First thing is that I have done a good search on this topic but found no
Have a 1996 Escort, 1.8 here in Canada and this morning the heat blower
decided to cut out on me. Worked fine last night
I've checked all the fuses inside and in the engine compartment. All are
fine. The red circuit breaker switch above the fuse box hasn't popped out so
that isn't causing it, and just to rub it in, there's a faint fall of snow
starting. Typical !!
Could anyone please offer me some advice on this matter before I get the
screwdriver out and cause un-necessary damage.
Look forward to any posts.
I used to have a '91 Escort, 1.9L, in the US. (maybe the US and
Canada markets are the same, but apparently the UK market is radically
different). Assuming the '96 and '91 are more-or-less the same, see
Get a small hex nut driver. Underneath the glove box you'll see a
rectangular module with two connectors on it. Unplug the connectors
and remove the module (it has two hex-head screws). This is the speed
control module; the coils you see on the side opposite the connectors
are simple resistors that limit the amount of current supplied to the
I suppose you could jumper the blower's connector with one of the fan
speed contacts in the other connector (and be sure the speed switch is
set to the same speed) to verify that the rest of the system works,
but the resistor module isn't. I never did this on mine, but I guess
it wouldn't hurt (at the very least as long as you don't leave it
running for a long time).
I had a nice 3 or 4 year adventure with mine. First I'd smell a
burning smell only on speed 3 (it had 4 speeds). Later that speed
died, but the rest were fine. My dad and I pulled the module out and
found that one corner of the connector was burned off. We cut out
that contact and spliced in a new one and taped the connector back
together. We also cleaned off the contact in the resistor module.
That was fine for a while, until speed 4 died. Same deal. Later,
right after installing the new battery and alternator, none of the
speeds worked. I went to a junk yard and got a replacement. Shortly
after getting that one, during the rain, I noticed a puddle on the
passenger floor mat. I guess a gasket in the intake area there was
leaking, and the water collection was causing the contacts to corrode
and that was my whole problem. To avoid a repeat, I unscrewed the
module and left it dangling (so it wouldn't sit in a puddle of water)
and just didn't run it for long at a high speed since by dangling it
was lacking the cooling it would otherwise have had. In that state,
my dad used the car for a while and burned out the thermal fuse on the
module. He then bypassed it by wrapping a bare copper wire around it.
When I sold the car, I didn't want the dead fuse in it, so I again
tried the original module (the contacts on it had been cleaned a few
more times). That worked and, AFAIK, is still working in the car. I
also saw no more water leakage, even though I didn't touch any of the
So, that's what I would check on your car :-).
As for the weather changing, last winter I drove an '88 Pontiac 6000
Safari Wagon my dad had and wasn't using (my "new" 2WD pickup wouldn't
be so good in the snow). The heater in that car didn't work when the
outside air was cold, but sorta worked when the air wasn't so cold.
Just wear a good jacket, hat and gloves and you'll be alright :-). At
least if the heater works, but not the blower, you still get some hot
air wafting through the vents. (that pontiac's blower worked, so I
had as much cold air as I wanted)
"He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."
Bloody hell!! Thanks for that Derrick. I looked under the glove compartment
like you said and there it was. Before I started unscrewing, thought it may
be a good idea to move the wires a bit and see if the problem was as easy as
that. It was !!! :-)
The warm winds are blowing again and as it's my first winter in Canada, I
feel a bit more relaxed.
Thanks again for replying
One more thing.
If you want your http://dman13.dyndns.org/~dman/ site revamping for free
(as you saved me loads of time on my car), just email me and we'll sort
something out. I design websites using Dreamweaver MX in my spare time.
Thanks again for your help
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