Blower Control Switch Buyer’s Guide
- If the heater in your car stops working or your air conditioner fails to cool your cabin, it might be caused by a faulty blower control switch.
- The blower control switch is an electrical switch that is used to control the airflow inside your car’s cabin.
- The signs of a failing blower control switch include intermittent airflow, erratic operation, a loose or jammed knob, and a blower that won’t turn on at all.
- The blower control switch is designed to last the lifetime of the vehicle, but constant use makes it wear out much faster.
- The cost of an original equipment (OE) replacement part for the blower control switch ranges from less than $10 up to $200.
Your vehicle’s climate control system might not be as vital as the engine or transmission system, but it’s still important when it comes to providing you with a comfortable ride. You definitely don’t want your car’s heating or air conditioning system to malfunction especially during the frosty winter or scorching summer months.
If the heater in your car stops working or your air conditioner fails to cool your cabin, you need to check various components of your vehicle’s heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system to figure out the root cause. One of the components that could be responsible for a faulty HVAC system is the blower control switch.
What is the Blower Control Switch?
The blower control switch is an electrical switch that is used to control the speed of the fan in the heating and air conditioning system of a vehicle. It works with the blower motor to deliver the right temperature and air flow needed to cool down or heat up the inside of a car. Essentially, the blower control switch is used to control the airflow inside your cabin.
Some modern vehicles have a fully automated temperature control panel with an integrated control switch. If your car is pretty new, it probably has an automatic climate control system. In this case, the whole module, not just the blower control switch, will have to be replaced.
To determine whether your vehicle has a manual or automatic climate control module, you can refer to your owner’s manual.
Blower Switch Location
Your vehicle’s climate control system components are typically located close together. The blower control switch is usually located under the dashboard close to the blower motor. Your vehicle can have up to three blower motors each with its own blower control switch. The number of blower control switches you have depends on your vehicle’s make and model. The best way to be sure about the location of your blower control switch is to check your owner’s manual.
How Long Does the Blower Control Switch Last?
Auto manufacturers built the blower control switch to last the lifetime of the vehicle. However, in real life applications, many blower control switches often need replacing after a couple of years. Like most car components, the lifespan of your blower control switch depends on the usage. The more you use it, the faster it wears out.
What Causes the Blower Control Switch to Go Bad?
As mentioned above, heavy usage can cause the blower control switch to fail more quickly than normal. If you constantly adjust the fan speed in your car, the contacts in your blower control switch will wear out faster. Sometimes, external factors such as water spills can also result in a damaged blower control switch.
Signs of a Failing Blower Control Switch
Since the blower control switch is a crucial part of your HVAC system, any damage to this component will result in your AC or heater not being able to cool down or heat up your cabin sufficiently. Although, you can drive indefinitely with a faulty blower control switch, it will greatly diminish your comfort during your drive.
Here are some signs of a failing blower control switch:
Intermittent Airflow or Erratic Blower Motor Operation
Does your switch only work on certain fan speed settings? Do you notice that the airflow doesn’t always correspond to the speed indicated by your blower control switch? Does your fan work like normal for a while then randomly stops working or loses power? Erratic operation and intermittent airflow are the two most common signs of impending blower control switch failure.
If you notice any sign that your HVAC system’s fan is not working as usual, you need to check your blower control switch, along with other related components such as the resistors and blower motor itself, for signs of wear and tear.
The Blower Won’t Turn On
If you turn the blower control switch but no air comes out at all, you probably need to replace the switch. Although this could also point to a broken blower motor or blower resistor, blower control switches are generally more susceptible to damage compared to the other two components.
Jiggling the Switch Makes the Blower Work
If your blower doesn’t turn on immediately but eventually starts working when you wiggle the switch, you might have a broken blower control switch. Similar to the problem with intermittent airflow and erratic operation, poor connections and damaged contacts inside the switch usually causes this problem.
The Blower Switch Knob is Broken
Sometimes, physical damage to the knob that you use to choose your fan speed setting can also point to a faulty blower control switch. If replacing the knob doesn’t resolve the issue, the next step for troubleshooting would be to check your blower control switch.
The Switch Gets Stuck Often
When the contacts inside the blower control switch get worn out or if the switch is just not working properly, the switch might get jammed or stuck. If you’re having difficulty turning the knob or changing the air speed settings, you might have a broken blower control switch.
Take note that the blower control switch is typically not checked as part of any routine maintenance done to your vehicle. This means that it’s especially important to look out for any of the warning signs above if you want to avoid driving with a damaged blower control switch. In most cases, the blower control switch displays one of the signs above before failing completely, so you will have some warning that your switch is about to fail.
How Much Does a Blower Control Switch Replacement Cost?
The cost of an original equipment (OE) replacement part for the blower control switch ranges from less than $10 up to $200. The cost varies greatly depending on the make, model, and year of your vehicle. Genuine replacement parts also cost more than aftermarket parts. Take note that most aftermarket blower control switch replacement units are direct-fit or OE replacement components. This means that they are rated to provide exactly the same performance as the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) components.
A Step-by-Step Installation Guide to the Blower Control Switch
One of the many parts that make up the A/C system of the modern automobile, the blower control switch basically interrupts the flow of electrical current from one contact to another. When the switch is turned off, the connection between the blower fan and the car's power supply is cut and the fan sits idle.
Once the fan starts working or gets stuck on a speed setting, it's likely caused by a faulty blower control switch and needs replacing. In this guide, we will share with you the steps on replacing the blower control switch on your car's dashboard.
Difficulty level: Easy
- Phillips and flat screwdrivers
- Replacement blower control switch
Step 1: Detach the A/C control panel from the dashboard. Depending on the car model, the control panel is held in place with screws, plastic fasteners, or a combination of both. Be especially careful when prying these plastic tabs out as you can easily scratch or even snap them in two with minimal force.
Step 2: Detach the wire harness connected to the control panel using the flathead screwdriver.
Step 3: Remove the blower control switch. Depending on your car, the switch may be secured with screws and plastic tabs, so remove them accordingly.
Step 4: Install the new switch. Connect the wires in the harness to that of the switch; you can refer to the wiring diagram for additional information.
Step 5: Reattach the new cover panel and test the A/C blower. If installed properly, the blower should be able to shift between the on, off, and various blower speed settings with ease.
- To avoid electric shock and shorting out the A/C control panel, make sure that there is no electricity running across the wires before tampering with the switch. Switch off the ignition and take out the cable from the negative battery terminal.
- Make sure that the part number of the switch is a match to your car. A switch with the wrong part number may fail to function or even damage the A/C controls. Also, after taking out the old switch, make sure to compare it with the replacement to verify that you have the exact match.