

The A/C refrigerant pressure sensor protects the A/C system from operating when an excessively high or low pressure condition exists.

The engine control module (ECM) or powertrain control module (PCM) disables the compressor clutch under the following conditions:

L66/3.5L

The A/C high side pressure is more than 2929 kPa (495 psi). The clutch will be enabled after the high side pressure decreases to less than 1376 kPa (200 psi). A/C low side pressure is less than 2706 kPa (39 psi). The clutch will be enabled or will allow engagement again after the low side pressure increases to more than 2941 kPa (43 psi).

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Old 07-05-2012, 06:29 PM   #10
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Thumbs Up Re: AC/heater fan stopped working 2003 Vue

Quote:
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All the AC circuits are spread-out and inter-related. As previously mentioned the HVAC controller gets the ball rolling but lots of other stuff has a vote before the AC ducts run cold.

The BCM monitors the evaporator temperature for "freeze" condition - and will inhibit - or pass AC request to PCM - based on input evaporator temperature.

Here an extract regarding PCM and pressure sense circuits:

A/C Refrigerant Pressure Sensor

The A/C refrigerant pressure sensor is a 3 wire piezoelectric pressure transducer. A 5-volt reference, low reference, and signal circuits enable the sensor to operate. The A/C pressure signal can be between 0-5 volts. When the A/C refrigerant pressure is low, the signal value is near 0 volts. When the A/C refrigerant pressure is high, the signal value is near 5 volts.

The A/C refrigerant pressure sensor protects the A/C system from operating when an excessively high or low pressure condition exists.

The engine control module (ECM) or powertrain control module (PCM) disables the compressor clutch under the following conditions:

L66/3.5L

The A/C high side pressure is more than 2929 kPa (495 psi). The clutch will be enabled after the high side pressure decreases to less than 1376 kPa (200 psi). A/C low side pressure is less than 2706 kPa (39 psi). The clutch will be enabled or will allow engagement again after the low side pressure increases to more than 2941 kPa (43 psi).
Again, more valuable information. A 0~5V output from that sensor would be easy to interface if I decide to mod. Most of the PIC chips I use have built in A/D converters I could tell my firmware to disengage if it falls to 3V and let me know why I am not getting cold air.

I wonder if there is a transfer function for that sensor in some datasheet somewhere. I could have this "mod" display the actual pressure of the refrigerant as a feature. You are making me lean more towards the mod

I feel the urgent need to draw a schematic

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Old 07-05-2012, 09:35 PM   #11
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Default Re: AC/heater fan stopped working 2003 Vue

Quote:
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Again, more valuable information. A 0~5V output from that sensor would be easy to interface if I decide to mod. Most of the PIC chips I use have built in A/D converters I could tell my firmware to disengage if it falls to 3V and let me know why I am not getting cold air.

I wonder if there is a transfer function for that sensor in some datasheet somewhere. I could have this "mod" display the actual pressure of the refrigerant as a feature. You are making me lean more towards the mod

I feel the urgent need to draw a schematic
A sure sign when a EE gets excited is they start looking for a scratch pad or bar napkin to sketch a circuit on.

Whatever you do - just remember - temperature sensors and pressure switches were installed to keep things from reaching critical mass throughout the system. A compressor with no safeguards (I'm not going to mention the temp switch installed on compressor housing) could blow the hood off.

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Old 07-05-2012, 10:04 PM   #12
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A sure sign when a EE gets excited is they start looking for a scratch pad or bar napkin to sketch a circuit on.

Whatever you do - just remember - temperature sensors and pressure switches were installed to keep things from reaching critical mass throughout the system. A compressor with no safeguards (I'm not going to mention the temp switch installed on compressor housing) could blow the hood off.
Thanks again for all the useful information, specially what you "didn't" mention

Explosion danger noted! (tapping on that switch too)

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Old 08-13-2012, 02:03 PM   #13
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Default Re: AC/heater fan stopped working 2003 Vue

I too have a 2003 Saturn Vue, and the AC/Heater stopped blowing. My husband has purchased the aftermarket book that helps fix your own car. So far we have replaced all the fuses, we replaced the blower motor, have replaced the Relay twice and bought a new resister and NADA!! Trying to avoid going to a mechanic and save some money We are lost as to what to do.
oh yeah...btw...its 104-110 in Texas these days.

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Old 08-13-2012, 03:00 PM   #14
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Default Re: AC/heater fan stopped working 2003 Vue

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I too have a 2003 Saturn Vue, and the AC/Heater stopped blowing. My husband has purchased the aftermarket book that helps fix your own car. So far we have replaced all the fuses, we replaced the blower motor, have replaced the Relay twice and bought a new resister and NADA!! Trying to avoid going to a mechanic and save some money We are lost as to what to do.
oh yeah...btw...its 104-110 in Texas these days.
If you can't get the high speed working at all (resistor network is responsible for the other speeds and AC working) then I believe you should check for grounding problems. You already replaced everything involved in the circuit, short of the speed selector switch. High speed is independent, so you should check there for starts. Check the grounding wires inside the passenger side console cover (close to the resistor network): Any rust or disconnections? (broken or loose wires.)

