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Old 03-06-2018, 04:03 PM   #1
IONic_2004
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2004 ION-2 Quad Coupe
Default cooling fan

not sure if i have a problem or not since i am new to these cars but im not sure if the radiator fan is working. i have not seen the temp gauge go passed half way, but i also turned the AC on and still did not see the fan come on.
none of the fuses were blown and still gotta check the fan itself but might have to remove it to get at the contacts
were still experiencing winter here so its still 30* here but with AC on shouldn't the fans have come on?

...
2004 Saturn Ion 2.2 5speed
2006 Ford Focus ZX4 5 speed
1999 Oldsmobile Bravada 4.3 auto
1986 Pontiac Trans Am 5.0 auto

Last edited by IONic_2004; 03-06-2018 at 04:10 PM..

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Old 03-06-2018, 06:24 PM   #2
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2007 ION-2 Quad Coupe
Default Re: cooling fan

The fan does come on with the A/C. However, the A/C won't turn on until the ambient air temp gets above ~40F.

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Old 03-06-2018, 07:28 PM   #3
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: cooling fan

IONic_2004, how can you expect ac to operate when outside temps are 30F? If its already below freezing, why would you expect ac to cool off the interior if outside air is already freezing and more likely to freeze anyone with just outside air coming into the cabin without using ac. In other Saturn models, service manuals describe ac not available when outside temps are below approximately 40F. Refrigeration doesn't work efficiently below 40F and some ac systems disable ac operation when temps fall below 40F. Ion service manuals do not mention this but there is way to tell if your ac system will work below 40F.

All vehicle ac systems generate heat - the condenser coil in front of the radiator is removing heat from compressor operation as compressed refrigerant creates heat. To prevent hot condenser coil air flowing into the radiator adding more heat from the radiator trying to rid heat from coolant, the cooling fan is automatically turned on to ensure airflow thru condenser coil and radiator, especially in local traffic in hot and humid weather. As a rule, whenever ac is turned on, the cooling fan is turned on. This applies only if ac works. If ac failed to cool, compressor failed to run last summer then the ac system also leaves the cooling fan off since ac doesn't work. This doesn't interfere with the cooling system needing the cooling fan when coolant overheats. The engine computer knows when to use cooling fan operation if ac works, fails and when coolant overheats.

To sum it all up, if your ac system didn't work last summer then the cooling fan will not turn on when you try turning ac on. If ac did work then you might have to wait for a warmer day, preferably above 45F before trying ac again then open the hood and check for two things running - the compressor center portion of the clutch turning and fan running. Both should be on (if ac works). No ac, no cooling fan.

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Old 03-07-2018, 11:43 AM   #4
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2004 ION-2 Quad Coupe
Default Re: cooling fan

i did not know the AC wouldnt come on if ambient temps were low.

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2004 Saturn Ion 2.2 5speed
2006 Ford Focus ZX4 5 speed
1999 Oldsmobile Bravada 4.3 auto
1986 Pontiac Trans Am 5.0 auto

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Old 03-07-2018, 02:25 PM   #5
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: cooling fan

Here's more confusion to confuse you unless you become aware. Cars, trucks and SUVs use a specific refrigerant deemed safe until someone finds out its poison. R134a. It's also used in refrigerators. This refrigerant in refrigerators makes ice, implying the freezer gets as low as 10-20 degrees below freezing (32F). A copper capillary tube with a very small inside diameter less than 1/16th inch controls releasing r134a into the evaporator coils in a freezer to create super cold temps. This same refrigerant is used in our vehicles but a different control is used and prevents freezing temperatures, a thermal expansion valve. The txv controls refrigerant release into the evap coils in the HVAC box while preventing freezing temperatures. It's designed to go as low as 32F and no lower since ice can develop from humidity. Why anyone needs ac when it's freezing outside is beyond me. Most car ac systems will not generate cold air below 32F so HVAC engineers designed car ac systems not to run when outside temps are close to freezing. GM decided on approximately 40F to stop ac operation electronically. While you may think your ac system is running, look under the hood and see if the center portion of the compressor clutch is spinning. It's not likely to run in 30F temps. If the compressor isn't running, the cooling fan isn't running. Think about it. You're trying to test cooling fan operation in 30 degree temperatures and your engine isn't showing any signs of overheating or justifiable use of ac. Unless the temperature gauge needle is over the redline/hot zone and coolant isn't boiling out the coolant container, the cooling fan isn't going to turn on.

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Old 03-11-2018, 06:13 PM   #6
IONic_2004
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2004 ION-2 Quad Coupe
Default Re: cooling fan

UPDATE: i ran the engine while i quickly power washed the engine staying clear of the wires/computer/ect. and ran engine to burn off water while i washed the rest of the car. after i was done i heard the fan kick on, so cooling fan is working

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2004 Saturn Ion 2.2 5speed
2006 Ford Focus ZX4 5 speed
1999 Oldsmobile Bravada 4.3 auto
1986 Pontiac Trans Am 5.0 auto

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