Fan switch problem in 99 Camry

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Old 10 Dec 2004, 08:07 am   #1 (permalink)
Hong Gu Kang
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Default Fan switch problem in 99 Camry

Again, a small problem in my 99 Camry: Fan switch for heater/AC appears to
work only when the switch is set at the highest (4) position. If I set at
lower ones, there is no air blowing in. It is difficult figure out what
part went wrong. Perhaps, the switch itself has gone bad. Any input would
be appreciated. Thanks. Hong

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Old 10 Dec 2004, 06:43 pm   #2 (permalink)
HachiRoku
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Default Re: Fan switch problem in 99 Camry

On Fri, 10 Dec 2004 09:07:11 -0500, Hong Gu Kang wrote:

> Again, a small problem in my 99 Camry: Fan switch for heater/AC appears to
> work only when the switch is set at the highest (4) position. If I set at
> lower ones, there is no air blowing in. It is difficult figure out what
> part went wrong. Perhaps, the switch itself has gone bad. Any input would
> be appreciated. Thanks. Hong



Hmmmmm....didn't we answer this already?

This could have 2 answers: both have common causes. I didn't think this
would happen on a car this NEW, however: mine did it (on 3 cars!) with
over 200,000 miles!

There is a resistance in the circuit that determines the speed. On my
older Corollas, this was located in the fan assy, under the passenger's
side of the dash. When you remove the fan (not for the faint of heart,
BTW...since I am approaching 50 I think I'll start PAYING someone to do
this!) youy can see the 'resistor farm', basically what looks like three
springs mounted on a piece of printed circuit board. These 'springs'
(resistors) are what determines the speed of the fan. If the circuit card
looks burnt, or smells burnt, you *may* be able to repair it by soldering,
but this is hit or miss. Best to throw it away and go to a junkyard. And
if you're going to do this, maybe easier just to replace the whole fan.

On some cars, like my '85 Celica, the resistance is controlled by the
switch itself. In this case, you'll probably have to replace the whole
switch. I haven't had to do this...yet...

The other cause is the brushes inside the motor itself. This again
requires removing the fan assembly and removing the cover to the fan. This
has two phillips head screws and some tape that looks like electrical
tape. Remove the tape, remove the screws, remove the circular fan from the
other end and pull the (aw, I can never remember the names! Rotor?)
assembly. Well, actually, before you do that, look at the top part of the
motor. You'll see two black things making contact with the copper thingy
(don't you love it when I get all technical?). They are on opposite sides
of the rotor from each other. That is, if they are there! If they are
severely worn down, what you'll see is a copper wire with a very small
piece of carbon on it. These are (or were) the brushes. The brushes are
what transfer electricity to the motor (sorry if I'm being too simplistic,
I don't know what your expertise/experience level is!). If these are worn
down to nubs, they need to be replaced. You can get a suitable replacement
at any decent hardware store; look for motor brushes. They are about $3.00
each. Sure beats $120 for a new fan assembly from Toyota!

They also need to be soldered in. Before removing them, pay attention to
the routing of the copper braid that attaches them to the piece of circuit
card! Unsolder the old one, route the copper braid and solderer away.
Note: this requires some patience!

Reassemble the whole mess (use a thin piece of stiff plastic to slip the
brushes back in). You can also clean the stator and rotor with something
like electronics cleaner, or even brake parts cleaner. Then you're going
to do what I didn't do. You're going to put a drop of oil in the top part
of the motor before you put it back together. You can also grease (very
lightly) the copper pieces where the brushes contact. This will make it
quieter when running.

If all this is too much work (it is frustrating to an extent!) just pull
the fan assembly and take it to an electric motor repair shop. Should be
about $20-30 to fix.

