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Old 08-09-2020, 08:34 PM   #1
98_Gold_Uranus
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1998 SL2
Dizzy More cooling fan issues

98 SL2

Ever since I got the car, the cooling fan never kicked on with temperature. The only way it would come on is if the AC was on. Which for the most part has been fine, as I'm in Florida and the AC is pretty much always on lol.

Well today, even that stopped... The wife and I went to town, everything was working fine on the way into town, plenty of stop and go traffic, even waiting in a drive thru at the pharmacy. But after shutting the car off and running into a store, on the way back we were stopped at a red light when suddenly the RPM's fluctuated (the AC compressor disengaged) and the AC stopped blowing cold. It clicked almost immediately that the fan was not working (when the AC is on and the fan not, the pressures shoot up in the AC system and the high pressure switch disengages the system to prevent it from damaging itself; had a similar issue in my S10 Blazer that I converted to an electric fan setup and had similar issues when I had a fuse blow in it). So I turned the AC off and put the windows down for the rest of the ride home. Hit the next red light of course... and then as we sat there at the light I watched the temp gauge start to climb... As soon as we got back moving again, the temp gauge settled back down, and while we were moving I even turned the AC back on and it blew cold, so long as we stayed moving.

But long story short, as of right now, the fan does not come on at all. I unplugged the temp sensor on the back of the head to make it default into turning the fan on, turned the check engine light on lol, but still did not kick the fan on. The fan is not physically locked up, I can reach in and free-spin it by hand. The 30 amp fuse is good. I swapped the relay over from the fog lights to rule that out since I know the fog lights work, and that did nothing. The only thing I haven't done yet is unplug the fan and test for power at the plug.

If I test for power at the plug and I'm not getting any power at all to it, despite checking everything else listed above, what else could it possibly be?

I'm HOPING that I do have power to the plug and the fan has just quit, because I actually have a spare fan assembly in the garage lol.

If I DON'T get power to the plug, I may end up just cutting the harness going to the fan motor and wiring it up to a stand alone relay harness and having that relay trigger on with the ignition so it's ALWAYS on when the car is running...
...
98 SL2, 70k miles, kept in the family since new!

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Old 08-09-2020, 08:55 PM   #2
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Default Re: More cooling fan issues

Take a shortish piece of 14ga wire and jump pin 30 to 87 on the fan relay socket. Strip both ends of the wire as if you were going to put connectors on it, then just shove 'em in. Pin 30 has battery power so it doesn't matter if the key is on or not.

If the fan doesn't run, either the fan is dead or the power circuit is broken. Usually a fairly obviously blown giant green 30a fuse.

If the fan does run then the "command" circuit is broken. I don't have the diagram in front of me but either pin 85 or 86 has battery power and the other is switched to ground via the PCM to activate the relay.
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Old 08-09-2020, 08:59 PM   #3
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Default Re: More cooling fan issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by fetchitfido View Post
If the fan does run then the "command" circuit is broken. I don't have the diagram in front of me but either pin 85 or 86 has battery power and the other is switched to ground via the PCM to activate the relay.
This is what I'm thinking, based on the fact that it stopped working with temperature a long time ago.

Thank you for the quick and detailed reply, I will surely give that a try tomorrow!
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Old 08-12-2020, 08:48 PM   #4
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Default Re: More cooling fan issues

Crazy development.

Yesterday after work I got time to look deeper into it. I hopped in the car and went to pull it up to the garage. The temp sensor was still unplugged from the previous diagnosing. As soon as the car started, the fan whizzed to life. Strange, but okay whatever I thought. So I plugged the sensor back in. Started the car, no fan. Turned the AC on, the fan kicked on like it's suppose to. So I thought that maybe it not working before was just a glitch. So I decided to go ahead and drive the car to work this morning. Low and behold, the fan again was not working...

So today I got the chance to finally figure it out. I unplugged it and tested for power, and the plug had power when it was suppose to. So in the end it ended up being the motor that went bad. Actually had a spare on a shelf in the garage. Easy swap and she's back on the road again

Still no idea why the fan only works with AC and not as the engine temp rises, but at least it works at all now.

I got curious and actually opened up the old motor. Old motor was full of rusty junk, so it was no wonder it stopped working lol. Sorry no pictures of that...



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Old 08-14-2020, 12:57 PM   #5
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Default Re: More cooling fan issues

What position on the gauge are you expecting the fan to turn on at?
1st gen is just before the red marks
2nd gen is about the 3/4 mark
3rd gen is just past 1/2

It's all 222f +/- 5f.
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Old 08-14-2020, 07:21 PM   #6
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Default Re: More cooling fan issues

I would have figured around the 1/2 mark to be honest. By the time it gets to the 3/4 mark, to me that's overheating...

I guess I need to hook up my bluetooth OBDII dongle and watch the live data and see just what the temp is as it climbs on the gauge.
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Old 08-15-2020, 10:28 AM   #7
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Default Re: More cooling fan issues

As long as the fan activates anywhere between 222F-226f you are golden. Just like fetchitfido stated. You actually have to run the engine quite awhile for it to get hot enough to that range to activate the fan.
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