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Dead battery & EATC fan controller?


Elite Explorer
January 26, 2004
Reaction score
City, State
Chicago, IL
Year, Model & Trim Level
'07 Mountaineer Premier
This is a 96 Explorer Limited, 150K miles, EATC.

For the past few months, the heater/air conditioning blower fan has only been working in the manual high setting. As I learned from other discussions here, it's most likely a bad EATC fan controller on the blower motor. But it hasn't been a real priority to fix in comparison to things like the dead fuel pump. :(

Then, a few days ago, the fan starts working in automatic mode again. Put the EATC on automatic, the fan blows hard for a while to cool off the interior, then throttles down once it cools off. All the intermediate manual fan settings work too. Fan controller fixed itself? Well, I won't look a gift horse in the mouth.

So this morning the wife says, "The Explorer is dead as a doornail." Sure enough, it's dead. Dome light doesn't even go on when I open the door. I put the battery charger on it and the amp meter on the charger pegs full scale. Whoa. I disconnect the battery and charge it by itself for a while. Then I reconnect the battery to the truck. The blower fan comes on.

Hmmm. I turn the key on, push the EATC "OFF" button, turn the key off. The blower fan is still running. Pull the big fuse in the engine compartment relay box, fan goes off. Put the fuse back in, fan comes on.

So I disconnect the battery from the truck again and charge the battery by itself for a few hours. Hook the battery back up, the blower fan doesn't come on. Key on, EATC on, blower comes on, EATC off, key off, blower fan goes off and stays off. Run the EATC self test, no error codes (of course, there weren't any codes when the fan wasn't working right, either).

So my conclusions are:

- The blower fan running overnight drained the battery.

- I should carry a pair of needlenose pliers in the truck so I can pull the big blower fan fuse easily.

- If the fan controller or the GEM or some computer was confused, pulling the power for a while may have helped it reset itself.

- It's time to replace the EATC fan controller.

Any other ideas?

David E.B. Smith
Chicago, IL