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-   -   Cooling Fan Runs Constantly 2003 Saturn L200 (http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=229544)

jerseybrat99 01-10-2017 01:06 PM

Cooling Fan Runs Constantly 2003 Saturn L200
 
Started having an issue with the cooling fan running constantly only when car is on....so I went out to try to remove the module to get the p/n for a replacement part. Couldn't get the part out...too hard...however, after jiggling it the fan no longer runs when car is on....2 questions....do I have to worry about my car overheating since it's winter and could jiggling the module fixed the issue??? Also, sorry next question...how on earth do I get this part out!!!!

flyingj 01-10-2017 01:40 PM

Re: Cooling Fan Runs Constantly 2003 Saturn L200
 
The fans running on high while the car is on may also be an indicator that there is a pending trouble code. Are there any other strange behaviors of this L200? Do you have a scanner that can pull codes? If not, have you gone to your local auto-parts store where they should have a scanner that can be used?

I'd just hate to see you go through the time and cost of replacing the fan module if that isn't the issue. If there are no pending codes or other strange behaviors, then you may just need a new module.

For a real-world example, when my throttle position sensor (TPS) went bad, twice, it didn't illuminate the check engine light, but would kick the cooling fans on high, have a high idle and shift very late and hard. Doing a code scan on the car revealed that there was a pending fault for a TPS failure. Replacing the TPS resolved all the issues.

pierrot 01-10-2017 03:54 PM

Re: Cooling Fan Runs Constantly 2003 Saturn L200
 
[QUOTE=jerseybrat99;2228729]Started having an issue with the cooling fan running constantly only when car is on....so I went out to try to remove the module to get the p/n for a replacement part. Couldn't get the part out...too hard...however, after jiggling it the fan no longer runs when car is on....2 questions....do I have to worry about my car overheating since it's winter and could jiggling the module fixed the issue??? Also, sorry next question...how on earth do I get this part out!!!![/QUOTE][FONT="Georgia"][SIZE="3"]I went on an Adanced Search within SaturnFans and linked several threads which share similarities with your issue at hand. Please look through them as it will be informative. Unfortunately, only one member posted the conclusion to their problem. With that in mind, please follow through with this thread and share your resolution [I][U][COLOR="red"]whenever[/COLOR][/U][/I] that actually happens.

I agree with [B][I][COLOR="blue"]flyingj[/COLOR][/I][/B] regarding the Fan Control Module. At this point diagnosis is insufficient and therefore condemning the FCM is premature. He is also correct in saying that there are other possible underlying problems which will cause the cooling fans to be constantly engaged regardless of ambient temperature or engine temperature.

It's not likely that you need to be concerned about overheating. However, when the fans are always in operation it means the engine is not likely to reach the minimum operating temperature, 180 degrees, which negatively impacts the emission system. Jiggling the connectors could have resulted in partial disconnection of the wiring to the fans and thus would have shut them down. Do I know this for sure? No. It's merely a suggested possibility.[/SIZE][/FONT]

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[URL="http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=142943&highlight=cooling+fans"]http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=142943&highlight=cooling+fans[/URL][FONT="Georgia"][SIZE="3"][B][I][COLOR="blue"] Post #21 explains removal of the Fan Control Module[/COLOR][/I][/B][/SIZE][/FONT]

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[FONT="Georgia"][SIZE="3"]Oh yea...Welcome to SaturnFans! I hope that you'll stick around a while.[/SIZE][/FONT]

jerseybrat99 01-10-2017 04:31 PM

Re: Cooling Fan Runs Constantly 2003 Saturn L200
 
Thank you for the info!!! I haven't checked if it was pulling codes but definitely will!! The car has not had any other strange happenings just got it in Aug and love it!! I will definitely check the links abd I will be sticking around😊

rb6667 01-10-2017 05:22 PM

Re: Cooling Fan Runs Constantly 2003 Saturn L200
 
All of the above is good information. Check to see if there is a trouble code. Many auto parts stores will check this for free.

Had this same situation several years ago. Turned out to be a fully stuck open thermostat. What temp. is showing? Should be 3/8's to 1/2 up on the temp indicator. Lower than that can sometimes cause the fans to run on high. Looking at your location, I know it's cold there now.

