Heater fan replacement for the rest of us. Dodge truck.

toddjlyons By toddjlyons, 14th Feb 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/_8p8qf21/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Transport>Repair and Maintenance>Cars

Save hundreds of dollars by doing this yourself! Heater motor replacment.

Finding the problem.

So you jumped in your truck today, waited for it to warm up, you hit the fan switch and...HOLY SCREAMING BANSHEES BATMAN!! What is that noise? It seems that your heater fan motor has given up the ghost, or more precisely the bearing that the fan rides on has failed giving you a screaming, howling or clunking noise. What a pain! A dealer will charge you anywhere from a few hundred to nearly a thousand dollars for this repair, but I will give you a couple of hints so you can do this for under a hundred dollars.
In this tutorial I will guide you through the simple task of removing and replacing a heater fan motor. Our test subject shall be a 2001 Dodge Ram 1500. The first thing you need to do is find the location of the bad motor. Turn it on and inspect the area where the noise comes from. In this case you will find the motor assembly under the dash in the passenger "kick" area. On this make of vehicle we've lucked out. It will be simple to remove and replace with simple hand tools in a matter of minutes. Other models may turn into a nightmare. Many early BMWs required the removal of the complete dash. Ouch! Some are found in the engine compartment and others are found in areas, which will make even the most dedicated DIYer contemplate suicide or forego heater or cooling fan altogether! Suicide! The choice is yours. I would say that most modern vehicles are built to be easily serviced.

Removing the bad motor.

On the Dodge there are three 8mm bolts holding the assembly into the plenum. Two of these can be seen while the last is hidden and you will have to feel for it. Before you do anything else you should probably unhook the battery to prevent shorting. I don't do this on this repair! Make sure the key is off, and you're not listening to the radio and then just remove the cable going to the motor. A little locking clip will need to be pried open to be able to unhook the cable. Now, using an 8mm socket with an extension remove the three bolts. On this particular model you will find a rubber vent hose, note location to motor and pull it away and there is a metal retaining clip that shares a bolt and retains the power cable. The motor and fan assembly should drop down into your hands.

The new assembly and where to purchase it.

I contacted several local parts houses, NAPA, Checker, etc. and found that this assembly was in stock for right around a 100 bucks. Being a cheap-ass, I scoured the internet and found several for $50 plus $12 shipping and motors minus the fan for a little less. E-bay to the rescue, a large parts house, 12000+ transactions with 99.9% positive feedback, $47.65 free shipping! I felt I could put up with the noise for a few days and just turn up the radio to maximum and throw it in when it came. Just to let you know, I did this before I removed the bad motor since it was -10 degrees and I needed some sort of heat. Noisy heat!

Install and go!

The new motor and fan assembly came in three days and I jumped to get this baby in! After the removal of the bad motor I compared the two and confirmed that they were identical except for the slot that the vent hose went through. This is the outer plastic fascia piece that drops down with the fan when you remove it. Five minutes with a knife and a file the assembly fit perfectly! Three bolts in and reattachment of the cable and I had another heater motor that should give me another 100,000 miles!


This guide was for a 2001 Dodge Ram 1500. You may have a similar situation in a lot of other makes and models. Some unfortunate souls may have to take it to a professional mechanic for their expertise. I know that this particular job was priced at several mechanics and dealerships at an average of over $400. I did it for under $50 and less than an hour of my time! Please comment on your experiences for others.


Diy, Dodge Truck, Heater Motor, Save Money

Meet the author

author avatar toddjlyons
Colorado native with a variety of interests from firearms to motorized bicycles! A Jack of all trades, master of some!

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author avatar Retired
15th Feb 2011 (#)

Very nice work.

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author avatar toddjlyons
16th Feb 2011 (#)

Thank-you, Martin!

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author avatar Denise O
16th Feb 2011 (#)

First of all, welcome to wikinut. I have read all three of your stories, I am looking forward to more.
Thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar Johnny Z
25th Jul 2013 (#)

Very helpful!. Thanks!

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