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Old 09-29-2012, 05:46 PM   #1
celticwarlock
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Default Cooloing fan comes on too early. What gives???

I just replaced the valve body in my 1995 SL-2. So far, the transmission seems okay, but for some insane reason, the cooling fan now comes on way too early. Just to be clear, the wiring in the surrounding area relative to the two sensors (gauge and ECTS) was NOT disturbed or disconnected and everything functioned perfectly beforehand.
Can this be as a result of the computer having to "re-learn" some of its functions? When functioning properly, a 1995 SL-2's cooling fan comes on when the gauge creeps up near the 3/4 mark (a good deal higher than Saturns built later on). After I did this job today, the gauge gets less than 1/4 of the way into the operating range before the fan comes on. This, in turn, caused the computer to set fault code 15 (coolant temperature too low).
I did not run the car long enough for the computer to sort out all the shift point data (I only had time to drive it for a minute or two.....I had something else I had to do). Could this be related somehow to the cooling fan issue?
Any help, as always, is very much appreciated.
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Old 09-29-2012, 08:36 PM   #2
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Default Re: Cooloing fan comes on too early. What gives???

I would suspect you have disturbed the ECTS connector or the wiring while replacing the VB. Inspect the wiring and connector, look for splices and remove any found and replace with soldered connections. Spray out the connector with electrical connection cleaner and see what happens. If that does not fix it then you are going to have to get a true coolant temperature reading to see what is going on.
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Old 09-30-2012, 02:33 AM   #3
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Default Re: Cooloing fan comes on too early. What gives???

Thank you for the response. I can assure you that this is not a connection issue, and the cooling fan definitely, without question, is coming on far too early. What I need to know is whether or not the computer is causing this as it's going through its paces and "re-learning".
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:28 AM   #4
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Default Re: Cooloing fan comes on too early. What gives???

No, it is not the PCM or re-learning or any other mumbo-jumbo. You have a problem in the ECTS or gauge circuit.
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Old 09-30-2012, 02:48 PM   #5
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Default Re: Cooloing fan comes on too early. What gives???

I will check again and re-post.
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:11 PM   #6
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Default Re: Cooloing fan comes on too early. What gives???

Okay...this may come as a surprise to some (including me), but after driving the car for a bit and leaving it alone overnight, the problem has vanished. I have not touched them since this oddball problem began (though I did give them a cursory look) because I really wanted to see if there was a chance it was computer-related. Since I did nothing to the vehicle whatsoever with regard to the electrical connections, and since they were in no way disturbed during the initial repair to the valve body, I am inclined to conclude that indeed it probably was somehow related to the computer activity following the reconnecting of the battery.
It is VERY common for a vehicle's computer to have to re-collect data and make a number of adjustments after being disconnected for an extended period. In fact, the vendor I bought the valve body from included a set of instructions for how to drive the car so that the computer can make sense of itself again. Apparently, it compensates for wear in the valve body so everything can behave in a familiar pattern (adjusting shift points and other things along the way). When the problems become too severe to disguise and you replace the valve body, the computer attempts to use old information to run the transmission (which causes rough shifting and other issues). It then takes several miles of driving for these issues to be corrected.
These issues went away completely after a bit of driving, and the fan now operates normally. Very odd.
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:53 PM   #7
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Default Re: Cooloing fan comes on too early. What gives???

Wrong! Please take SWAGS down the hall to someone who cares. The PCM does not have a data table for stored fan on temperatures.
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:49 PM   #8
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Default Re: Cooloing fan comes on too early. What gives???

Swags? I have no idea what you mean by that. Maybe you've encountered others on this list who were being smug in the face of your response, but that is not what I'm doing. Additionally, I made no reference to the computer having a data table for fan temperatures. I f that were the case, there would have been no variation at all.....the computer cannot "forget" when to turn the fan on, and then somehow "remember". Rather, I was presenting a supposition to explain what had happened. It is well known that shift points and other computer-controlled functions need to be re-set by the system after certain repairs are made, and I thought this was a manifestation of that.
In any event, I was trying to be helpful and provide this anecdote in the hope that someone may benefit from it in case they run into a similar oddball problem. I have received much great advice from others on this site, and was trying to return the favor. Don't be a douche. I'd offer assistance to any one of the people on this site if I could, and that includes you.
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Old 10-10-2012, 12:40 AM   #9
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Default Re: Cooloing fan comes on too early. What gives???

SWAG - Stupid Wild Ass Guess. Which is what you were making. Perhaps YOU'RE the douche, for even suggesting them. OldNuc IS right on the money here. The fan is programmed to turn on at 226 degrees F, PERIOD. Exceptions are when you run even a half-assed functioning A/C system, then the fan runs all the time unless you have the car more than 25-30MPH IIRC, or if there's an ECTS circuit malfunction, in which the fan runs 100% of the time regardless. These events are HARD CODED into the computer and are part of how the system was designed to work.

As said (but you'll most likely be a douche and not listen, AGAIN), what makes the fan turn on at the right temperature are:

* FUNCTIONING ECTS/Connector
* FUNCTIONING Fan
* FUNCTIONING Relay

All OldNuc is saying is that there is NO memory or re-learning of the fan turn on point, other than by checking the three items mentioned above, starting from most common/suspected to the least.
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Last edited by adventureoflink; 10-10-2012 at 12:47 AM.
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Old 10-10-2012, 10:05 AM   #10
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Default Re: Cooloing fan comes on too early. What gives???

I agree with a problem with the ECTS or its connection. Since the sensor is essentially a resistor that changes resistance based on temperature, electrical resistance added through the loose/spliced connection will send inaccurate readings to the computer, making it think 226 degrees F has been reached and it's time to turn the fan on.
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