Let us know what you find.

jerseybrat99 01-10-2017 07:41 PM

Re: Cooling Fan Runs Constantly 2003 Saturn L200
 
Thank you rb6667...when the fan was running temp was barely reaching the first mark on the gauge...I did have heat but it wasn't getting very warm with the fan constantly on...after it stopped I had the car running picking up the grandbabies and the temp reached the first mark (very bad with measurements, forgive me) and my heat was blowing much warmer...as it did before the fan started running...I'm just paranoid that now that the fan isn't running, don't know if it will that it will cause me to overheat. Anywho....it is freakin cold here but temps are rising and we will be having a pretty mild rest of the week...thanks for your advice!!!!

fdryer 01-10-2017 10:58 PM

Re: Cooling Fan Runs Constantly 2003 Saturn L200
 
I don't recall anyone here reporting the fan control module turning on the cooling fan(s) prematurely in freezing temperatures. As you may know, the fan control module is the slave to the ECM; the ecm commands when cooling fans are needed with commands sent to the FCM. The fcm takes the command signals and operates relays to power the cooling fan. Relays can wear down and may become sticky, welding electrical contacts together and if the command is given to stop fan cooling, the relay is stuck in the on position. Perhaps a little TLC of jostling the fcm and connections may have fixed it.

In this cold weather, you may not have to be concerned about the cooling fan. Your temperature gauge should be monitored every time you drive as you already know where the temperature gauge needle should be before finding the cooling fan running incorrectly. Most temperature gauge needle positions are between the first and second tick marks, between the 1/4 and 1/2 marks. The temperature gauge should never go above the 1/2 mark in cold weather. If it does go above the 1/2 way mark stop and check for coolant level first. You may have hit the proverbial nail on the head with attempts to remove the fcm and corrected the errant fan problem. I would just go about daily driving but monitor engine temps closely. Even in warmer temps, predicted over the next few days, the cooling fan isn't needed unless you're sitting in heavy stop and go traffic. A last resort if temps go above the 3/4 mark is to use the heater on HOT and select medium-high fan speed - coolant always circulates thru the heater core so it can help lower coolant temps. Just keep some windows open if too much heat makes you uncomfortable.

born again 01-10-2017 11:01 PM

Re: Cooling Fan Runs Constantly 2003 Saturn L200
 
+1 on the failed thermostat. These have a rubber seal on the edge of the valve disc that disintegrates over time. No seal and it doesn't close. Cold. No heat. Fans run constantly. Now the cooling system is full of little rubber bits. A flush and a stat change are probably in order. Note that I had a trouble code with this problem, but I don't have a record of it.

pierrot 01-11-2017 02:06 AM

Re: Cooling Fan Runs Constantly 2003 Saturn L200
 
[QUOTE=jerseybrat99;2228786]Thank you rb6667...when the fan was running temp was barely reaching the first mark on the gauge...I did have heat but it wasn't getting very warm with the fan constantly on...after it stopped I had the car running picking up the grandbabies and the temp reached the first mark (very bad with measurements, forgive me) and my heat was blowing much warmer...as it did before the fan started running...I'm just paranoid that now that the fan isn't running, don't know if it will that it will cause me to overheat. Anywho....it is freakin cold here but temps are rising and we will be having a pretty mild rest of the week...thanks for your advice!!!![/QUOTE][FONT="Georgia"][SIZE="3"]I'm with [B][I][COLOR="blue"]born again[/COLOR][/I][/B] on this one. The thermostat needs to be replaced. A faulty thermostat is one of the FSM's suggestions for sources of this problem and [B][I][COLOR="blue"]jerseybrat99[/COLOR][/I][/B]'s description of the temperature gauge reading demonstrates a tell-tale symptom of a thermostat stuck open.

How long ago was the thermostat replaced? When was the cooling system last serviced?

Of course, as [B][I][COLOR="blue"]fdryer[/COLOR][/I][/B] pointed out, you may have gotten lucky and done something with the FCM which allowed the system to turn off the cooling fans.
[/SIZE][/FONT]

jerseybrat99 01-12-2017 05:04 PM

Re: Cooling Fan Runs Constantly 2003 Saturn L200
 
Ok...here's what I found out...first I don't know when anything on the car was serviced...I just goT it in August and was told the car was serviced...oil change, new tires...etc. Got it from a guy who's daughter drove the car to college. He made sure the car was serviced for his daughter and the only reason he sold it was she graduated and bought her a new car.

Anywho...I had the oil changed yesterday...now the engine light is on. So the guy ran the codes and here's what he got which he said all points to the fan control module....P0480 P0481 P1599-cc P0128. It also had a rattle and he said my Belt tensioner assembly should be replaced however, it's no longer rattling at idle since the oil change.

