Virtual auto repair

My vehicle exists in three dimensions, but I fix it mostly in two.

Two days ago, I noticed the climate-control fan in the white 2002 Town & Country minivan really whooshing away. Like it was trying to fly itself into a newer minivan. Problem was, it was a gorgeous afternoon — sunny, right around 60, an ah-yes-this-is-why-we-live-in-Denver sort of day. Not an air conditioning day, not a heating day. Not a climate-control fan day.

I dialed it back down; the whooshing stayed steady. I turned the entire system off; the whooshing amplified, apparently because the fan’s product had no escape. It’s white noise, I told myself. But I knew driving it like this would, over time, have the same psychological effect as a Shop-Vac in the passenger seat. I walked in the house, went online, and typed “Chrysler minivan climate control fan problem.”

Up popped this:
Fix Blower Motor Resistor on Town and Country 2002

It was almost spooky.

This happens all the time, though. Car problems isolate you, make you feel uniquely cursed with what seem like one-in-a-million problems with complex aggregates of custom components no one else you know owns. We forget that people buy more than a million cars a month in this country (52,511 Ford F-Series pickups; 149 Ferraris). We are not alone.

Wannawannastream came to the rescue, and dozens of grateful commentors and I are literally richer for it. And here I add my contribution, which will become esoteric for those spared blower-motor problems in an aging Chrysler product.

If you have fancy, fuzzy-logic climate control, as this van does, you need a fancier blower motor resistor than Wannawannastream has. The fix is the same and super-simple. The non-OEM $72.99 BWD RU1093, available at Advance Auto Parts, O’Reilly, etc., almost works, it looks like. But it lacks a connector spike that controls the fancy climate-control system’s AUTO function, so be skeptical. Auto is nice on freezing days — waits for the engine to warm up before blasting air.

So I went to the dealership and spent $99 on what I cribbed from the box to be a Mopar 04885482AC. I knew not having the AUTO function would drive me nuts, despite rarely using it.

Behold the Mopar 04885482AC blower motor resistor

Don’t go to the dealership. Combine the wisdom of Wannawannastream and my retail-priced knowledge and order the Mopar part on Amazon or wherever. It’s $60 via Avondale Automotive on the online retail giant’s site.

Then turn that fan back down. And know that we’re all in this together.