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2007 Kia Spectra EX
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The HVAC blower motor in my '07 Spectra quit working. I traced problem to the speed control resistor (also found wiring burned and connector melted). No big surprise here, but I found that the blower resistor isn't a resistor at all but is a little electronic module that is in series with the blower motor ground side and has a single control signal coming from the dash panel blower speed switch.

The problem is that it is not documented this way in my service manual (it shows the typical resistor bank) and every parts store I have gone to for a replacement part only shows a resistor version with 4 taps/connections (& wires) coming off of it.

What is this? Did Kia make some kind of upgrade that is not documented? Do I have some oddball vehicle that is not standard Kia? How would I find a replacement blower speed control module (if nobody can cross-reference it)?

(FYI: I am aware that my vehicle is equipped with what appears to be an aftermarket remote start and security system - could there be any relation? The wiring harness to the blower motor, relay, and speed control looks very 'factory'.)
 

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What you have is a 2007 Spectra....Different from the 2006 Spectra...
The control of the blower motor is now controlled by what is called PCM (pulse code modulation)... In simple terms the voltage to the blower motor is switched on and off at very high speeds..the longer it's off the slower the motor..Similar to your standard house light dimmer...
The 2006 Spectra does have the dropping resistor...
You need to visit a local bone/salvage yard and get the plug and a few inches of wire attached to it and also the PCM FET (field effect transistor) module.
cut off the melted plug and splice the replacement plug (with wires) onto the existing wiring harness... Just match the wire colors. Then replace the module.
Be sure the car the parts came from is a "new" 2007 to 2009 Spectra.
There was a post very similar to yours within the past month with the melted plug and bad module.
If you look at my sig you will see I/We have a 2006 and a 2007 Spectra so I know this info is acurate.
Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
DaveSpectra nailed it

Yeah, when I pulled that "module" out and took a closer look at it, I figured out that it was a MOSFET (metal oxide semiconductor field-effect transistor) and thus must be a PCM-based blower speed control. What continued to be puzzling was that both of my service manuals showed only the tapped-resistor version; one is a Chilton's that covers a broad range of year models and thus no surprise, the other is supposed to be a 2007-specific manual albeit published by third-party vs Kia. And that I went to a host of auto parts suppliers and every one of them called out the resistor instead of the MOSFET for 2007.

Fortunately, it turned out that the MOSFET module was not defective. I rewired the harness and manufactured my own connector (I'm fairly resourceful that way) to get it up and running again.

This makes five cars that I have now had to fix melted wiring/connectors for the blower motor - one would think that a better design is in order.
 

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Thanks for these posts. For over a year the wire going into my 2007 Kia Spectra's FET were melted and I had to keep wiggling them to get the blower motor to kick on. Today it finally had it and no amount of wiggling would get it to work. I started by replacing the butt connectors on the wires from the harness and plugging the individual wires back in the the FET. It worked great, but i checked the wires one more time and found that they were very hot. I then removed the 2 screws that held in the male plug, and sure enough out fell this FET. It was melted as well, so much so that the male tabs were loose. I brought it to the parts store and they said it was a resistor and ordered the $45 part. Of course after reading these posts I knew for sure they ordered me the wrong thing. They even looked up a picture on the internet of what they ordered me, and it was the wrong part. On Ebay I found the OEM part number 97179 1F200. They looked that part number up and it is pictured exactly as what I need. Of course it is $97! So if you are reading this and your issue is the same, that is the part number that you need. The plug has 3 connectors, and the actual part has multiple "fins" i guess for cooling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
cliffb, my issue was the same. I have figured out (or guessed) that apparently Kia changed to the FET motor control midway through 2007, but it seems all parts lists everywhere only call out the resistor for a 2007 replacement part; you have to look for a 2008 replacement part, which is the part you came up with. Fortunately, I never had to replace mine; I just rewired the wiring harness to the FET and motor and mine is now working fine.

This seems to be a universal problem - I have the EXACT same issue in a 1997 Ford Thunderbird and a 2003 Dodge Caravan - both I had to rewire the harness to the motor/resistor due to melted connector.

Can Detroit learn from this ???
 

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Same issue here

Hi,

New here.
I had the exact same issue with the A/C on my 2007 Kia Spectra EX: I kept wiggling the FET and it seemed to fix the problem... until it didn't.

I have 2 questions:
1. I unscrewed the FET and found that it has 5 "fins", but when I look for the part recommended by cliffb, I find that they have 6 fins. Does this matter?

2. I also have to replace the connector that plugs into the FET, since it's melted/burnt. Where could I find this part? What is it called exactly?