The A/C worked fantastic (ice cold) when I got the car as well as the heat. When the fan was running it took longer to actually heat up but I still had heat. I also have great heat now that the fan isn't running and my gauge is at the 1/4 or a little about the 1/4 mark. I don't really run the car much unless I'm going to the store or local travel so I don't know if the gauge will rise to 1/2 or above.

I'm at a loss because my neighbor is now telling me the FCM is discontinued as are other parts for this car and at this point if I can't find the parts at a junk yard or anywhere else I might as well junk the car - OH HELL NO!!! HELP!!! I found a Fan Control Module on Ebay and the seller told me it will fix the problem however, it has to be the same part number as the one in the car which is why I tried getting it out and stopped the fan from running...

pierrot 01-12-2017 05:22 PM

Re: Cooling Fan Runs Constantly 2003 Saturn L200
 
[FONT="Georgia"][SIZE="3"]I tend to agree with your mechanic based on my reading of the DTC definitions for the codes provided to you. In the meantime, don't go trusting some things people will say about a part being unavailable. A quick search at RockAuto.com revealed good information.

[URL="http://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/saturn,2003,l+sedan,2.2l+l4,1431613,cooling+system,cooling+fan+control+module,12955?a=Referer+www.google.com+URL+%2F"]http://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/saturn,2003,l+sedan,2.2l+l4,1431613,cooling+system,cooling+fan+control+module,12955?a=Referer+www.google.com+URL+%2F[/URL]

Yes, there are new parts which are NLA from the dealerships. As you already know, when we run into such a problem finding what we need then we look to the wrecking yards...no big deal. BTW, while at a Pull-Your-Part Wrecking Yard I picked up a spare FCM along with some other spare items. These places can be quite handy if you know what you're looking for and know what you're doing.




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jerseybrat99 01-12-2017 06:15 PM

Re: Cooling Fan Runs Constantly 2003 Saturn L200
 
Thank you pierrot!!!! Is it true what the seller on Ebay told me? That it has to be the same part number or it won't work??? And do you think I should replace my thermostat??? I was told there really aren't trouble codes to tell if it's bad or not....

Thanks for all the info guys....I'm a single female raising my grandchildren and really need my car...grandson is special needs and we make frequent trips to Delaware so I need a reliable vehicle...while I know a few things about cars and certainly not afraid to get my hands dirty...there are a few things that stump me....

I appreciate all the help and suggestions...I'm also one to be very anal about doing research and googling all kinds of ****...LOL Thanks again...it was a big help...

pierrot 01-13-2017 02:22 AM

Re: Cooling Fan Runs Constantly 2003 Saturn L200
 
[QUOTE=jerseybrat99;2229085]Is it true what the seller on Ebay told me? That at has to be the same part number or it won't work???[/QUOTE][FONT="Georgia"][SIZE="3"]The listing at RockAuto is accurate and doesn't require one to know the part number of the original FCM in order to receive the correct replacement part. For comparison's sake I've added some links to show you the part numbers from a favorite OE parts site and RockAuto between your car and mine.[/SIZE][/FONT]

[URL="http://www.gmpartscenter.net/auto-parts/2003/saturn/l200/base-trim/2-2l-l4-gas-engine/cooling-system-cat/cooling-system-scat"]http://www.gmpartscenter.net/auto-parts/2003/saturn/l200/base-trim/2-2l-l4-gas-engine/cooling-system-cat/cooling-system-scat[/URL]
[url]http://www.gmpartscenter.net/auto-parts/2000/saturn/ls1/base-trim/2-2l-l4-gas-engine/cooling-system-cat/cooling-system-scat[/url]

[URL="http://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/saturn,2003,l+sedan,2.2l+l4,1431613,cooling+system,cooling+fan+control+module,12955"]http://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/saturn,2003,l+sedan,2.2l+l4,1431613,cooling+system,cooling+fan+control+module,12955[/URL]
[url]http://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/saturn,2000,ls+sedan,2.2l+l4,1440048,cooling+system,cooling+fan+control+module,12955[/url]

[FONT="Georgia"][SIZE="3"]As you can see, the part numbers from the OE source and the aftermarket source did not change from 2000 to 2003. In neither case did the cataloging request further information to correctly identify the proper replacement part. IMO, the E-Bay seller is inadequately informed about the part history and cataloging.[/SIZE][/FONT]

