How to fix Mazda Tribute / Ford Escape fan only working on some settings

2008 Mazda Tribute photographed in College Par...
Image via Wikipedia

Having just discovered this morning that the fan on my Mazda Tribute only worked on setting 4 and 1-3 were doing nothing. This post resolves the issue for the Mazda Tribute, Mercury Mariner and Ford Escape 2008 but may very well apply to other models – probably 08-11.

I did the usual googling and found a few posts that said that it was the blower resistor causing the problem. Unfortunately none of them were really that great in their description of resolving the issue.

Obviously you first need to get the blower resistor from your fave car part store – The Tribute / Escape resistor was $21 + tax from Autozone.

Preparation: You’ll need a socket / wrench set. I used 8mm or  5/16th for the glove compartment & 9mm or 11/32 for the fuse.

  1. Remove the 3 screw bolts at the base of the glove compartment
  2. Open the glove compartment
  3. Squeeze the sides of the glove compartment and pull away
  4. The black plastic box you can now see is the blower unit
  5. On top and to the right is a connector with wires coming out – this is the connector to the blower resistor
  6. Remove the connector (depress the little catch and pull upward)
  7. Remove the 2 bolt screws that hold the resistor in place
  8. Pull out the old fuse unit & replace with the new unit
  9. Now just reverse the instructions!

Time to fix : 10-15mins. Hopefully this saves you time fixing your Mazda Tribute or Ford Escape fan / blower!

22 thoughts on “How to fix Mazda Tribute / Ford Escape fan only working on some settings

  1. Thank you for this post. Directions were great and I was able to fix it myself. Thanks for saving me from taking it to a mechanic.

  2. Thanks so much. I used 7 and 8 mm for the bolts and needed a flashlught in addition. Many rhanks for saving the time and expense if a service visit!

  3. Thank you the instructions were quite good and helpful. The only other thing that i thought could be further helpful if a few pics were added.
    One thing i found a little confusing..since i do not know much about these things is that to make sure i had the connector. I started the car and turned on the fan to high speed…i thought it should not work at all if i disconnected the right connector. ( It still worked on the high speed, and don’t know why ).
    But regardless, i followed the instructions and took out the resistor. Now i’m off to get a replacement.


  4. Think of it like this – A fan without a resistor would either be FULL ON or OFF. A resistor allows the fan speed to run somewhere in between that, so when the resistor is broken, the fan will work ONLY when the fan is set to High.


  5. Fantastic instructions! I picked up the blower motor resistor from Canadian Tire here in Whitby, ON – it was part # RU1133 and cost $15.99 + tax. Followed your instructions and was done in about 20 mins. The only difference was the socket sizes: I used 7mm on the 3 glove compartment door bolt screws and 8mm on the 2 bolt screws holding the resistor in place. Thanks for the detailed instructions – saved me a bundle on an easy job!

  6. Glad to hear it! Ford does strange things with their bolt sizes. My Mustang is imperial whereas the Flex is metric.

  7. Got new resistor at Canadian Tire, took me about 30 min to replace the resistor and the fan blows as new. Thank you so much!

  8. hi this is Cesar I look at the instructions how to fix the blower speed for a Mazda Tribute and is pretty cool I like it, i fallow the instruccions to replace the old resistor and is ease to fallow,the price were I went was $23 and change pretty cool I save about 100 to 150. By doing it my self. A big thanks…

  9. Just wanted to comment again as my blower motor resistor failed again and I needed to replace it. These instructions truly are brilliant. The part has jumped from $15.99 to $34.99 at Canadian Tire here in Whitby, ON. But it’s still way cheaper to fix on my own instead of at the dealership! Thanks again!

  10. Cannot disconnect the resistor connector theres a way but only to pull it dont work for me. Tribute 2011 V6. Need your help

  11. I changed out the resistor and it still only works on hi, I’ve checked the fuses in the compartment on the center console and looked at the ones under the hood, they all look fine…any other idea what might need to be looked at to fix this?

  12. I dont know the circuitry, but i’m guessing it’s a pretty simple one for this:

    1. A potentiometer to control the fan speed (on the dash)
    2. A fuse to control the blower

    If the fuse is broken, the fan will be a binary on or off. So that would suggest you a bad fuse still – i think if the pot was broken it just wouldn’t work at all.

  13. as far as I know the 2010 is identical to the 2011…I swapped out the fuses with the spares I had all are still good and unbroken…

  14. Hey thanks for writing this. I just put the new resistor on my girlfriends car and I wanted to thank you. It works great for her 2008 Mazda Tribute.

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