How to Repair a Broken Air Vent Fan

What You'll Need
New motor
Ohms meter
Replacement fan belt

As with everything in life, from time to time your air vent fan may become damaged or broken. Old age affects fans quite severely, so you may find that it just stops, or you may also discover it with part of its wing broken off, victim of the wind. There are a few things that you can do to fix your air vent fan, and whether you are an experienced home improvement fan, or a DIY novice, then you should follow a few simple rules to help you get the job done quickly and easily.

Step 1 - Remove the Fan from the Vent

The first thing that needs to be done is to remove the fan from the air vent. You should wear a pair of safety gloves for this, and if the fan is broken, or its condition uncertain, then safety goggles as well. Unscrew the vent from its surroundings, and then lift off the cover to the fan (this may require the removal of another screw). Place the vent to one side, and take out the fan. You should be able to perform a cursory check with your eyes to see if anything obvious is wrong.

Step 2 - Examine the Fan

You should now give the fan a more thorough examination. Check the fan belt, and also the fan propellers. Are either of these damaged? You could also test the fan motor using a ohm machine. If the fan switch has greater than 0 ohms of resistance, then the switch is at fault, and should be replaced. If the switch is on 0 ohms, then you will need to replace the motor.

Step 3 - Replace the Damaged Pieces

You can purchase replacement pieces for your air vent fan at the supplier, or by contacting the manufacturer. You should have these pieces ready before you remove the vent. Replacing the propellers is simple, all that it requires is that the screw holding the two pieces in place is removed, and the broken piece taken away. Put the replacement bit on the bottom, and any other propeller pieces above it, and then screw back down. If you need to replace the motor, lay the fan on its front. Remove any electrical current such as batteries, and then unscrew the motor from its housing. You may have to remove the fan belt before it can be extracted, and this is an ideal time to replace that, too. Take the motor out, and remove the contacts. Insert the new motor, and attach the connections and the fan motor. Test the replacements by turning on the switch.

Step 4 - Refit the Fan

Once you have repaired the fan, replace it into the air vent, making sure that it is the right way around, and then screw the cover back in to place. Lift the air vent back into position, and screw back into its place. You can then test the fan again, should you choose, or you can leave it until the next time it is needed.