Last week at the start of this bad cold snap, I was driving in heavy traffic with the heater on high and felt more than heard a light 'thump'. At that point the heater blower started rumbling pretty bad.
With an hours worth of driving left, I figured it was going to be a cold ride home, but after some experimenting figured out if I kept the blower on low speed the rumbling didn't sound like it was going to grenade any minute. So made it home before it got too cool inside the car.
My trusty 2005 Stratus has 185,000 on it and has been good to me. In fact I was starting to debate putting another timing belt in it before too long. Kind of wondered to myself if this problem was the start of things going bad for the car.
3 days later Rock auto came through with a blower assembly at half of what I could buy one for locally and last evening it actually got a little above zero so I fired up the garage heater and dropped the old unit out.
This was the first thing I saw:
Lead, follow or get the hell out of the way