US spec smart 451 fortwos use different blower motors than their Euro counterparts and to the surprise of nobody on Oppo, the US ones are worse.
Because I’ve attempted to take good care of my car, mine has lasted at least three times as long as average. However, all US spec smart 451 blower motors will die. I’m not exaggerating, they all have a fatal flaw that never got fixed in the generation’s run.
To confirm it’s actually dead, you have to take it out. Start by looking into your driver footwell above the pedals. Then yank out this plug:
Turn the motor anticlockwise while holding back its locking pin (obscured, so feel for it) and it should release.
Pull it out and examine it.
Mine is pretty dirty and there’s definitely a lot of corrosion.
To dig deeper, remove this torx screw.
Things will look pretty bad in there..
You can clean this area up, but you’ll only be delaying the inevitable. Spark erosion makes the unit corrode and cause higher resistance. Resistance especially increases when the motor gets hot. Over time, the resistance will become great enough that it’ll slow down and just stop working for good. Right now mine is in the early stages of failure where it works when cold, then it stops when it’s hot.
A somewhat popular mod is to swap the blower motor for one out of a Pontiac. It’s cheaper than a replacement smart motor and will last the rest of the life of the car while also providing more airflow than an asthmatic mouse.
Uggggh, why is everything breaking this winter????