Thank you all!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
i don't know about the 5/6 fin module differences; maybe a mfgr difference???

when I rewired the connectors, i just manufactured my own; it doesn't look anything like the original, and if I ever sell the car and someone else tries to work on it, they may be lost. But it works just fine - and I can repair it again if I ever need to.

OBTW, if the resistor or FET module ever melts to where it can no longer physically support its connector pins (1/4" spade terminals), I have had good luck using the industrial grade J-B Weld as a potting material to reinforce the connector pin mountings. Better than $95 for a new FET module...
 

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I'm new as well. This is actually the first car forum I've ever been apart of. I joined the forum because of all the helpful information in this particular thread. My 07 Spectra is having the same "works if you jiggle it then doesn't work at all" problem. I know very little about cars but my boyfriend tried to explain to me what was going on. I didn't understand so I googled the buzzwords I could remember. Everyone's take on the issue in this thread really helped me understand what was going on. Thanks everyone. I think what we have going on now is that we've bypassed the speed control(i'm not really sure why) and left the screw out of the FET. I check it temporarily and unplug it if it gets too hot. It makes for a bizarre short term solution until we can maybe find new stuff at a scrap yard.

Anyway, thanks again everyone. It's been really beneficial for me to read your explanations of our common problem. :)
 

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Unbelievable that I found this thread this morning. I've been doing the "jiggle the wire bit" for two years. On my way to work yesterday, the wire decided it had enough of that. The module seems fine, but the plug with the prongs melted and fell apart. I was halfway to work so I went. I drove home(9miles) and the melted plug wires were very hot. I don't mind the blower always being on for now, but is it safe to drive any short distance at all if plug wires keep getting hot? Can I used electrical tape to wraps the ends until I can get it fixed in a week or two?
 

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You said..." but is it safe to drive any short distance at all if plug wires keep getting hot? "
Only if you don't mind an under the dash fire...

" I've been doing the "jiggle the wire bit" for two years."
Two years?? It should have been repaired THEN ...

You could easily turn a minor problem into a major disaster... The insulation on the wires and the whole dash is made of burnable plastic..

If you can't replace the plug and probably the FET (module) then find someone who can repair it correctly....
Dave
 

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Well, blower not working at all. I must have had some contact remaining when the plug wires were hot. Now, when I run the car, they do not heat up. Seems I'll have to hurry up and replace the blower modulator and plug. I'm thinking about trying to do this myself. It's been a very long time since I did anything like this to a car. At least 15 years, so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Well, sorry I joined the forum. I get what you are saying, but thay doesn't change the fact that I didn't have the money for the repair and I hope you feel good about throwing quotes back in my face to make me feel worse about the situation. I simply stated what has happened and it over occured to me that anyone would feel the need to respond they way you did. Oh, well. Whatever floats your boat.... I was hoping that someone would simply answer the actual question I asked without feeling the need to respond in a judgemental way. But some people in this world just can't communicate without judgement. Sorry that I didn't abandon the car on the side of the road this morning. I guess I figured that I would rather risk driving the 9 miles hone, than walk home in extreme fog on the narrow dark upstate NY road that takes me home. You are some much better than me as a human, Dave. Take care.
 

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Oh, and although it's been going on two years, I didn't know the name of the part or any specifics until last night when I came across another site that showed a picture of the part with name and this forum. The couple of times I asked a mechanic it worked fine and nothing looked out of the ordinary so I kept doing what I was doing until yesterday. I couldn't afford for a mechanic to just tear things up to look for problem that wasn't completely clear at the time.
 

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You asked for answers and I was stating only the truth...
If you need to get upset to save your car then I guess I'll be your whipping boy..
What I said was the truth.... The car could catch fire...
Waiting two years to solve a problem is never a good idea..
I don't candy coat my responses...Sorry...

I have a daughter that also acts this way... when she's upset...and I can deal with it...
I can't control your life or the problems you have with your car...I can only provide answers... If you read them wrong then your emotions are getting in your way...

My suggestion would be to locate a salvage/junk yard close by..try using "car-part.com" and search for a "blower motor"...YES I know that is not what you need BUT it will get you a 2007 Spectra that probably has the FET module and the harness (if you can't buy just the chopped off end)... If you can get just the end with aprox. 6" of wire still attached you will need 3 yellow electrical wire nuts (Home Depot or Lowes)....

With the ignition OFF cut off the bad end with the melted plug... Strip back the wires aprox 3/4" on the newly cut off wires and also on the donor connector and match the colors and twist the stripped back ends together.. Put one wire nut on each set of twisted ends...Replace the FET (two screws).. and check the fuse marked "BLOWER" if the blower motor won't run after the repair as it may have blown when the 3 connections melted and touched... You should have a functioning blower motor...

