1998 Escort Heater Blower Problem

About a week ago the heater blower motor on my 1998 Escort quit working. I had been driving the vehicle and the heater blower was working fine. I made a stop and then restarted only to find that the
heater blower had quit working. The next morning it started running again. Several days later, it quit again after I had been making stops for shopping and subsequently started working again after another stop.
I looked under the dash on the passenger's side and I can see where the blower motor is located. Also, at the side I can see a couple of push-on type connectors - one has more wires than the other. I was able to remove the smaller one and attempted to clean it up with a nail file and some spray-on electronic wire dryer and cleaner. (I didn't get the larger one off and didn't keep trying because I was afraid to break it.) Then I sprayed both with the cleaner. Today, the heater blower is working but I noticed that the blower's fourth speed is not working.
A friend has suggested that my problems may be due to a malfunctioning heater blower resistor. Unfortunately, I don't know where the resistor is nor how to remove it. Is anybody out familiar enough with the 1998 Escort that can advise me on this matter?
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It should be right near theblower, mounted in the blower dicharge ductwork (the airflow is used to cool the resistors) with a couple of small hex screws. New ones are about15 buks at the dealers. It should have a mutlipin connector on it. Easy to change. Common problem on Escorts. Changes mine twice on my 94. The resistor unit also has a thermal fuse that will completely shut down the heater if the fan stalls, for example, if ice gets in there and freezes up the works. Thats what killed mine twice!
Suggest you get a repair manual for your car - this type of info is included in them!
Chris Bowne Stonington, CT

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Thanks, it seems that the resistor unit is the unit where I was attempting to clean the push on connectors.
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The heater blower motor collects water that comes in from the vent opening in the dash area between the hood and the windshield (you might have to remove a plastic cover to get to it). If the drain holes in your fenders are clogged with leaves, etc, essentially making them small composting heaps, then if the water level rises in that area it has no place to go, except into your vent system and it drains into the motor housing. The motor housing has no drain hole for this, so eventually, the blower motor gets underwater and stops working. At least that's what happened to my car (a 1995 Escort). This is not an Escort specific problem, lots of cars are like this. The solution to the problem is to clean out that area where the vent intake is and make sure that water flows freely through the fender holes. Then remove the blower motor and dry it out. I also drilled a drain hole in the motor cover before reinstalling it. After the blower motor dried out it worked just fine (slowly at first, but after about 1 days of use it worked like nothing had happenned).
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