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    1. #1
      Junior Member msmith's Avatar
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      Heater Fan Squeal

      Hi all,

      Hoping someone out there might have an answer. My heater fan started complaining about a week ago. From an off position to about half power it makes a high pitch chirping sound. At 3/4 to full power, no issues.

      Is this an indication of pending failure? Is there something I can do to make it go away (I just purchased a rubber mallet...)? Does anyone know how to get access to it? Is it an easy replacement?

      Suggestions are greatly appreciated.

      Thanks everyone.
      In the driveway: 2012 S60 T6 AWD | Black/Beechwood | Premium/Climate/Convenience Packages | BLIS | Sunroof | Active Bending Bi-Xenon | iPd Skid Plate | TFT DIM upgrade (mine), ... Former - 2006 S40 2.4i M56
      2009 Acura RDX & 1995 Celica GT Convertible (wife), 2017 GMC Sierra SLE | Elevation Edition | Crew Cab (son)

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    3. #2
      Junior Member chrisz's Avatar
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      This can happen during the colder days. The only remedy is to replace the blower fan, which is DIY possible but you would need to purchase a special tool. I'm sure if you search this forum you will find more pertinent info.

    4. #3
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      There is a thread on this issue and a related video (for an XC 70).
      It is doable but obviously somewhat of a pain.
      2012 S60 T5 Savile Gray/Beachwood

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    6. #4
      Junior Member msmith's Avatar
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      Thanks. Will have a look.
      In the driveway: 2012 S60 T6 AWD | Black/Beechwood | Premium/Climate/Convenience Packages | BLIS | Sunroof | Active Bending Bi-Xenon | iPd Skid Plate | TFT DIM upgrade (mine), ... Former - 2006 S40 2.4i M56
      2009 Acura RDX & 1995 Celica GT Convertible (wife), 2017 GMC Sierra SLE | Elevation Edition | Crew Cab (son)

    7. #5
      Junior Member marvinmartian's Avatar
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      'Tis the season. Mine is starting to squeak again too. Really annoying. Wish there was a better solution. Watched that video. I don't have the time or the spare hands. :-(

      I am still trying to learn what exactly causes "the squeak." If it's the fan bearings, I don't see why some lube wouldn't help. Although getting access to the bearings might be the real problem.

      If it's deformation of the shroud, I don't completely understand the squeak then. Is it from plastic on plastic?
      Caspian Blue Metallic 2011 S60 T6 AWD

    8. #6
      Junior Member msmith's Avatar
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      Finally had a chance to look at the video. Wow, this guy took on a big job. I had no idea you would have to tear half your car apart to simply replace a blower fan. And would have to either buy or have someone make a special tool.

      I guess I will have to live with a slight squeal until it gets out of control. I guess that's why they put the Volume up button on the steering wheel.
      In the driveway: 2012 S60 T6 AWD | Black/Beechwood | Premium/Climate/Convenience Packages | BLIS | Sunroof | Active Bending Bi-Xenon | iPd Skid Plate | TFT DIM upgrade (mine), ... Former - 2006 S40 2.4i M56
      2009 Acura RDX & 1995 Celica GT Convertible (wife), 2017 GMC Sierra SLE | Elevation Edition | Crew Cab (son)

    9. #7
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      And that's the easy P3 blower motor replacement. Some call for the dash to be removed.

      As for what squeals, it's gotta be the bearing.

    10. #8
      Junior Member meade18's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Tech View Post
      And that's the easy P3 blower motor replacement. Some call for the dash to be removed.

      As for what squeals, it's gotta be the bearing.
      I noticed his car was not a S60/V60. Do our cars (S60/V60) call for the dash to be removed?
      2015.5 Volvo V60 Premier T5 FWD (with a new engine)

    11. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by meade18 View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Tech View Post
      And that's the easy P3 blower motor replacement. Some call for the dash to be removed.

