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Blower Fan Replacement (Removal w/o Tools)

StealthGTI

Ready to race!
Location
Newport News, VA
Ride
2017 GTI Sport
Hello,

My interior blower motor (ventilation) started making some sickly noises around the 70,000-mile mark. It was disappointing on a car that was just over two years old. Later, the fan speed began to fluctuate until it eventually became unreliable, working only from time to time.

I didn’t see much about how to replace the blower online, not even in YouTube. So I decided to take photographs for you and my website, as well as to shoot a video for my YouTube channel. Now that I’ve done the job, I’m very certain I could complete a swap in 15 minutes or less.

Here are the steps (refer to the photos below):

01. Remove the two plastic finger screws that hold the foam insulation in place beneath the glove box.

02. Remove the foam insulation. The blower is in plain sight.



03. Pull down the blower's locking tab, which points toward the firewall, about 2mm to allow the blower to rotate.



04. Rotate the blower ~20 degrees clockwise. The blower will fall free.

05. Remove the blower; remember – it is still electrically connected to the car.

06. Unplug the blower’s power cable; move the blower to a working surface.



07. Unplug the resistor power cable.



08. Remove the two resistor mounting screws using a T20 driver (the only tool needed).

09. Remove the resistor and transfer to the new blower; install its mounting screws.

10. Insert the resistor power cable until it clicks.

11. Maneuver the blower into its mounting position; orient the mounting tab towards the firewall and the resistor toward the right.

12. Rotate the blower slightly left or right to get it to seat, then rotate it counter-clockwise to lock it into place.

13. Insert the blower power cable until it clicks.

14. Test the blower. The blower will not run faster than “4” unless the engine is running.

15. Install the foam insulation; make sure to align the vent holes and finger screw holes.

16. Install the two finger screws.

17. Go for a drive and enjoy the fresh air!​

I think Volkswagen got the design right when they made the parts easy to remove and separate. My new fan is slightly louder than my original part. I’ll live with the extra rumble from the new fan. I’m inclined to think Volkswagen perfected the removal aspect of the blower because they expect them to fail relatively frequently. If that’s true, I’ll have a new revision in two years. HAHA!

If you're more of a "video guy," I've uploaded a video HERE. Feel free to ask questions.

Scott
 
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StealthGTI

Ready to race!
Location
Newport News, VA
Ride
2017 GTI Sport
HAHA!

The dealer will charge MSRP for the part, which is $160. For labor, they'll charge at least an hour just to justify the pay and time for the service rep and administration. But they'd probably charge two hours since every car that goes into a dealer bay gets a "courtesy" inspection. ;)

Scott
 

Bingo McFriskin

New member
Location
NJ
Feel free to ask questions.

Scott
Hi Scott, thanks for your excellent tutorial. My blower seems to have died last night (no fan at all on any speed). I checked fuses, then found your video and took my blower out in just a few minutes. I'm still trying to figure out if the blower itself is the problem or if I need to look elsewhere.

My question is, should a good blower spin freely while it's in your hands? Mine will turn just a bit before grinding to a halt in either direction.

Thanks,
-Rich
 

StealthGTI

Ready to race!
Location
Newport News, VA
Ride
2017 GTI Sport
Rich,

"No fan on any speed" could just as easily be the resistor, too. However, I cannot think of any good reason for a fan to seize after turning a few times in each direction. I'd replace it and see what happens. You can also plug in your old fan with it in your hand and see how it behaves. If it spins to a stop or has torque (driving into the seized position), then perhaps the resistor is good and the fan has an issue. You might also inspect it to see if there is an obstruction.

Good Luck,

Scott

Hi Scott, thanks for your excellent tutorial. My blower seems to have died last night (no fan at all on any speed). I checked fuses, then found your video and took my blower out in just a few minutes. I'm still trying to figure out if the blower itself is the problem or if I need to look elsewhere.

My question is, should a good blower spin freely while it's in your hands? Mine will turn just a bit before grinding to a halt in either direction.

Thanks,
-Rich
 

Bingo McFriskin

New member
Location
NJ
Rich,

"No fan on any speed" could just as easily be the resistor, too. However, I cannot think of any good reason for a fan to seize after turning a few times in each direction. I'd replace it and see what happens. You can also plug in your old fan with it in your hand and see how it behaves. If it spins to a stop or has torque (driving into the seized position), then perhaps the resistor is good and the fan has an issue. You might also inspect it to see if there is an obstruction.

Good Luck,

Scott
Thanks Scott. I went ahead and bought a replacement blower on ebay that included another resistor. From the pics, it looks identical to the interchangeable unit that you got with the silver center hub (so maybe a bit louder). I will install it in early August and report back ASAP.
 

dietcokefiend

Master of Disaster
Location
Ohio
On my old 09 Rabbit I started to get some dry bearing sleeve noise a year or two in. I ended up removing the blower (which looks the same as in the car) and dripping some synthetic oil down the shaft into the sleeve bearing. 7 years later it was still perfect and silent.

I think some of these are just running dry. If you start hearing a little noise just pop the thing out and put a drop of oil into it.
 

Bingo McFriskin

New member
Location
NJ
On my old 09 Rabbit I started to get some dry bearing sleeve noise a year or two in. I ended up removing the blower (which looks the same as in the car) and dripping some synthetic oil down the shaft into the sleeve bearing. 7 years later it was still perfect and silent.

I think some of these are just running dry. If you start hearing a little noise just pop the thing out and put a drop of oil into it.
That's the funny thing, there wasn't any noise, it just stopped blowing.
I pulled the assembly apart and tried WD-40. It loosened up a bit, but it clearly does not want to spin.
 

Bingo McFriskin

New member
Location
NJ
Received the replacement today, installed in a couple minutes and it's icebox cool again. Scott, you turned a $400 shop repair into a $65 minor inconvenience. Thanks very much again!
 

MonkeyMD

Drag Race Newbie
Looks like mine is starting to give out. Fan speed has fluctuated for as long as I can remember, but recently became worse. Also sometimes refuses to blow for a minute or so, then it'll work fine.

Is this the past number everyone is using?
5Q1-819-021-E

Also, someone mentioned getting one for $65. I imagine that isn't new though, is it?
 

ReadTheBook

Drag Race Newbie
Location
Bay Area Smoke Hell
Ride
2017 GTI Sport DSG
Just want to mention I had the same issues as DietCokeFiend in my '08 325i. Pulled the motor and used a few drops of Zoom Spout turbine & shaft oil. Never made another sound.
 

MonkeyMD

Drag Race Newbie
Just want to mention I had the same issues as DietCokeFiend in my '08 325i. Pulled the motor and used a few drops of Zoom Spout turbine & shaft oil. Never made another sound.
It's only been about a week, but the blower is working great again. Gone are the fluctuations in fan speed as well. We'll see how it holds up though.

Didn't wait for turbine and shaft oil to get here. Just used some 3 in 1 oil.

Thanks for the tip!!
 

StealthGTI

Ready to race!
Location
Newport News, VA
Ride
2017 GTI Sport
Oddly enough, ReadTheBook's Zoom Spout suggestion came two days after I recorded this video. I was genuinely surprised by how quickly the pulley in the video became so noisy. I immediately bought a bottle of the stuff and applied it. Months later, even with it being stored outside, the pulley is still totally silent. That oil is amazing!
 
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