How To Replace An Auto HVAC Fan Resistor

Categories: How-To, Tips & Tricks
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Published on: January 3, 2015

So, one day my wife come home and tells me something is wrong with our 2002 Toyota Highlander. She said the Heater is not working right. It only works when the fan is set to the highest setting. Same goes for the AC.  In the past I’ve fixed the issue when the HVAC unit worked inconsistently when the cool/heat setting would switch from Heat to Cool by itself. I fixed that by opening up the center console and re-soldering a loose connection.

Anyway, this one was not the same issue. So, I consulted my good friend Google and found out that the issue, more than likely, would be the Fan Resistor.  Although I did not find any instructions on the net specific to my vehicle, I think this generally applies to most. So, I hope this tutorial helps you.

Things you will need:

  • Right angle screw driver or a flexible screwdriver or a short screwdriver. The part is very hard to reach with a regular screwdriver.
  • Flashlight or any portable light source.
  • The replacement resistor part. For my 02 Highlander I got mine off of eBay. Here’s a search link.  Cost $~$25.00
  • Total time to install: 30 minutes.

Step 1

Locate the resistor. It will be under the dash of the passenger side. To the left of the glove compartment

Passenger Side


Step 2

Look under neat and behind the glove compartment. This is when your light source will come in very handy. If you look up you should see the unit attached to a plastic housing held by two screws. There should be a plug that connects to the unit that you should unplug.  See picture.

Screws locations


Step 3

Once you take off the old one, just replace it with your new one and Voila! your fan should work once again.

Here’s the pic of the old and new parts and the tools used.


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