My problem was a shorted (read melted) resistor network, which I replaced by REAL resistors. I feel your pain with no AC in that hot weather

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Old 08-13-2012, 04:43 PM   #15
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Default Re: AC/heater fan stopped working 2003 Vue

Hello! I have run into a similar problem where my AC blower is intermittently working. For example, I got in the car today and turned the switch to 4 and the blower worked for about 2 seconds and then gave up. I'm far from an electrical engineer, but I have ruled out fuses because the problem is intermittent. Is that a safe assumption? Where is the most likely place for wire/connection corrosion? I've attached two images, one of the fuse panel to the left of the passenger's feet and one of what I believe to be is the underside of the blower below the passenger side dash. Do I need to remove any additional panels? Any areas I should check under the hood?

Right now I get no air on 1-4. There is a noticeable clicking/engagement sound when the AC is turned on but no air blowing.

Thanks very much!!!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 2004 Saturn Vue passenger fuses v2.jpg (58.0 KB, 26 views)
File Type: jpg 2004 Saturn Vue under passenger dash.JPG (65.8 KB, 28 views)

Last edited by SSUNBRN; 08-13-2012 at 04:51 PM..

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Old 08-13-2012, 05:32 PM   #16
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Default Re: AC/heater fan stopped working 2003 Vue

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Hello! I have run into a similar problem where my AC blower is intermittently working. For example, I got in the car today and turned the switch to 4 and the blower worked for about 2 seconds and then gave up. I'm far from an electrical engineer, but I have ruled out fuses because the problem is intermittent. Is that a safe assumption? Where is the most likely place for wire/connection corrosion? I've attached two images, one of the fuse panel to the left of the passenger's feet and one of what I believe to be is the underside of the blower below the passenger side dash. Do I need to remove any additional panels? Any areas I should check under the hood?

Right now I get no air on 1-4. There is a noticeable clicking/engagement sound when the AC is turned on but no air blowing.

Thanks very much!!!
I suggest you pull the kick-panel next to left foot when in drivers seat. The panel is an extension of the door sill - carpet retainer strip. Prise upward with a putty-knife like tool.

Look at the electrical connector behind the kick-panel. The HVAC blower power wire should be orange - so check the wire on both sides of the connector.

It could be loose - or charred - but either indicates you've probably found source of problem.

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Old 08-13-2012, 05:36 PM   #17
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Default Re: AC/heater fan stopped working 2003 Vue

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Originally Posted by Spryte View Post
I too have a 2003 Saturn Vue, and the AC/Heater stopped blowing. My husband has purchased the aftermarket book that helps fix your own car. So far we have replaced all the fuses, we replaced the blower motor, have replaced the Relay twice and bought a new resister and NADA!! Trying to avoid going to a mechanic and save some money We are lost as to what to do.
oh yeah...btw...its 104-110 in Texas these days.
I skipped by this one ... you may want to see post 16.

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Old 08-21-2012, 05:53 PM   #18
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Default Re: AC/heater fan stopped working 2003 Vue

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Originally Posted by far2grumpy View Post
I suggest you pull the kick-panel next to left foot when in drivers seat. The panel is an extension of the door sill - carpet retainer strip. Prise upward with a putty-knife like tool.

Look at the electrical connector behind the kick-panel. The HVAC blower power wire should be orange - so check the wire on both sides of the connector.

It could be loose - or charred - but either indicates you've probably found source of problem.
Is this the component you are referring to? How do I disconnect the piece to check the connectors? There does appear to be some discoloration. If this is the problem, how do I repair? Thanks again for your help!!!!!

Update: After wiggling this connector, the AC works again. However, it would appear the blower speed is VERY weak on the level 1 setting. Any ideas on what this means?
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Old 08-21-2012, 06:09 PM   #19
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Default Re: AC/heater fan stopped working 2003 Vue

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Is this the component you are referring to? How do I disconnect the piece to check the connectors? There does appear to be some discoloration. If this is the problem, how do I repair? Thanks again for your help!!!!!
The connector does look like the illustration. I'm guessing the neutral color nylon doo-hickey is the release mechanism. There are many connectors on these little beasts and seems like all have different release methodology.

Have you used a test light or meter to see if voltage is making it to the connector - and then making it through?

I've heard of contacts not being sufficiently inserted on one side or other of that bad-boy so try tugging on the suspect wires with long-nose pliers or some similar tool.

If you find a bad (charred) connection - my solution would be to snip and strip the wires from each side and use an in-line splice to bypass the connector.

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Old 08-23-2012, 07:48 AM   #20
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Default Re: AC/heater fan stopped working 2003 Vue

Quote:
Originally Posted by SSUNBRN View Post
Is this the component you are referring to? How do I disconnect the piece to check the connectors? There does appear to be some discoloration. If this is the problem, how do I repair? Thanks again for your help!!!!!

Update: After wiggling this connector, the AC works again. However, it would appear the blower speed is VERY weak on the level 1 setting. Any ideas on what this means?
That discolored wired next to the orange one is likely the problem. You should do as suggested in the previous post. Try bypassing it with the same gauge wire.

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