      As for what squeals, it's gotta be the bearing.
      I noticed his car was not a S60/V60. Do our cars (S60/V60) call for the dash to be removed?
      S60 does call for dash removal to access the release tab. Not sure if it's all years, but I did one last month. It can be done without removing the dash, but it's a pain if you don't know exactly how to maneuver your arm and know what you're feeling for.

    12. #10
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      Volvo and Saab of that era. I 'd expect they'd have developed the application with and used the same dash supplier (Lear, then becoming IAC, Tidaholm). Same fan supplier.

      The fan/ blower on the Saab 2007 9-3 convertible I bought was noisy, then it seized. Removing the pollen filter allowed some access to the fan; so I turned it to free it. Followed by a copious spray of silicone to the bearing areas, it became totally free and noiseless. Maybe worth a look towards the fan when the pollen filter is removed ?

    13. #11
      Junior Member Sysyphus61's Avatar
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      I suspect that to get to a point where you can spray the bearings you've already done most of the work required to remove/replace the darn thing anyway
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    14. #12
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      I'm not sure if this applies to the S60, but on the S80 you can easily get to the fan squirrel cage area by removing the windshield wipers and then the cowl. You could definitely spray something down there if you wanted to, you'd just have to live with whatever that substance smells like for a bit. This isn't a shortcut to replacing the blower motor though, that would still require all the disassembly mentioned here. You could also grease the bearing by disassembling the fan, but that'd also require removal of the blower motor and at that point you might as well just put a new one in.

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    15. #13
      Junior Member marvinmartian's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by greys60 View Post
      I'm not sure if this applies to the S60, but on the S80 you can easily get to the fan squirrel cage area by removing the windshield wipers and then the cowl. You could definitely spray something down there if you wanted to, you'd just have to live with whatever that substance smells like for a bit. This isn't a shortcut to replacing the blower motor though, that would still require all the disassembly mentioned here. You could also grease the bearing by disassembling the fan, but that'd also require removal of the blower motor and at that point you might as well just put a new one in.

      Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk
      Can you get a lube straw right up near the bearing? Just spraying “at” the fan would likely not help.
      Caspian Blue Metallic 2011 S60 T6 AWD

    16. #14
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      I don't think there is anything you can do to lube the bearing. Next time I replace one I'll see if there is a way to take it apart further.

    17. #15
      Junior Member msmith's Avatar
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      Thanks everyone for your input. It's a hit and miss thing with the chirping. When I increase the fan speed the noise goes away. It's really only at lower speeds and more noticeable when colder. We've dipped into some cold days here recently. Last week we had a couple of days around -14c (7f). It's pretty much just going to get colder and colder now, so worst case is I will have the fan on 3/4 to full most of the time.

      If this is still happening in the spring I may have to have the blower fan replaced. I like doing things myself, but after watching the video I'm not sure this is something I want to take on. I could try the straw and spray thing, but to be sure I hit the target I would need a flexible camera/scope to see where I am spraying and pray I hit the target. Not really interested in spray lubricant all over the inside of my dash. Too many other electronics in the area.
      In the driveway: 2012 S60 T6 AWD | Black/Beechwood | Premium/Climate/Convenience Packages | BLIS | Sunroof | Active Bending Bi-Xenon | iPd Skid Plate | TFT DIM upgrade (mine), ... Former - 2006 S40 2.4i M56
      2009 Acura RDX & 1995 Celica GT Convertible (wife), 2017 GMC Sierra SLE | Elevation Edition | Crew Cab (son)