[QUOTE=jerseybrat99;2229085] And do you think I should replace my thermostat??? I was told there really aren't trouble codes to tell if it's bad or not....[/QUOTE][FONT="Georgia"][SIZE="3"]It is true that there are no trouble codes which directly detect the failure of a thermostat whether due to overheating, or in failing to allow the engine to reach and maintain its operating temperature. The latter item is, of course, your situation. I believe you would be best served by replacing the thermostat. Here's why: if you replace the Fan Control Module while a bad thermostat is still in use then the new FCM will behave as the old one did. You want to insure the success of this repair to the greatest extent possible so that your car's heating [I][U]and[/U][/I] emission systems function as designed. [/SIZE][/FONT]

[QUOTE=jerseybrat99;2229085]Thanks for all the info guys....I'm a single female raising my grandchildren and really need my car...grandson is special needs and we make frequent trips to Delaware so I need a reliable vehicle...while I know a few things about cars and certainly not afraid to get my hands dirty...there are a few things that stump me....[/QUOTE][FONT="Georgia"][SIZE="3"]God bless you, [B][I][COLOR="blue"]jerseybrat99[/COLOR][/I][/B]. You're a good woman!
[/SIZE][/FONT]

pierrot 01-13-2017 03:11 AM

Re: Cooling Fan Runs Constantly 2003 Saturn L200
 
[FONT="Georgia"][SIZE="3"]Another thought comes to mind. You might consider replacing the thermostat prior to replacing the FCM (not replacing both at the same time). The DTCs P0480 and P0481 both have the thermostat as a possible contributing factor in the appearance of those codes. P0128 might be considered as appearing for the same reason. After replacing the thermostat run the vehicle for a few days with everything hooked up correctly. If the fan problem persists then replace the FCM ([I][U]whenever[/U][/I] it is apparent). If the temperature gauge reads more normally (just above the first hash mark [1/4]), remains stable while traveling, and the heater works as it should then go on without replacing the FCM for the time being. If all goes well then after about fifty miles of travel, or so, the codes would disappear from the system. There's a possibility that the FCM could still be okay.[/SIZE][/FONT]

jerseybrat99 01-13-2017 10:53 AM

Re: Cooling Fan Runs Constantly 2003 Saturn L200
 
Thank you so much pierrot!!! I have custody of my grandbabies so I do what I do for them. They are my saving grace after losing my son a year ago...we were without a vehicle for a long time and I want to make sure everything is right with this one...

I bought a new thermostat and will start there as you suggested...the weird thing is I tried locating actual relays for the fans and couldn't find any in the normal locations...doing research the FCM actually houses the relays attached to a circuit board and they are welded to it. It would have been so much easier to have separate relays...LOL

Thank you again!!!

pierrot 01-13-2017 11:53 AM

Re: Cooling Fan Runs Constantly 2003 Saturn L200
 
[FONT="Georgia"][SIZE="3"]Replacing a thermostat on any car is a bit messy as antifreeze always drains from the water outlet once it is removed. The cooling system must be drained. Open the radiator petcock to drain the radiator first. There is a second drain at the bottom and rear of the water pump which also must be opened. Failing to drain the water pump will result in a very significant amount of antifreeze draining over the transmission. If you don't have a repair manual I'd be happy to send information to you. Just send a p/m (private message) to me with an email address and I'll send the information to you there.

What you stated about the FCM was a surprise to me when I first learned of it. The reason why it is built in the way that it is, is because of the cooling fans various speed levels which are automatic and controlled by the PCM ([U][B]P[/B][/U]ower [U][B]C[/B][/U]ontrol [U][B]M[/B][/U]odule) based on input from the ECTS ([B][U]E[/U][/B]ngine [B][U]C[/U][/B]oolant [B][U]T[/U][/B]emperature [B][U]S[/U][/B]ensor), but usually referred to as CTS here in SaturnFans. Additionally, these fans will remain engaged after the engine is shut off when it's been run very warm - an action occurring typically during the hot days of Summer, or after a very long drive and which is normal. You're probably already aware of this.

At any rate, the cooling system in these cars is - IMO - a well designed and robust one. I have had no trouble with it in my car at all. I've repalced the radiator after well over 200K miles due to temps getting a bit too high (but not severly), not due to a leak, and the water pump at around 177K miles. That's it.

