How to Replace a Downdraft Vent Gear Motor



The gear motor in a downdraft vent drives the crank assembly that raises and lowers the vent. If the gear motor wears out or locks up, the vent won't pop up or retract. Replace a worn gear motor with the manufacturer-approved replacement part following the steps in this DIY repair guide.

This basic repair procedure works to replace the gear motor in common Kenmore, Broan, KitchenAid, Frigidaire, Electrolux, GE and Whirlpool downdraft vents.

Repair difficulty:
Time required:

Less than 15 min.

Parts Required

  • Gear Motor

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Tools Required

  • Work gloves
  • 1/4" nut driver
  • 3/8" nut driver

Before you begin

Wear work gloves to protect your hands. Unplug the cooktop and the downdraft vent. Remove the cooktop from the counter. Remove the downdraft vent from the counter and lay it down on a padded work surface.


 Warning: Undertaking repairs or maintenance to appliances or power equipment can be hazardous. Should you choose to undertake repairs or maintenance, you are assuming the risk of injury to your person or property. In an effort to reduce the risk, use the proper tools and safety equipment noted in the applicable guide and follow all instructions. Do not proceed until you are confident that you understand all of the steps and are capable of completing the repair. Some repairs or maintenance, however, should only be performed by a qualified technician.

How to Replace the Gear Motor in a Downdraft Vent

Step 1: Remove the gear motor cover

With the power disconnected, remove the mounting nuts from the clamp channels and then remove both clamp channels.


Remove the screws from the gear motor cover.


Disconnect the gear motor wires and then remove the gear motor cover.

Step 2: Remove the blower housing assembly

Carefully tilt the top of the blower housing up and disconnect the blower motor wire harness.


Remove the blower housing assembly.

Step 3: Remove the air box cover

Remove the mounting screws from the air box cover and pull off the air box cover.

Step 4: Remove the gear motor bracket

Remove the gear motor bracket mounting nuts.


Flip the gear motor bracket over.

Step 5: Remove the cam

Loosen--but don't remove--the U-bolt nuts to release the cam from the gear motor shaft.


Pull the cam up and off the gear motor shaft.

Step 6: Remove the gear motor

Remove the gear motor mounting screws and then remove the gear motor.

Step 7: Install the new gear motor

Position the new gear motor on the bracket and reinstall the mounting screws.

Step 8: Reinstall the cam

Position the cam on the gear motor shaft. Pair the flat side of the gear motor shaft with the side of the cam.


Tighten the U-bolt to secure the flat side of the gear motor shaft to the side of the cam.

Step 9: Reinstall the gear motor bracket

Flip the gear motor bracket upright.


Position the gear motor bracket in the air box and reinstall the mounting nuts.

Step 10: Reinstall the air box cover

Position the air box cover over the air box and thread the gear motor wires through the grommet in the air box cover.


Secure the air box cover to the air box using the mounting screws.

Step 11: Reinstall the blower housing assembly

Position the blower housing assembly on top of the air box cover.


Tilt the blower housing assembly up and plug in the blower motor wire harness.


Lower the blower housing assembly into place.

Step 12: Reinstall the gear motor cover

Thread the wires through the gear motor cover and reconnect the wires to the gear motor.


Position the gear motor cover over the gear motor and reinstall the mounting screws.


Reinstall the clamp channels and secure them using the mounting nuts. 

Step 13: Reinstall the downdraft vent and cooktop

Reinstall the downdraft vent and cooktop in the counter following the directions in the installation guides.

Step 14: Restore power

Reconnect the power cords for the downdraft blower and the cooktop.