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2002 Subaru Outback L.L. Bean Edition H6-3.0
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Discussion Starter #1
For the last couple days I've noticed that the airflow fluctuates in intensity by itself without changing settings.

For example, I was idling in the drive-thru on my lunch and had the heater set to 77°F and vent/floor. It was as if the car was "running out of breath" for lack of a better explanation. The heat was fine, but the airflow was weak and comes in spurts, though I'm not sure any were as strong as a normally-functioning blower.

The blower appears to "work" on all airflow settings and I can hear the doors moving, but the airflow is inconsistent and weaker than usual. I also noticed a bit of a rotational sound from the blower motor area on lower settings (almost a growl).

I'm asking here because it's like 15°F outside and I don't have a garage, so I'd like to replace the best bet and return it if it's not that. Preferably the blower motor because someone in town has it in stock ? ? ?

Any thoughts/recommendations are welcome. I'll also be checking the relays/fuses later after work.
 

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When I had similar symptoms on my 2005 Subaru Legacy GT Wagon it was indeed the blower motor, and it was easy to replace.

Don't forget to get a new cabin filter.
 

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2002 Subaru Outback L.L. Bean Edition H6-3.0
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks! I've done the cabin air filters and I have the service manual, so I'm not worried about it being too hard. Did you have the weird spurts of airflow as well? From what I can find on the internet I'm alone on that one lol.
 

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Thanks! I've done the cabin air filters and I have the service manual, so I'm not worried about it being too hard. Did you have the weird spurts of airflow as well? From what I can find on the internet I'm alone on that one lol.
I replaced it in around 2010 so my recollection is a bit hazy, but I recall it being inconsistent with air flow, turning it on and off and sometimes it would get better. I don't remember hearing any growl. If you're on your original blower there's a good chance that either the bearings or the brushes are failing.

If your resistor thing is easy to replace then there's no harm in doing both at the same time.

I replaced a resistor and blower motor on a honda fit - the resistor was burnt and the motor bearings were bad. Not knowing in advance which it was, I bought both and it needed both. Not sure if one led to the other but both definitely needed replacement. The symptoms in that one were weak flow in all settings plus a low setting not working at all. Again if I recall correctly it wasn't exactly consistent in air flow, sometimes seeming to get better and other times worse, but progressively getting worse over a fairly short period of time. Didn't wait for the flow to stop completely.
 

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Outbacks, SVXs, XT6, 4Runner, Celica, Brat, E150s
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Sounds like you have a 6-cylinder car with auto temp control?

Is this only in Auto mode? What if you manually select a fan speed? Can you hear the fan change speeds, or is this just based on the airflow feeling.
 

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2002 Outback LL bean H6
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Probably a good idea to do both.
I just did my blower motor. Old one died completely.
Bought a cheap one from amazon. Super noisy.
Buy a good one so it doesn’t do what mine does.
I also bought a resistor but didn’t install it yet so can’t speak for it’s quality. Also a cheap part.

Use a meter and monitor voltage at the motor connector with it unplugged.

Should give you an idea on resistor output.
 

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2002 Subaru Outback L.L. Bean Edition H6-3.0
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Discussion Starter #7
SOLVED: I replaced the blower motor with one from O'Reilly's in the driveway and it works now for anyone wondering.
 
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