Saturday, July 14, 2018


Here is again my 2006 Ford Taurus (~161000 miles) with new problem.  Cabin fan stopped to  work at any speed apart of  maximal. For me it looked like very strange malfunctioning. While it is not that crucial  but still annoying. I shared my frustration with  co-worker, who owns and maintains himself Ford Taurus 1994 and he (without even looking) provided me with diagnostic: there is need to change motor blower resistor.

As you can see online estimate was not really encouraging. Price of repair is comparable with KBB trade-in value of my car. No way I am going to pay it. Some more online, search gave me this video:

Immediately after watching I ordered replacement  part (~$20 with delivery) and made the fix. Works like a charm. After that I decided to look at the broken part (photo of it you can see at the very beginning of this post). Why it stopped working? On the photo you can see how corroded  it is. But was it the actual reason? To answer the question one needs first to understand how device works. The schematic is fairly simple: three resistors and thermal fuse connected sequentially . Control switch selects how many resistors stays in the circuit, limiting the motor electrical current. Thermal fuse has to prevent overheating. It should blow-up when temperature exceeds allowed value (~ 121 degree of Fahrenheit). At the highest speed switch connects motor directly to the ground bypassing the resistors and fuse. That why motor works at maximal speed even if resistor circuit interrupted.

Visual inspection of resistors did not show any damage, so my guess was that indeed blown fuse caused the malfunctioning. I cleaned from rust some spots on contact plates and tested resistance of the circuit. If fuse is blown resistance should be infinite. But to my surprise I have found that it is not infinite, but rather small (several Ohms). That what you expect from the normal working device. The only reasonable conclusion would be: because of corrosion there was no electrical connectivity between device and socket contacts. As a result blower motor stopped working at any speed below maximal.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Keep it Cool!

Last year my 2006 Ford Taurus (~157 000 miles) started to loose some coolant. Mechanic, while performing  regular maintenance service, told me it is due to replace water pump. Should I invest ~ 600$ in repair or save some money and do that myself? After some hesitation I decided to proceed myself. First of all I collected as mush information as possibly of what to do and how. Two YouTube clips came exceptionally useful. This one is about the whole process.

Second one is about changing serpentine belt tensioner. Even if there is no need to change it, one need to remove belt and all related components to get access to the water pump.

Both these clips are probably all what you need to know to replace water pump on the Ford Taurus 1996-2006 year. I myself cannot add much to that apart of telling some additional tips regarding tools used.
  •  From my experience set of metric wrenches 8,10,13,15 and the same set of sockets gives enough flexibility to unscrew and screw back all bolts of this project. Just pay an attention that 13 mm socket has to be deep. Regular short socket will be not good for some bolts mounting water pump.
  • To unscrew and then put back belt tensioner there is need in torx bit. Unfortunately second video mistakenly states that bit has to be T27 size. This is wrong.  For me size T50 worked well.
  • Second video shows nice tip of attaching bigger wrench to the 15 mm, making release of tensioner easy. Like this:
  •  That worked for me, apart of the fact that due to my inexperience 15 mm wrench slipped out of my hand and fell down. I had a trouble to get it back. To avoid such a mistake again I put some tape on the joint. Because of that the pair of wrenches worked as single tool. After the job done it was easy to remove tape and separate wrenches.
  • One of dis-assembling steps is to detach heater hose from the water pump. That sounds easy, but... I tried to pull hose as hard as I can without any success (later on I found that big buildup at the end of water pump pipe, as seen on first picture, was the cause) . Then I watched first video one more time and at 1:47 found the answer. Mechanic used special hook to separate hose form the water pump pipe. I made myself  similar out of inexpensive awl. That helped.
So here is the conclusion. It is doable to replace water pump even if you are inexperienced mechanic. You just need the garage, some inexpensive tools and online access to order parts and find proper info.