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Discussion Starter #1
I've seen a few posts about fans not working, but not quite like this. We headed out for a long drive, and the AC worked fine. After a stop, it only worked on the highest fan setting. Then it didn't work at all, then it did. Long drive home, no fan at all (it will ooze hot and cold, so the temp adjust works). I've read a lot where it's the relay. This morning I went to pull the relay and swap it out, and everything works. So I left for work, and now got a text from home nothing works again! Is it possible it's something besides the relay? I've never experienced one that works then doesn't then does, they either work or don't. I'll swap it out anyway, but wondering if anyone had this and discovered it was something else. Thanks.
 

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If it is not the relay, which you may want to replace just for fun, it is probably worn fan motor brushes which are not always making contact. This is also what happens to starter motors when they get old.

If you can get somewhat close to the fan motor, and when it is not running, whack it or the area close to it. In cases like this, a large rubber mallet is a very precise diagnostic tool.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I did some more digging and found intermittent failures which eventually become permanent is likely the blower motor resistor. $65 to replace, but relatively easy to do. Seems to be okay, but I'll give it a few days to confirm.
 

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Blower resistors do this on other makes, to my knowledge, so it’s a good call for now. Whacking the motor isn’t a bad call either bc the bearings or the brushes get worn and you either get drag/bind, or not enough juice hitting the commutator shaft because the brushes are worn down. Brushes are cheap if they can be replaced by I have no idea if you can get to them on this motor.

I got a lot of extra use out of a couple of old Volvo alternators by replacing brush packs. Also a seat motor on my BMW - actually just shimmed behind the springs that push the brushes to contact point.

on much older Honda’s, you’d get intermittent op like this because circuit traces on the controller pcb board wore out and you could solder in a jumper wire to fix.... or buy a new/used control panel.
 

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My Ody did the same thing as yours.
Whenever it stopped I would give the motor a good whack, just behind the glove box.
Would start blowing again. Probably bad brushes. New fan motor and no further problems.
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Back to not working, not sure if it was a coincidence. I could check the resistor itself, but started taking out the blower. Don't see how to get it all the way down to the brushes, thinking that might be pressed in parts to get there. I did notice a lot of brown powdery residue come out as I turned it over in my hands, guessing that's brush residue. How should the resistance be on the fan? Seems to be just a bit stuff, was expecting it to spin more freely.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Back to not working, not sure if it was a coincidence. I could check the resistor itself, but started taking out the blower. Don't see how to get it all the way down to the brushes, thinking that might be pressed in parts to get there. I did notice a lot of brown powdery residue come out as I turned it over in my hands, guessing that's brush residue. How should the resistance be on the fan? Seems to be just a bit stuff, was expecting it to spin more freely.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Once again not working. So now there's a new resistor and new blower. Don't know what else it would be beyond the control panel. Not looking forward to dumping more money into it on blind faith, but need the heat to work with winter approaching.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Still chasing this down if anyone has ideas. I checked the relay under the hood and 7.5 fuse under the passenger side, both seem to be good. I found a video on blower testing for a different vehicle and started trying. One test was to verify power to the blower. Took off the connection and verified power. When I plugged the connector back in, the blower worked. Since I have 2 Odysseys, I swapped out the control panel. Never had an issue with the other car. The blower worked for about 5 minutes than stopped again.

So to recap, new resistor, new blower, different perfectly functional control panel, fuse and relay pass checks. What else is there to look at? Cold weather is coming, and the cabin needs heat. I will also point out the rear blower works. Any ideas appreciated, getting pretty frustrated.
 

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Might be a bad, intermittent ground in the circuit. That might be hard to trace. Perhaps you can temporarily splice in a separate ground wire to the chassis from the new blower to see if this fixes the issue?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Might be a bad, intermittent ground in the circuit. That might be hard to trace. Perhaps you can temporarily splice in a separate ground wire to the chassis from the new blower to see if this fixes the issue?
Worth a shot. I hate electrical problems.
 

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Have you checked the terminals in the connector itself? If wiggling the connector makes it work when it's not working, then that's where I'd look. Sometimes those terminals can work loose. When they do they will create resistance and heat, which causes more damage, which causes more heat and resistance.
 

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The motor needs two things to run. Power and ground. It should have full time power and the ground comes through the resistor. You need to figure out which side is going missing--the power or the ground and then go from there.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
In general, I am poorly prepared for electrical troubleshooting. Getting some test equipment, will have more time this coming week to try things out. Oh, and I replaced the cabin filter, which was pretty nasty looking. I read a clogged filter can cause the motor to work too hard and overheat.
 

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Still chasing this down if anyone has ideas. I checked the relay under the hood and 7.5 fuse under the passenger side, both seem to be good. I found a video on blower testing for a different vehicle and started trying. One test was to verify power to the blower. Took off the connection and verified power. When I plugged the connector back in, the blower worked. Since I have 2 Odysseys, I swapped out the control panel. Never had an issue with the other car. The blower worked for about 5 minutes than stopped again.

So to recap, new resistor, new blower, different perfectly functional control panel, fuse and relay pass checks. What else is there to look at? Cold weather is coming, and the cabin needs heat. I will also point out the rear blower works. Any ideas appreciated, getting pretty frustrated.
I don't know why you ignore my suggestions. See the highlighted part above. Just based on this I'd suspect either a bad blower motor or loose terminals in the harness connecting to the blower motor. Since you already put a new blower motor in (assuming it's not some Chinese made junk) I'd be very suspect of the connector to the blower motor.

You're just throwing parts at it hoping to get lucky but really just wasting your money. Are you able to make it work and/or fail when you move the connector around at the motor?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I don't know why you ignore my suggestions. See the highlighted part above. Just based on this I'd suspect either a bad blower motor or loose terminals in the harness connecting to the blower motor. Since you already put a new blower motor in (assuming it's not some Chinese made junk) I'd be very suspect of the connector to the blower motor.

You're just throwing parts at it hoping to get lucky but really just wasting your money. Are you able to make it work and/or fail when you move the connector around at the motor?
Not ignoring your suggestions. As I said, I'm not really prepared for diagnosing electrical problems. I've started buying some test equipment, beyond the multimeter I have. But one test I can confirm was I had power and ground coming out of the connector. Then again, when I plugged it in, the fan was working. The problem is, later in the day it stops and I'm not there to test anything.

So let me ask this. When I was testing for power and ground on the connector, I didn't know which wire was which. While I did find the power wire by virtue of 12V DC, I did observe about 0.5V from the ground wire (connector unplugged). Is this normal?
 
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