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Old 03-13-2018, 03:22 PM   #1
Purplebrakes
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Default Cooling fan testing

I have read that you can test the cooling fan by jumping fuse therminals. What ones are they? I donít have a manual so I donít know what fuse is what number. All I can go by is the diagram on the fuse block cover.

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Old 03-13-2018, 03:48 PM   #2
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Default Re: Cooling fan testing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0E6vbQoXSqQ

might be helpful

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Old 03-13-2018, 04:10 PM   #3
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Default Re: Cooling fan testing

Alright, so I tested the fan by disconnecting the coolant temperature sensor and the fan came on. Can anyone tell me if thereís a way to test the sensor? Or at what point does the fan kick on by temperature by looking at the temp gage?

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Old 03-13-2018, 07:35 PM   #4
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Default Re: Cooling fan testing

Just under 3/4 on the gauge unless the AC is working.

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Old 03-13-2018, 08:27 PM   #5
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Default Re: Cooling fan testing

Depends on the year, for when the fan kicks on. 1991-1995 will not kick the fan on, until the gauge is almost to ĺ. 1996-1998 may be the same. I think, in 1999, they changed the calibration to turn the fan on @ 5/8.

Regardless of gauge position, the fan should come on when the coolant temp sensor detects the coolant temp has hit 225įF.

The fan should also come on, ANYTIME the AC is being used and the vehicle is driving UNDER 70mph.

Before you go blowing your cylinder head gasket by boiling all your coolant out, trying to test the fan relay and PCM functionality, just pull the coolant temperature sensor our of the head.

If it is the stock, plastic-tipped sensor, it has failed and should be replaced with a brass one. Even if it isn't cracked, replace it anyway.

Then retest your cooling fan, by idling the car up to temp, with the hood open. This way, you can watch for the boiling coolant, if the fan doesn't kick on.

A lot of times, the expansion tank cap fails, which allows the coolant to boil out the tank. This will prevent the fan from coming on, because the cooling system has lost pressure.

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Old 03-14-2018, 12:15 PM   #6
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Default Re: Cooling fan testing

This is a '96 SL1? Need a little more info

Are you testing the fan because you have had boil over?

If yes, what was the temp gauge reading at the time?

If your temp gauge was reading below 1/2 and you were boiling over, could be the temp sensor (ECTS, about $12), or the ECTS connector ($1 or so, from a junkyard - get an IAT sensor instead from under the intake snorkel, same part but in better condition, solder and shrinkwrap the replacement)

For '96 and above, the car's computer sees the bad ECTS reading normal or low temperature and does not send a signal to turn the fan on, even though the actual coolant temp is over the ~225f temp where it should turn on

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Old 03-14-2018, 02:47 PM   #7
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Default Re: Cooling fan testing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturn Night View Post
Depends on the year, for when the fan kicks on. 1991-1995 will not kick the fan on, until the gauge is almost to ĺ. 1996-1998 may be the same. I think, in 1999, they changed the calibration to turn the fan on @ 5/8.

Regardless of gauge position, the fan should come on when the coolant temp sensor detects the coolant temp has hit 225įF.

The fan should also come on, ANYTIME the AC is being used and the vehicle is driving UNDER 70mph.

Before you go blowing your cylinder head gasket by boiling all your coolant out, trying to test the fan relay and PCM functionality, just pull the coolant temperature sensor our of the head.
I did test it by pulling off the wires for the coolant sensor off the starting the car. With the sensor unplugged the fan turned on once I started the car.

Is there a temperature sensor for the ac? I tried testing it by turning on the ac in 35 degrees and the cooling fan didnít turn on. But it turns on with the coolant temperature sensor unplugged?

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaosRe: Cooling fan testing
This is a '96 SL1? Need a little more info

Are you testing the fan because you have had boil over?

If yes, what was the temp gauge reading at the time?

If your temp gauge was reading below 1/2 and you were boiling over, could be the temp sensor (ECTS, about $12), or the ECTS connector ($1 or so, from a junkyard - get an IAT sensor instead from under the intake snorkel, same part but in better condition, solder and shrinkwrap the replacement)

For '96 and above, the car's computer sees the bad ECTS reading normal or low temperature and does not send a signal to turn the fan on, even though the actual coolant temp is over the ~225f temp where it should turn on
Itís a 96 SL2 DOHC.

no boil over. Testing because itís gonna get warmer out and I want to prevent one. I was also sitting in a little traffic and it warmed up to just below 1/2 on the gauge and the didnít kick on. I got back up to speed and it cooled off before it got above 1/2 on the gage.

