The $400.00 Fuse
The A/C fan in Nora’s car stopped working. It was intermittent and making noise so we knew it was the fan motor. We took it to the shop which has been doing excellent work for years on different cars. The first warning flag went up when the “technician” told Nora that they could replace the fan without taking down the dash, but there was a danger that the brakes might accidentally lock up afterwards, if it wasn’t done properly. That sounded very bogus to me, but she was assured by a manager that the shop knew how to do it properly without taking down the dash. As it turned out, the fan is accessed by removing the glove compartment, but unfortunately, I didn’t learn that until after. This repair cost almost $400.00.
The replacement only took a couple of hours and everything was fine, until a couple of days later, when she turned the A/C on “High” and the fan stopped working. Nora took it back to the shop, and they found a blown fuse. The “technician” also informed her that one of the two engine cooling fans was not working, and since we had spent more than $5,000.00 replacing an overheated engine last year, we decided to have the motor replaced. That cost another $400.00, but hey!, better than a $5,000.00 engine, right?
So, the next day, we went for a test ride and turned the A/C to “high”. Bam, the fuse blew. So, we bought some replacement fuses, and finally remembered that when we first bought the car in 2008, we bought a repair manual on CD, and I proceeded to trouble shoot the system, myself. Though I suspect that the two-speed cooling fans operate at separate temperatures, the manual is not specific on that point, and since we did not get the old motor and I can’t test it, I have no way proving my suspicion that the “technician” replace a perfectly good fan motor. What I did discover is that the A/C blower circuit uses two 15 amp fuses in parallel, and when the car left their shop, it had only one in place. I added the second fuse, and now, a week later, we have had zero problem with the A/C.
This was an expensive lesson (I believe), but now we fully realize that not even people with whom you have successfully done business for years can be trusted.