    18. #16
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      I have the same squeal with my xc60 .. running the fan at high speeds also made it a little quieter but that only worked for a little while until it started making the noise at higher speeds as well .. I decided to try lubricating the bearing as best I could .. removing the glove box allows you good access to the blower motor housing .. part of the housing is opened in a grid like pattern.. when you set the climate system in recirculation mode, it moves a flapper door and allows cabin air to be drawn through the opening .. with the climate system in recirculation mode, you will will be able to see the blower motor and shaft .. I had some lubricant (one I used was called "jig a loo" .. it had very little scent to it compared to other sprays like wd-40) and used an extra long red straw attached to the nozzle .. I sprayed the shaft, turned the fan on and off and sprayed again .. just to try and work the oil further onto the shaft and hopefully into the bearings.. I did this near the end of last winter and got to enjoy some peace and quiet for a little bit, fully expecting to have to do this again this winter .. to my surprise, we have had a few colder days this season and I have not heard the fan squeal yet (knock on wood) .. I am fully willing to go through the trouble of relubricating every couple of seasons over tearing the whole dash apart.. Give it a try .. By the way, uf you go into your climate control settings in sensus, you are able to set default fan speed by 3 levels .. Low, normal and high .. setting to high will make the fan run a few settings faster than normal when the climate system is in auto mode..


    19. #17
      Junior Member msmith's Avatar
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      Thanks Sumps,

      Appreciate the feedback. Nice to know you can get access by removing the glove box. I will definitely give that a try if it gets worse.
      In the driveway: 2012 S60 T6 AWD | Black/Beechwood | Premium/Climate/Convenience Packages | BLIS | Sunroof | Active Bending Bi-Xenon | iPd Skid Plate | TFT DIM upgrade (mine), ... Former - 2006 S40 2.4i M56
      2009 Acura RDX & 1995 Celica GT Convertible (wife), 2017 GMC Sierra SLE | Elevation Edition | Crew Cab (son)

    20. #18
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      hmmm......ok.......so that's not the bearing, that's the shaft from the motor that the squirrel cage mounts on.
      so now i'm thinking, is the squirrel cage squeaking on the shaft?....the shaft turns the cage but it's still mounted to the shaft and it doesn't take much rubbing to produce a squeak.
      I don't see how any lubricant can get past that connection and make its way to a sealed bearing.
      Are we throwing away good fans because of a squeak between the squirrel cage and the motor shaft and not the bearings? You said you sprayed that and it has stopped......and repeat, that's not a bearing........
      just throwing this out there........
      Last edited by jlh3rd; 11-18-2019 at 01:49 PM.

    21. #19
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      I should have better explained myself.. You are right, I doubt the shaft was the cause of the squealing, since the fan wheel spins with it and not on it .. I sprayed it in hopes that the penetrating oil could make it's way down the shaft to the bearing that the shaft spun in ... Since the valve fan wheel is open on the back, I also sprayed quite a bit to try and hit the bearing behind the wheel on the motor .. This probably did more immediately than just spraying the shaft itself..

      [IMG][/IMG]

    22. #20
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      gotcha.....my thought was improbable, and i've never seen that part in person. You may have hit on something however, and if/when my motor starts squealing, if i can get that motor apart, those bearings might be saved.........

    23. #21
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      I think they are (sintered bronze) bushings rather than ball bearings. Porous metal items that originally had lubricant in them, they will accept new lubricant sprayed at them. Like what happened with my Saab.
      Last edited by grahamR; 11-19-2019 at 05:27 AM.

    24. #22
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      Quote Originally Posted by grahamR View Post
      I think they are (sintered bronze) bushings rather than ball bearings. Porous metal items that originally had lubricant in them, they will accept new lubricant sprayed at them. Like what happened with my Saab.
      so I will chime in - my 2008 Saab 9-3 developed the same chirping. I was able to access the blower by removing the cowling under the wipers, and then removing the cabin filter. Hitting the motor with several blasts of wd-40 (using the red straw) did the trick. Chirping noise went away.

    25. #23
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      all good info......so, if i go to replace mine, i'll just put extra lube on the new motor before i install it....or just take a chance and lube the old one and re-install it.
      I do my best to keep my cars forever......

    26. #24
      Junior Member marvinmartian's Avatar
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      Wow, this is awesome news! Thanks so much for sharing. You may have saved me $1800.

      I didn't know taking off the glove would get me access. If that's the case, I'm pretty sure I can 3D print some straw "elbows" to get to where I need to go (eg., behind the squirrel cage). I'll post a follow up if it works.