So my thought is, with the test of unplugging the temp sensor and the fan kicking on, I will let it idle and watch the temp gage and over flow tank to see if the fan will kick on with just temperature.

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Old 03-14-2018, 03:18 PM   #8
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Default Re: Cooling fan testing

If the ambient temp is below around ~40-45F, the AC will not turn on.
I think the speed is 20 (maybe 40?) mph where the fan will not turn on as the fan does not push air that is faster at that point

Sounds like your temp gauge (and ECTS) is working fine. You will be at or a little over the 1/2 mark before the fan turns on, but it can vary a bit from car to car (5/8 would also be considered normal)

Fan will turn back off at roughly the 1/2 mark or just below.

This is something I posted a while back . . . It was close to 2 years before my car ever got hot enough to turn the fan on and we get hot summers
Quote:
That might actually be normal. A healthy SL2 has a very efficient cooling system.

One day, I was stuck in traffic on a construction detour. I was startled by a strange, loud (to me) 'roaring' noise under the hood, about a year or two after I got my '98. After a brief panic, I realized it was the fan coming on for the first time since I owned it.
You know your fan works, and your temp gauge works.

Nothing wrong with testing during idle as you are considering, other than using up a little time and gas, and making Al Gore weep for the polar bears

You could also wait until it gets about 50~60F out, and turn the AC on while the car is not moving - fan should turn on then, assuming your AC works.

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Old 03-14-2018, 06:27 PM   #9
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Default Re: Cooling fan testing

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post
If the ambient temp is below around ~40-45F, the AC will not turn on.
I think the speed is 20 (maybe 40?) mph where the fan will not turn on as the fan does not push air that is faster at that point

Sounds like your temp gauge (and ECTS) is working fine. You will be at or a little over the 1/2 mark before the fan turns on, but it can vary a bit from car to car (5/8 would also be considered normal)

Fan will turn back off at roughly the 1/2 mark or just below.

This is something I posted a while back . . . It was close to 2 years before my car ever got hot enough to turn the fan on and we get hot summers


You know your fan works, and your temp gauge works.

Nothing wrong with testing during idle as you are considering, other than using up a little time and gas, and making Al Gore weep for the polar bears

You could also wait until it gets about 50~60F out, and turn the AC on while the car is not moving - fan should turn on then, assuming your AC works.
Doesnít testing it by turning on the AC basically defeat the purpose of trying to test the ECTS if the fan turns on when the AC turns on?

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Old 03-14-2018, 09:14 PM   #10
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Default Re: Cooling fan testing

Alas, it is sad to see so much guessing and worrying here that could be eliminated by simply using live-data.

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Old 03-16-2018, 02:08 PM   #11
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Default Re: Cooling fan testing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Purplebrakes View Post
Doesnít testing it by turning on the AC basically defeat the purpose of trying to test the ECTS if the fan turns on when the AC turns on?
Yes, I was trying to say - you could do this, you could to that, but neither test is really needed.

You already know your fan works, and you already know your ECTS works.

All you are testing now is, "does the PCM trigger the fan turn on, and does the fan receive the signal" - which can be done by either method, and is probably unnecessary (but does not hurt)

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Old 03-16-2018, 09:32 PM   #12
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Default Re: Cooling fan testing

You can also test the Cooling fan via aligator clips and test leads that are hooked up to a 9 Volt battery. If you are in a bit of a rush- at the least, you'll know that the fan is working.

Just hook up the aligator clips with test leads to the electrical connectors on the fan, then the other ends of the leads to the 9 Volt battery, and that will give you an indicator if the fan is working.

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Old 03-17-2018, 04:31 PM   #13
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Default Re: Cooling fan testing

I wouldn't worry until you have a boilover and the fan is still not coming on, then I'd replace the coolant res cap. My 2001 SL1 fan comes on just a little over the 1/2 way mark and boils over not much past that. It could also be that your ECTS is in fact bad and reporting inaccurate temps to the PCM and it takes unplugging the whole kit 'n caboodle before the PCM sees a prob with the temp the ECTS is reporting. Fan coming on from unplugging ECTS only tells you the fan is good, it doesn't tell you the ECTS is good. Since your SL is pre-2001 it's vital that you make sure your ECTS is the brass-tipped type and not the ceramic tip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post
I think the speed is 20 (maybe 40?) mph where the fan will not turn on as the fan does not push air that is faster at that point
I don't have any link or source so my guess is as good as your 20mph and Saturn Night's 70mph, but I believe I read it's 65mph that the PCM stops sending power to the cooling fan.

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