Car Talk: Fan that slows down may need new motor


Dear Car Talk:

I have a 2005 Chrysler 300C with about 95,000 miles and automatic temperature control. On hot days, on trips of 30-45 minutes or more, the fan speed gradually slows down, and if the trip is long enough, the fan will pretty much cease to move any air at all. I've had the fan resistor replaced twice, and I believe that it is failing again. But before I take it in again, I'm wondering if something else could be causing the problem.

— Steve

I think something else is causing the problem, Steve; it doesn't sound like the resistor.

Usually, if the resistor burns out, you get either one speed (high), or no speeds (all of the other settings). The resistor is what allows the fan switch to give you three or four different speeds, by varying the amount of power that gets sent to the fan motor. If it's just slowing down over time, it's much more likely that your fan motor is dying.

I'm surprised it hasn't blown the fuse yet. Usually, if the fan motor is dragging, that'll create a lot of resistance. Then the current draw will go way up and the fuse will blow. That may be the next thing you notice, Steve.

A less-likely possibility is that a faulty blend door is slowly closing and not allowing the air to blow into the passenger compartment. But a fan motor would be my first guess.

Ask your shop to put an ammeter in the circuit and see how many amps the fan is drawing. I'll bet if it has a 20-amp fuse, it's drawing about 19.8 amps. Good luck, Steve.

• • •

Changing your oil regularly is the cheapest insurance you can buy for your car, but how often should you change it? Find out by ordering Tom and Ray's pamphlet "Ten Ways You May Be Ruining Your Car Without Even Knowing It!" Send $4.75 (check or money order) to Ruin, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, Florida 32853-6475.

• • •

Got a question about cars? Write to Car Talk in care of this newspaper, or email by visiting the Car Talk website at

© 2016 by Ray Magliozzi and Doug Berman. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.


If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.

Powered by Creative Circle Media Solutions