I'm deeply regret that you've lost your son so soon. As a father of two, daughter and son, the thought of seeing one of them pass on before I do is heartbreaking enough. I admire what you're doing for your grandchildren. If I were near you I'd be more than happy to be of assistance. Since distance makes that impossible, I can at least share information so don't hesitate to contact me.

[/SIZE][/FONT]

floridasl22002 01-13-2017 12:38 PM

Re: Cooling Fan Runs Constantly 2003 Saturn L200
 
A FCM on Rock Auto is $92.00. The TStat is about $14.00. The Temperature Sender/Senor is about $11.00.

You could replace the TStat and perhaps the Temp Senor FIRST before spending $100 on the FCM.

jerseybrat99 01-13-2017 04:18 PM

Re: Cooling Fan Runs Constantly 2003 Saturn L200
 
Thank you pierrot - No I don't have a repair manual...I guess I should get one...LOL I had no idea replacing a thermostat was such a big job...thank you for the info...I'll make sure I get someone that knows what they're doing to put the new one in.

Not sure how to send a p/m...as soon as I figure that out I will send a p/m. I would really appreciate if you sent me the info...thank you so much!!!

floridasl22002 01-13-2017 05:19 PM

Re: Cooling Fan Runs Constantly 2003 Saturn L200
 
The Haynes Manual is the one I've always used. There is the Chilton one as well plus the proper Factory Workshop Manuals. It depends on how far into maintenance you want to go. The Haynes is adequate for my skill level. You can get them for about $14.00 online at Rock Auto plus postage. 1 job and its paid for itself.

The L series has 2 engines, a 4 cylinder like yours and a V6. My son has the V6 and I had just had his Thermostat replaced. It was a garage job.

However, I just looked at the Haynes for the 4 cylinder and it looks quite diy doable. Unlike the V6 there are no gobs of manifolds, etc to remove.

Here's what Mr Haynes says to do the job.....

1- Remove the water pump drain bolt and drain any excess coolant into a container. (MY TIP-When its stopped dripping re-tighten that bolt back on otherwise you'll forget to do it later!)
2- Follow the radiator lower hose to the engine to locate the the thermostat housing.
3- Loosen the hose clamp, then detach the hose from the fitting. If it's stuck, gasp it near the end with a pair of adjustable pliers and twist it to break the seal, then pull it off. If the hose is old or has deteriorated, cut it off and install a new one.
4- If the outer surface of the thermostat cover, which mates with the hose, is already corroded, pitted or otherwise deteriorated, it might be damaged even more by hose removal. If it is, replace the thermostat cover.
5- Remove the fasteners (bolts really) and detach the thermostat cover. If the cover is stuck, tap it with a soft face hammer to jar it loose. Be prepared for some coolant to spill as the gasket seal is broken.
6-Note how its installed, which end is facing up, or out and then remove the thermostat.
7-Remove all traces of the old gasket material from the housing and cover with a gasket scraper.
8-Install a new rubber gasket on the thermostat cover and bolts, then tighten the bolts to the torque listed in the Chapter Specs (89lbs).
9- Re-attach the radiator hose to the outlet pipe on the thermostat cover. Make sure that the hose clamp is tight. If it isn't, replace it.
10-The remaining installation is the reverse of the removal.

You will then need to top up the cooling system with the coolant you lost or if the coolant is in good condition, pour what came out back in + check level.
MY TIP-Don't bother removing the TStat cover from the hose. Unbolt it and shove to one side while you clear out the old TStat. The rubber hose will allow it to flex out the way.

If you buy the Haynes you'll also get some pretty pictures to go with this description.

Hope this helps.

pierrot 01-13-2017 05:27 PM

Re: Cooling Fan Runs Constantly 2003 Saturn L200
 
[QUOTE=jerseybrat99;2229197]Thank you pierrot - No I don't have a repair manual...I guess I should get one...LOL I had no idea replacing a thermostat was such a big job...thank you for the info...I'll make sure I get someone that knows what they're doing to put the new one in.

Not sure how to send a p/m...as soon as I figure that out I will send a p/m. I would really appreciate if you sent me the info...thank you so much!!![/QUOTE][FONT="Georgia"][SIZE="3"][B][I][COLOR="blue"]floridasl22002[/COLOR][/I][/B] has provided the directions in his post. I'm still happy to send the information. To send a p/m just hover the browser curser over my login name at one of my posts, click on it and one of the options presented will be "send a private message to pierrot." Click on that and you'll be able to write and send a message.
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