BTW...Where did I say I was a better human than you ? Never happened... I'm here to help others...and if you will take time to read some of my posts you might get a better understanding of who I actually am.
Dave
 

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No asked you to candy coat anything. You went beyond just stating an answer. You went out of your way to be condescending in your response. Anyone the throws back quotes and then responds like they can't believe what someone else did and points out what they should have done is no doubt displaying for everyone how superior they are. A straight response without any additional commentary to betrate someone is all you had to do initially and you couldn't. I don't need to research your other responses, yyou'renot worth it. This is not a forum for someone that wishes for nonjudgmental help.
 

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You have your problems and they are not just with your car...and believing "others" are attacking you...

You have taken and twisted my responses to mean completely different than what they were meant with the exception of the "two years comment" which I will leave as-is...

You really shouldn't ignore the upkeep on your car waiting for the problem to get worse or until your money got better... The final outcome could be an under the dash fire...
Most major problems posted here come from lack of maintenance or ignoring a problem.

My intentions were to help but that you couldn't see...

It matters little to me "if" you take or reject my decisions...
I WILL go on helping many others that want my help...

You are free to check out other forums if you wish...
Dave
 
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What you have is a 2007 Spectra....Different from the 2006 Spectra...
The control of the blower motor is now controlled by what is called PCM (pulse code modulation)... In simple terms the voltage to the blower motor is switched on and off at very high speeds..the longer it's off the slower the motor..Similar to your standard house light dimmer...
The 2006 Spectra does have the dropping resistor...
You need to visit a local bone/salvage yard and get the plug and a few inches of wire attached to it and also the PCM FET (field effect transistor) module.
cut off the melted plug and splice the replacement plug (with wires) onto the existing wiring harness... Just match the wire colors. Then replace the module.
Be sure the car the parts came from is a "new" 2007 to 2009 Spectra.
There was a post very similar to yours within the past month with the melted plug and bad module.
If you look at my sig you will see I/We have a 2006 and a 2007 Spectra so I know this info is acurate.
Dave
Hi DavesSpectra,

First let me say your answers are some of the best information regarding this problem I've found on the Internet so far. Thank you!

My question is regarding the reason for the heat that is causing the melted plugs. One post on another forum indicated replacing the blower motor reduced the heat, even though the old motor still worked. Do you know about that?

Kent
 

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The number one cause of heat in an electrical connection is corrosion/oxidation (like the tarnish that builds up on silverware)... If the connection is made up of the wrong metal it can tarnish...

The tarnish/oxidation in low voltage circuits may not be high enough (+12v) to burn through the oxidation to get a good connection... The resistance keeps building and as it builds so does the resistance to currant flowing through the circuit... This "resistance" to current flow creates heat at the point of oxidation...

A secondary problem then happens... the heat also creates even a poorer current flow (more resistance) which then makes more heat and the "problem" feeds on itself until the circuit finally fails...

The wrong metal used for electrical contacts within that plug and the lack of any anti-oxidant paste/lubrication and the problem begins... By polishing the metal contacts to "bright/shiny" metal and the use of something like De-Oxit spray will keep the air (oxygen) away from the surface of the metal and the problem doesn't happen...

I have seen this in older stereo receivers.. They (Pioneer/Kenwood/Sansui/etc) used speaker protection relays with pure copper contacts...Once the contacts started to oxidize the sound would cut out on the speakers (at a low volume)... If you turned up the volume you increased the voltage the receiver would send to the speakers through the relay... When the voltage got high enough it would burn through the oxidation and the speakers would come back on for a short while...Replacing the relay with one that had gold plated contacts cured the problem...

KIA and Hyundai also have a problem with their brake light switches...Their supplier used the wrong metal and the internal contacts corroded... Because the cruse and the electronic stability control circuitry uses the brake switch to provide feedback to those circuits there has been recalls to replace this switch...The better built/designed switch is the answer and the problem is solved...

If you can really clean the blower motor plug and sockets and apply a coating like DeOxit you may do away with your problem... Otherwise a replacement plug assembly (harness) and a new FET/Resistor (depending on the year of your KIA) and some anti-oxidant on the new contacts will be required...

Ford was/is also plagued with bad blower motor switches and headlight switches.. Same thing "melt down"..
Dave
 

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Excellent info. Thanks for adding the bit about the brake light switch as well. I should have thought of that.

You wouldn't happen to know the recall bulletin for that would you? I've searched a bit but can't seem to find it.
 
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