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Thread: fan resistor pack fix question???

  1. #1
    Regular Member craig-s's Avatar
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    Default fan resistor pack fix question???

    Have the common fault where the fan only works on position 4, done the fix today and seems well, however I noticed the resistor pack was getting hot to the point you couldn't touch it and watter would sizzle off it. Thought I better disconnect it and see if anyone can tell me if this is normal or not?? Cheers craig

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    Regular Member rich r's Avatar
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    Completely normal. It's not designed to work in still air.

    In order for the fan to run at different speeds, something needs to reduce the current that flows to the fan motor. In 99% of cars that's done by using a set of resistors to convert some of the electrical power into heat. So for full speed (position 4), no resistor is in the circuit, meaning the fan gets as much current as it wants. On position 3, a resistor in introduced, reducing the current, so the fan goes slower. For position 2, it's a higher value resistor so more heat is produced and less current gets through. For position 1 it's higher still etc.

    In the Vectra, the resistor pack is cooled by the air passing over it in the duct from the fan. So as long as enough air can flow over it, the resistor pack temperature stays below 100C or so (obviously it'll be hotter on the slower fan settings). If the air flow is slowed down by for example by a blocked pollen filter, then the pack temperature can get too high -risking it melting the plastic duct it's sitting in. Hence it's got a thermal fuse on the end which will blow and prevent this happening.

    If the fuse blows, rather than just replacing the pack or the fuse, you should investigate why it got too hot. Usually as I said, it's a blocked pollen filter. But also corroded or dry bearings in the motor can cause the fan not to spin fast enough, or if the fan is catching on the housing.

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    Regular Member craig-s's Avatar
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    Spot on, cheers mate. Much appreciated

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