      The thing is, WD40 (regular) isn't really a lubricant. I use their PTFE product on my 3D printers and absolutely love it. I'd hope it would work well here too?
      Caspian Blue Metallic 2011 S60 T6 AWD

    27. #25
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      yep...wd40 is not a lubricant......I would think i'd still have to pull the motor to get to the rear bushing>to spray it ,right?

    28. #26
      Junior Member marvinmartian's Avatar
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      I don't think you have to get to the rear bushing, do you? I thought we just needed to get behind the squirrel cage?

      If so, this may help:

      https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01ARBC8JW

      Along with some 3d printed parts to help guide it into the right place, maybe with a little elbow spigot at the end to spray directly behind the squirrel cage.
      Caspian Blue Metallic 2011 S60 T6 AWD

    29. #27
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      i don't know because i've never pulled one and i guess it's the front bushing .....but i'm guessing. No one has ever posted they investigated the exact cause of the squeak....And i'd never got to all the trouble to get to the bad one and oil the front bushing only......i'd pull the motor and try to do both....

    30. #28
      Member p.rico's Avatar
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      I performed this task last week. Pulled the box and accessed the heater fan. Used silicone (w/ PTFE) lubricant on the fan assembly.

      I ended up losing the red straw in the cage and couldn't get it out (it ended up lodging itself away from the fan though).

      I sprayed the fan area LIBERALLY without the straw for a few seconds. Yes, the whole fan. I had a rag to catch any spray that fell from the cage, but it is all behind the dash.

      Ran the fan through its paces since last Thursday, the temps have been near freezing, and can say that I haven't heard a single squeak all week so far.



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    31. #29
      Junior Member marvinmartian's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by p.rico View Post
      Ran the fan through its paces since last Thursday, the temps have been near freezing, and can say that I haven't heard a single squeak all week so far.
      OMG I'm so excited. Forget a new 120" TV. Forget a new 16" Macbook Pro. This is the best Xmas gift I could have hoped for. Seriously.

      Rather than 3d printing I think I'm just gonna grab one of my kids juice box straws and tape it to the end of the flexible tube. That plus maybe a coat hanger taped to the whole thing should get me the precision spraying I seek. :-)
      Last edited by marvinmartian; 11-26-2019 at 09:20 PM.
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    32. #30
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      Don't worry about jerry rigging straws, losing straws, having straws blow out of the can and spraying everything... get yourself this:

      https://www.amazon.com/ShopStraw-FS2...4832069&sr=8-1

      I'm glad this seems to be working for some people .. Temps have dipped down again this week and still have not had a squeak either.. this is after about 10 months from when I sprayed my cage..

    33. #31
      Junior Member msmith's Avatar
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      Thanks p.rico for your pics. If the temp stays where it is, I may pull the glove box and give it a try this weekend.
      In the driveway: 2012 S60 T6 AWD | Black/Beechwood | Premium/Climate/Convenience Packages | BLIS | Sunroof | Active Bending Bi-Xenon | iPd Skid Plate | TFT DIM upgrade (mine), ... Former - 2006 S40 2.4i M56
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    34. #32
      Junior Member marvinmartian's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Sumps View Post
      Don't worry about jerry rigging straws, losing straws, having straws blow out of the can and spraying everything... get yourself this:

      https://www.amazon.com/ShopStraw-FS2...4832069&sr=8-1

      I'm glad this seems to be working for some people .. Temps have dipped down again this week and still have not had a squeak either.. this is after about 10 months from when I sprayed my cage..
      Arriving today. :-)

      You sprayed behind the squirrel cage, yes? I ask because I also wonder if people spraying lube (esp. PTFE) on the cage itself might reduce any noise from it rubbing against its shrouding.

      It's ridiculous how excited I am to try this.
      Last edited by marvinmartian; 11-27-2019 at 09:55 AM.
      Caspian Blue Metallic 2011 S60 T6 AWD

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