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Defroster Stopped Working

1st Gen Durango 1998 - 2003 Durango's

Defroster Stopped Working

  #1  
Old 02-08-2019, 11:32 PM
krazybob
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Default Defroster Stopped Working

I have a 2003 Dodge Durango 4x4 with a 4.7 L. We got hit with a bull's-eye snow storm in the mountains of Southern California. I am disabled and if had considerable difficulty digging my truck out. I have three feet of snow around it in all directions. It sucks when you can no longer pick up a shovel like you used to.
To the point, I normally turn the defroster on and it clears the windshield fairly quickly. Not this time. No motor activity at all. It was working just fine previously and I find it coincidental that's it's decided not o blow it all. I haven't yet been able to get under the hood to check fuses and I believe there's a kick panel fuse box as well. I know there's also a fan relay up underneath glove compartment that's a little tricky to get to when you can't lay on your back long. I replaced that a couple of years ago and it had to do with the air conditioning.

Could this be something related to the cold? Could the defroster motor be frozen? Our daytime temps have been down in the twenties and night times have been colder than that. Today was a warming trend when we pulled hit I think about 38 degrees. We have two more snow storms due to come in this weekend and then middle of next week going all the way through the weekend. I'm canceling doctor's appointments left and right because right now the roads are what we call R2 which means 4WD with snow tires or two wheel drive with chains. We have three ski resorts up here and traffic is going to get miserable over the weekend.
 

Last edited by krazybob; 02-10-2019 at 09:08 AM.
  #2  
Old 02-09-2019, 07:56 AM
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Check and see if you are getting power to the blower motor.
 
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Old 02-09-2019, 08:25 AM
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Reach up under the dash and tap the blower motor with a wrench or something while on. Also tap the control panel. Maybe you have a crack in wiring causing an open circuit, exacerbated by the cold weather.
 
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Old 02-10-2019, 09:10 AM
krazybob
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Originally Posted by HeyYou View Post
Check and see if you are getting power to the blower motor.
At what point do I check for power to the motor? We managed to free the truck yesterday and there was a one and a half foot solid frozen snow drift underneath the right hand side.
 
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Old 02-10-2019, 09:12 AM
krazybob
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Originally Posted by Dodgevity View Post
Reach up under the dash and tap the blower motor with a wrench or something while on. Also tap the control panel. Maybe you have a crack in wiring causing an open circuit, exacerbated by the cold weather.
I have already tapped on the dashboard and it hasn't made a difference. We freed the truck from the snow yesterday and there was a 1 and 1/2 foot thick solid ice damn underneath the right hand side of the truck. It was literally Frozen to the ground. I read in another thread that there's a vacuum line that runs underneath but not what the vacuum line is supposed to do. Does this make sense in any way? I have the setting set either on full defroster or one notch backwards which is defroster and floor air. No matter what position I have it in I get no blower motor or heat whatsoever.
 
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Old 02-10-2019, 09:14 AM
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Engine running, blower on high, controls set wherever you care to. Just doesn't matter. See if you have power at the motor. I believe your system works pretty much the same way it does in the trucks (in this instance) in that the blower motor has power at all times, and the control provides the ground path.
 
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Old 02-10-2019, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by HeyYou View Post
Engine running, blower on high, controls set wherever you care to. Just doesn't matter. See if you have power at the motor. I believe your system works pretty much the same way it does in the trucks (in this instance) in that the blower motor has power at all times, and the control provides the ground path.
Thank you again. As a qualified Electronics technician where do I check to see if there is power to the blower? At the fuse block underneath the engine Hood? There's nothing on the fuse block panel on the driver's door. There are wires obviously running to the defroster - is there a particular wire that is hot or positive? I don't know where you want me to check for power to the blower.

I am physically disabled. I had two back surgeries this summer and one prior to that. I live in the mountains and really have no one qualified that's willing to come to my home and help with this. What I am getting at is that I cannot crawl in on my back and up underneath the dashboard rooting around with my DVM. That's why I'm asking for just a bit more clarity from you. I sincerely apologize if I'm coming across his obtuse or ignorant in some way. That's not my intention.
 
  #8  
Old 02-10-2019, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by krazybob View Post
What I am getting at is that I cannot crawl in on my back and up underneath the dashboard rooting around with my DVM. That's why I'm asking for just a bit more clarity from you. I sincerely apologize if I'm coming across his obtuse or ignorant in some way. That's not my intention.
Unfortunately, that's where the blower motor and the connectors that you need to test are located. Up under dash, passenger side. This video should clarify.

 
  #9  
Old 02-11-2019, 05:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Dodgevity View Post
Unfortunately, that's where the blower motor and the connectors that you need to test are located. Up under dash, passenger side. This video should clarify.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNA3VBORTTo
I very much appreciate the video. Unfortunately it does tell me that this is not going to be as easy on me as it would be a new. My back doesn't fold like it used to and it's going to cause great pain to get under there. It wasn't much better when I had to do the same thing for the air conditioning. As I recall I had to replace a resistor just like that. As I recall it is the same resistor and I had to splice wires together or crimp them and put them into the new shell. I remember it was a pain in the tush. For some reason I recall soldering. This is not an easy task laying on your back in a truck surrounded by snow blocks that are 3 feet high. Sheez. As I recall it was the air conditioning unit that was not working and I tracked it down to that resistor. Damn it. Then it was easy because the resistor was hot to the touch.

I'll have to watch the video again to determine which wire he is checking resistance four. I suspect he was checking the positive lead but it wasn't abundantly clear because he wasn't doing close up so the connector. I do get the intent but I need to be positive on which terminals of the blower motor I apply a battery too. I don't have the luxury of getting a battery up 120 foot snow covered driveway to the truck. It sucks to be me right now. I'm sure not going to have it towed in they have somebody had an electrical shop charge me $500 for a simple repair.

That's the problem I have is that I have a general knowledge of mechanics having worked at a full service gas station as a teenager where I first learned to do tune-ups and could do electrical. As an extra class amateur radio operator I can use a DVM and knowing how to check for continuity as well as how to check for current. We'll see what I can figure out. It is awfully coincidental that the storm hit and suddenly my defroster doesn't work.

The vents on top of the hood where the glass meets the hinged Hood, if water were to get down in there could it conceivably get down into the blower motor?
 
  #10  
Old 02-11-2019, 09:39 AM
b1lk1
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You are way over thinking this.

1. Blower motor/resistor quit from the storm as the temperature likely dropped causing the blower motor to require more amperage than normal to start frying the blower resistor.
2. Just changing the resistor will not completely fix the problem.
3. Change the fan motor too. I never change a blower resistor without changing the fan.

Almost no reason to check the wiring, this is a VERY comom problem with all older cars. Don't give in to the the temptation to leave in that old blower motor. It will keep killing resistors.
 

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