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Old 08-30-2021, 10:15 PM #1
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Air Conditioner Blower Issues

Alright, I've done a bit of research, but haven't found anything that addresses what I'm about to explain. All I could find were threads about the AC blowing warm on one side and not the other, compressors failing, etc. Mine is different, and the best way I can describe it is basically when you're watching a TV show, don't change the volume with the remote, and your TV volume on a commercial goes from 12 up to 25, and then back to 12 again without you moving a finger....with that in mind, please read below.

Not too long ago (maybe a month or two) I was driving down the road, I had turned my AC up because I was warm, and I felt the beautiful cold air blowing on my face at full force. After a moment, I cooled down, and cut the fan speed down to about 1/3 speed.

Later in the drive, I hadn't touched the fan speed dial, but moved it up one notch, and nothing changed. I moved it up a second notch...nothing changed. The blower speed wasn't responding to my dial inputs. I shook it off, got to my destination, and when I started the truck back up it was operating fine.

Fast forward to this weekend. I'm sitting in idle, fan blower is going, and my fiancee was with me (important, as I thought maybe I had imagined all of these issues before). As we idled at a red light, the blower kind of blew like I had turned it up two notches, then dropped back down. Then came on very strong(!!), then fan speed dropped back down. She goes, "why is it doing that? Were you messing with it?" I wasn't.

The point of all of this is that I have tried to get a video and tried to record the fan speed by recording the audio/sound of the wind blowing by my phone, but it just doesn't do it justice.

Has anyone had this issue? I hope it isn't my AC going out, but the air is plenty cold, and it isn't running humid or anything. Just the weird blower/ fan speed behavior.
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Old 08-30-2021, 10:58 PM #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbumpus11 View Post

Has anyone had this issue? I hope it isn't my AC going out, but the air is plenty cold, and it isn't running humid or anything. Just the weird blower/ fan speed behavior.
I have not had the issue, but I recommend finding the TIS / Toyota Technical Information System (repair manual / RM) for the vehicle (2010+, manual HVAC control systems).

Sounds like a ground / switch issue more than "AC going out", but you'll have to troubleshoot the electrical gremlin.

Good luck!
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Old 08-31-2021, 11:31 PM #3
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I’ve had this happen twice in my previous 14 TE. Both times I had to replace the blower motor. First I would experience fan speed fluctuation, then a whining from the blower motor, then it would just stop working at some point. Obviously, your situation could be different.
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Old 09-01-2021, 09:54 AM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salvo View Post
Iíve had this happen twice in my previous 14 TE. Both times I had to replace the blower motor. First I would experience fan speed fluctuation, then a whining from the blower motor, then it would just stop working at some point. Obviously, your situation could be different.
Hmm...dang it. I'm hopeful I won't have to do this. Your description is very similar to what I feel like I'm experiencing. I haven't heard a whine yet, but the fan speed "fluctuation" is the word I was searching for in my initial post. I am certainly experiencing fan speed fluctuation.

@Salvo - what did that blower motor run you, and did you have to take it into the shop? Hopefully it isn't too far internal (in the event it goes out) so that I can replace it myself...

Will keep checking and keep everyone updated!
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Old 09-01-2021, 09:55 AM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salvo View Post
I’ve had this happen twice in my previous 14 TE. Both times I had to replace the blower motor. First I would experience fan speed fluctuation, then a whining from the blower motor, then it would just stop working at some point. Obviously, your situation could be different.
had a similar whine with my blower motor. it seemed to progressively be getting worse these last few months. replaced it and no more whine and the air flow is a tad better than before. this is not a hard DIY

my blower motor cost about $280 CAD delivered after tax. 5th gen part number: 8710360400

edit: here's a video detailing a good replacement. note if you have a limited trim you need to be careful of the amber courtesy light, don't rip that out

2016 Toyota 4 Runner Blower Motor Problems / Fixes - YouTube
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Old 09-01-2021, 12:13 PM #6
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Well if it is a power lead/ground you should be able to throw a meter on it and see if you are getting consistent power.

I have had two toyota blower motors go out, one in an '89 hilux and another in a '99 4runner, both with similar symptoms. The Hilux I just replaced outright as it was nearly 20 years old at the time. The 3rd gen I actually pulled it, took it completely apart (well as apart as it would come with breaking plastic) and cleaned it out, bearings and all, it ran well for another year but ultimately ended up replacing it too.
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Old 09-01-2021, 04:27 PM #7
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Mine was done under warranty both times, so I can’t speak to cost. But I have replaced one in my 100 series Land Cruiser. I’m not mechanically inclined at all and it was super simple. Just a few bolts and a plug behind your glove box, if the blower is in fact the issue. It’s been a while, but I think the part wasn’t much more than $150 or so. Good luck.
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