Fixing a Bad Heater Blower Motor in Your Subaru: DIY Guide to Save Money!

If you own a Subaru and are experiencing issues with your heater blower motor, you’re not alone. A bad heater blower motor can be frustrating and uncomfortable, but luckily, it’s a problem that you can fix yourself without spending a lot of money on professional repairs. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about diagnosing and fixing a bad heater blower motor in your Subaru car.

Common Signs of a Bad Heater Blower Motor

The heater blower motor is responsible for circulating heat from the engine coolant through the heater core and into the cabin of your car. When it starts to malfunction, you may notice some common signs indicating that something is wrong. These include:

  • Weak airflow coming from the vents
  • No airflow at all
  • Loud or unusual noises when the fan is on
  • A burning smell coming from the vents
  • The blower stops working intermittently

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s a good indication that your heater blower motor needs to be replaced.

Diagnosing the Problem

Before you start working on your heater blower motor, it’s important to diagnose the problem to ensure that the issue is with the blower motor itself. Here are some easy steps that you can follow to diagnose the problem:

  1. Turn on the engine and set the heater fan to high.
  2. Listen for any unusual noises or vibrations coming from the fan.
  3. Check for any leaks or damage in the coolant system as this may cause the heater blower motor to stop working.
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If none of these checks reveal any issues, then it’s most likely that the blower motor needs replacing.

Tools and Materials Required

The tools and materials required for this repair are relatively simple, making it easy for anyone to do it themselves. Here are the things you’ll need:

  • Replacement heater blower motor (make sure it’s compatible with your Subaru’s make and model)
  • A socket set
  • A screwdriver set
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • A battery-powered drill
  • Safety goggles and gloves

Step-by-Step Instructions

Now that you are equipped with all the necessary tools and materials, let’s dive into the step-by-step guide to replace the bad heater blower motor.

  1. Disconnect the car battery.
  2. Locate the blower motor under the passenger side dash and disconnect the electrical wiring harness attached to the motor.
  3. Remove the bolts or screws holding the motor in place using a socket set and screwdriver.
  4. Pull the motor out of the HVAC box.
  5. Insert the new heater blower motor into the HVAC box and install it using screws and bolts in the same way you removed the previous motor.
  6. Reattach the wiring harness and reconnect the car battery.

Tips and Tricks

Before starting on the replacement process, make sure you have read and understood the manufacturer’s recommendations and instructions. Here are some useful tips and tricks to help make your repair a success:

  • Take a picture of the wiring harness and motor before you remove it to make it easier to reconnect the new motor.
  • Always wear safety goggles and gloves when working on the blower motor to avoid injury.
  • It’s a good idea to replace the cabin air filter when you replace the blower motor to ensure proper air flow.
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Safety Precautions

While about everything we make in mind is fixing the heater blower motor, your safety should always take priority. Here are some safety precautions you should follow to ensure a safe and successful repair:

  • Always work in a well-ventilated area.
  • Never attempt to work on the heater blower motor while the vehicle’s engine is still hot or warm
  • Disconnect the battery before removing any electrical parts
  • Always wear your safety goggles and gloves when working on the blower motor.


Can I still use my Subaru without a functioning blower motor?

While you can drive without a functioning blower motor, it’s not recommended as it can cause other issues to arise. A malfunctioning heater blower motor can lead to other parts of the HVAC system failing, including the air conditioning and ventilation system, which can be uncomfortable, particularly in extreme weather conditions.

Can I use a used blower motor instead of purchasing a new one?

While you may be able to find a used blower motor, it’s not always recommended. Used motors may not be reliable and may even be almost worn out, which means you’ll have to replace it again soon.

How much does it cost to replace a Subaru’s heater blower motor?

The price of a heater blower motor varies depending on the make and model of your Subaru car. However, the cost of replacing a heater blower motor is typically between $150 to $250, including parts and labor.

In conclusion, fixing a bad heater blower motor in your Subaru can be done without the need to spend a lot of money on professional repairs. The key is understanding the common signs of a bad motor and following the steps in this article to diagnose and replace it. Always remember to follow the safety precautions listed above and read the manufacturer’s instructions before attempting to replace the blower motor. With a little bit of patience and effort, you will be able to restore warm air to your cabin and enjoy a comfortable ride in your Subaru once again.

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Joseph Weaver

With a background in engineering and a passion for cars, Joseph brings a unique perspective to our blog. He's particularly interested in the technology and innovation behind Subaru's advanced safety features, and his articles on this topic are always insightful and informative. When he's not writing, he enjoys playing video games and spending time with his family.

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