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Discussion Starter #1
Background:
This past summer, I started having problems with the blower not turning on thus not blowing hot/cold air in the cabin. No matter the speed on the know, it would not turn on. If it worked on one speed but not another, I would suspect the blower resistor. We would leave the knob to 3 or 4 and occasionally it would turn on and eventually we noticed that it was more likely to turn on if we hit a large pothole...but then the problem went away and it worked fine.

Possible red herring? I'm just mentioning this because it is another electrical items that has malfunctioned:
About 4 months ago, the door locks stopped functioning. Neither the internal buttons nor the key fob would activate the lock/unlock mechanism. Had this tested at a repair shop and he said it was a component on a larger controller that would cost about 650 for parts and labor to replace. It's annoying, but nothing that prevented the car from operating, so I decided to wait.

Current Status:
This past month, the blower started acting up again. It would usually ( 85% of the time) work when the car was first cranked in the AM, but would rarely work other times throughout the day. Again, a pothole seemed to help it work when it wasn't running. About a week or so ago, the blower stopped completely. Will not work anytime of the day, regardless of the pothole management plan.

I read somewhere it could be the battery - so I had it tested (by 2 different parts stores) and it's fine. All the fuses show resistance. I've seen the diagram of where the blower is located and I don't really want to have to pull it out until it's the absolute last option.

What are the other most likely causes of the blower working intermittently and then not working at all?

Thanks!
 

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Now this is a MUCH better worded posting!...;) ;) I think you'll soon get some much more accurate help for this concern!
 

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it's a pretty old blower motor, suspect it's brushes are gone?
 

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It does sound like the blower motor is on the way out. However, it would be best to confirm that first, because they are typically tucked away well, and very often are a PITA to replace (I don't know if that's true for your Rio however).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It does sound like the blower motor is on the way out. However, it would be best to confirm that first, because they are typically tucked away well, and very often are a PITA to replace (I don't know if that's true for your Rio however).
It's a Soul, but yes. I'd have to remove both pedals, the plastic shield below the steering wheel and contort my body like a Cirque du Soliel performer to get to the bolts, but it looks like it is possible to remove.

Do you have any suggestions on how to confirm it is the blower motor without having to do all that? Could it be a relay that is working intermittently?
 

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It's a Soul...
Guess I've been involved in too many threads tonight ;)
.... Do you have any suggestions on how to confirm it is the blower motor without having to do all that? Could it be a relay that is working intermittently?
Yes, it could be a relay, or other things as well, such as wiring. If the blower motor runs intermittently, then you'll need to wait until it fails to run, and it's convenient for you to test it. When you get that opportunity, and the motor doesn't run, disconnect the connector from the motor and apply 12V directly from the battery via jumper wires. If the motor doesn't run from the battery, then it's confirmed to be bad.

You should give that a dry run ahead of the actual event, in order to make sure you can do it without disturbing the blower motor, because a simple bump of the motor might move it away from the dead spot and cause it to be able to run again. If you don't think you can directly jump the motor without disturbing it, then you could jump the relay instead. If the motor doesn't run from the jumped relay, that doesn't quite confirm it's bad, because there are still other components in the mix (which would then need to also be tested).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Just an update, since the guys on here are so helpful.

I had to take the care to a mechanic for my other issue ( another post on here ), and he checked the blower for issues. Found that the resistor wasn't working nor would the blower turn if he applied direct power. $700-$900 to fix whenever I decide I can't stand the cold and have to get it done. Part would be < $200, so I may try it myself.
 

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.... I'd have to remove both pedals, the plastic shield below the steering wheel and contort my body like a Cirque du Soliel performer to get to the bolts, but it looks like it is possible to remove. ....
Here is something for you to consider, based my own success with a blower issue on my daughter's second gen Mazda 3i this past summer. In order to remove that blower, the Mazda FSM specified removal of a huge amount of parts (console, dash, pedals, ....), totaling 20 pages in the manual, and probably around 4 hours of work (before even getting to the blower).

Before starting any of that nightmare, I decided to see what might happen if I tried a better access. So I pushed and also tilted the front seat all the way back, and placed a big pillow in front of the seat. Doing that allowed me to maneuver myself backwards (upside down) on the seat, with my head underneath the dash, and shoulders resting on the pillow, leaving my hands and arms to move freely. The blower was so tucked away, it didn't seem possible at first glance to get at it. But working carefully I was able to actually get the job done in a very short amount of time, without removing anything else at all. This definitely took first place in my DIY year.

Again, I'm not familiar with your vehicle, so I don't know if doing what I described above would help with the job or not. But it's a relatively easy thing to try, and you would find out quickly either way. And if you're wondering about the physical aspect of this, you're likely much younger than me (unless you're over 70 :x), and I never performed in Cirque du Soliel either. So I suggest you give it a try, and hopefully doing so will help you get the thing out and back in.
 
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