How to Change a Blower Motor on a Sunfireby Marion Cobretti
Damage to the blower motor in a Sunfire most often happens from running it at its highest setting every time you turn on the heat or AC. The blower motor is very durable, but over time, it wears down and will either stop working altogether or produce very little blowing force when it’s turned on. A common sign of damage to the blower motor is loud squealing that sounds similar to a terrible violinist. You can change the blower motor out for a new one right at home with a few tools. On the Sunfire, it mounts under the dashboard on the passenger side of the car.
Open the driver's side door on the Sunfire and pull the hood release lever. Raise the hood and locate the engine’s battery.
Identify the negative battery post by looking for a small minus (-) symbol on top of the battery’s case.
Loosen and remove the cable connected to the negative post on the battery with a socket wrench.
Hold the negative battery cable in one hand and use a roll of electrical tape to wrap the metal connecting terminal on the end of the cable. Once wrapped with the tape, position the cable away from the battery as well as any other engine components.
Open the front passenger side door and pull the seat release lever while pushing the entire seat back as far as it will go. This will give you more available working area in an already cramped space.
Kneel down and position yourself so you can see under the dashboard just below the glove box. There should be a 2-1/2 foot piece of black trim panel mounted horizontally beneath the dashboard.
Remove the three bolts from the trim panel with the socket wrench then pull the trim down from its mounting position. Set the trim panel and the three bolts on the driver’s side floor area out of your way.
Locate the blower motor under the dashboard. With the trim removed, the blower motor will be in direct sight. It looks like a small top hat turned upside down with wires connected to it.
Disconnect the wiring harness plug from the rear of the blower motor. Tuck the wire out of the way temporarily, under the floor’s carpet for now. If the harness plug seems hard to disconnect by hand, use a flat head screwdriver to pry the harness plug off of the blower motor.
Remove the three bolts holding the blower motor in place one at a time. Before you remove the last bolt, support the blower motor to prevent it from dropping. Supporting the blower motor also prevents you from stripping its bolt due to the uneven weight on it. Once you remove the final bolt, lower the blower motor down and out of your Sunfire.
Install your Sunfire’s new blower motor by reversing the removal process.
Start the engine when you’re finished and test the new blower motor on all of its settings.
- "Haynes General Motors Chevrolet Cavalier & Pontiac Sunfire: 1995-2004 Repair Manual;" John Haynes; 2005
- "GM Cavalier/Sunfire 1995-2000 Chilton's Total Car Care Repair Manual;" Nichols/Chilton Editors; 1999
- Even though this is a minor repair, you should always disconnect the negative battery cable to cut the power to everything in the Sunfire. A defective blower motor could have a short internally; and if you touch its metal housing without the battery disconnected, shock can definitely occur.
Things You'll Need
- Socket wrench set
- Electrical tape
- Flat head screwdriver
Marion Cobretti began working as a freelance writer in 2006. His work appears on Newsvine and other websites. Cobretti completed a three-year course in automotive technology and is currently seeking an Associate of Applied Science at Macomb Community College.