GMC Sierra 1500 is a light-duty pickup truck with similar specifications to Chevy Silverado. 2003-2007 models of the pickup trucks have problems in their HVAC system due to the underrated blower motor resistor module and its connector.
After many customer complaints and fire incidents, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a recall notice to provide compensation in terms of special coverage and extended warranty.
GMC Sierra blower motor resistor and its connector recall is an extended warranty for 2003-2007 models with manual dual zone AC systems or heavy-duty heaters only. It is valid for vehicles with 10 years of service life or 150,000 miles of coverage. Its compensation includes the replacement of the blower motor resistor and its connector or reimbursement to customers in case of repair from other service providers.
This article will guide GMC Sierra 1500 owners regarding problems associated with its blower motor resistor and power connector. We will discuss its symptoms, special coverage, and conditions for its validity.
What are the reasons for the GMC Sierra blower motor resistor recall?
After several customer complaints, GMC issued a recall for problems in the blower motor resistor module in some models of the Sierra pickup truck and a few other vehicles from Chevrolet and GMC.
According to their official statement and recall letters issued to customers, the connection point between the HVAC relay resistor module and the wiring connector for its power supply is not of sufficient rating to conduct higher currents.
Therefore, it heats up when you keep ON the blower for a longer duration. Moreover, with time, moisture and other metallic material can also come in contact with the terminals causing corrosion.
It results in further aggravation of the problem resulting in issues like overheating, smoke, and fire in extreme conditions.
Due to overheating, there is also a risk of fire involved. Therefore, NHTSA took the initiative to ensure public safety. They issued a special service bulletin in January 2012 to guide the owners regarding this recall.
What are the symptoms of a bad blower motor resistor?
Specific symptoms result from overheating and corrosion of the interface between the blower relay resistor module and its power connector.
There are 4 common signs of a bad blower motor module or its connector that needs replacement.
Due to its inability to pass higher currents for an extended operation, the blower motor will not operate at all.
As a result, when you turn ON the fan button on the instrument cluster, it will not respond, or no air will come out of the vent. If you face such a condition, you will need to replace its resistor module and power connector.
Another common indication for this fault is that the blower will operate partially but not on all speed settings.
It will get stuck on a one-speed setting as the resistor module controls the fan speed.
Possible reasons can be shorting or failure of the circuit, causing the fan to run at a high or low-speed setting only. Therefore, replacement is essential to restore its entire operational range.
GMC has stated that the power connector of the relay resistor module is incapable of conducting higher currents for sustained operation for hours.
As a result, it can cause the interface between the both to overheat. In extreme conditions, it can result in fire under the passenger side dash panel where this module is present.
Therefore, you will likely observe the burning smell of connector plastic or smoke from the blower vent.
The fourth symptom of a bad blower motor resistor and its connector is its continuous operation.
Its switch gets shorted out due to overheating and will not work correctly. Even if you turn OFF the ignition switch, it will keep running, completely draining the battery.
Special coverage for the GMC Sierra blower resistor recall
GMC has provided special coverage or sort of an extended warranty if you observe any of the signs of a bad blower motor resistor.
This special coverage includes the replacement of the blower motor resistor and resistor module connector.
Moreover, customers will not have to pay any repair or labor charges. However, it does not include any other fault in the HVAC system besides these two parts.
Moreover, General Motors (GM) will reimburse the payment for earlier repairs of the problem within specific terms and conditions by the manufacturer.
In addition, GM dealers will also provide courtesy transportation or shuttle service to eligible customers under this extended warranty to minimize their inconvenience due to this repair work on the way.
Moreover, they will also inform the customers regarding this special coverage and provide a suitable appointment date for repair work according to the availability of spares.
What are the conditions for the validity of recall?
There are two conditions for the validity of this special coverage on your GMC Sierra pickup truck.
The first condition is that the manufacturer will provide free-of-cost services for this problem within 10 years of purchasing the vehicle.
It will count the period from the day of its first registration, irrespective of its ownership changes. The second condition is that its mileage should be within 150,000 miles.
In both situations, whichever will expire first will terminate the validity of this extended warranty.
In case of reimbursement claims, you have to submit the request form, name and address of the payee, and receipt of expenses mentioning the expenditure, type of problem, and information of the service provider before the specified date. Moreover, the manufacturer will reimburse the amount at its authorized dealer rates.
What model years of GMC Sierra got affected due to a faulty blower motor resistor?
Specific GMC Sierra pickup truck models are eligible for this extended coverage to replace the blower motor resistor module and its connector.
GMC Sierra 1500 models from 2003 to 2007 are eligible for this recall. Moreover, pickup truck models within these years should have a manual dual zone HVAC system (RPO code CJ3) or heavy-duty heaters only (RPO code C42) installed for their eligibility.
How to check if your GMC Sierra is eligible for the recall?
The first step to avail of this extended warranty is to check that your vehicle is eligible for this repair service from GM authorized dealers.
You have to provide your vehicle’s VIN and ownership documents, and they will check its status from the global warranty management system of the manufacturer.
Moreover, they will also notify the customers eligible for this recall offer. You can also contact their customer assistance centers if you have any queries or issues with dealers and check your vehicle’s eligibility for this recall.
How much does it cost to replace the blower motor resistor by yourself on GMC Sierra?
The cost for parts, including the GMC Sierra blower motor resistor and its connector, is $60-$90 without labor charges.
According to the NHTSA service bulletin, the labor time for diagnosing and replacing faulty components is 0.7-0.9 hours.
Similarly, the time to approve the reimbursement is 0.2. Therefore, it will cost you labor charges of $75-$90 to rectify the problem.