Good luck!
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Old 10 Dec 2004, 10:42 pm   #3 (permalink)
Hong Gu Kang
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Default Re: Fan switch problem in 99 Camry

Many thanks for your detailed reply. Hong
"HachiRoku" <Trueno@ae86.GTS> wrote in message
news:Morud.4021$sU4.1682@trndny01...
> On Fri, 10 Dec 2004 09:07:11 -0500, Hong Gu Kang wrote:
>
>> Again, a small problem in my 99 Camry: Fan switch for heater/AC appears
>> to
>> work only when the switch is set at the highest (4) position. If I set
>> at
>> lower ones, there is no air blowing in. It is difficult figure out what
>> part went wrong. Perhaps, the switch itself has gone bad. Any input
>> would
>> be appreciated. Thanks. Hong

>
>
> Hmmmmm....didn't we answer this already?
>
> This could have 2 answers: both have common causes. I didn't think this
> would happen on a car this NEW, however: mine did it (on 3 cars!) with
> over 200,000 miles!
>
> There is a resistance in the circuit that determines the speed. On my
> older Corollas, this was located in the fan assy, under the passenger's
> side of the dash. When you remove the fan (not for the faint of heart,
> BTW...since I am approaching 50 I think I'll start PAYING someone to do
> this!) youy can see the 'resistor farm', basically what looks like three
> springs mounted on a piece of printed circuit board. These 'springs'
> (resistors) are what determines the speed of the fan. If the circuit card
> looks burnt, or smells burnt, you *may* be able to repair it by soldering,
> but this is hit or miss. Best to throw it away and go to a junkyard. And
> if you're going to do this, maybe easier just to replace the whole fan.
>
> On some cars, like my '85 Celica, the resistance is controlled by the
> switch itself. In this case, you'll probably have to replace the whole
> switch. I haven't had to do this...yet...
>
> The other cause is the brushes inside the motor itself. This again
> requires removing the fan assembly and removing the cover to the fan. This
> has two phillips head screws and some tape that looks like electrical
> tape. Remove the tape, remove the screws, remove the circular fan from the
> other end and pull the (aw, I can never remember the names! Rotor?)
> assembly. Well, actually, before you do that, look at the top part of the
> motor. You'll see two black things making contact with the copper thingy
> (don't you love it when I get all technical?). They are on opposite sides
> of the rotor from each other. That is, if they are there! If they are
> severely worn down, what you'll see is a copper wire with a very small
> piece of carbon on it. These are (or were) the brushes. The brushes are
> what transfer electricity to the motor (sorry if I'm being too simplistic,
> I don't know what your expertise/experience level is!). If these are worn
> down to nubs, they need to be replaced. You can get a suitable replacement
> at any decent hardware store; look for motor brushes. They are about $3.00
> each. Sure beats $120 for a new fan assembly from Toyota!
>
> They also need to be soldered in. Before removing them, pay attention to
> the routing of the copper braid that attaches them to the piece of circuit
> card! Unsolder the old one, route the copper braid and solderer away.
> Note: this requires some patience!
>
> Reassemble the whole mess (use a thin piece of stiff plastic to slip the
> brushes back in). You can also clean the stator and rotor with something
> like electronics cleaner, or even brake parts cleaner. Then you're going
> to do what I didn't do. You're going to put a drop of oil in the top part
> of the motor before you put it back together. You can also grease (very
> lightly) the copper pieces where the brushes contact. This will make it
> quieter when running.
>
> If all this is too much work (it is frustrating to an extent!) just pull
> the fan assembly and take it to an electric motor repair shop. Should be
> about $20-30 to fix.
>
> Good luck!



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Old 11 Dec 2004, 12:59 pm   #4 (permalink)
Jason James
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Default Re: Fan switch problem in 99 Camry


"HachiRoku" <Trueno@ae86.GTS> wrote in message
news:Morud.4021$sU4.1682@trndny01...
> On Fri, 10 Dec 2004 09:07:11 -0500, Hong Gu Kang wrote:



You can also grease (very
> lightly) the copper pieces where the brushes contact. This will make it
> quieter when running.


Agree with everything you said, except applying grease to the armature
segments. There has to be a good electrical contact between the
carbon-brushes and the armature. Brushes are self-lubricating to a large
degree. On older British cars, the clutch throw-out bearing was often just a
carbon ring which beared against the pressure-plate-pad.

And yeah,...at 50+ crawling around under/in a car is not the fun (was it
ever?) it used to be!

Jason


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