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Old 01-14-2008, 03:14 PM   #1
Zeroherokid
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Default Radiator Cooling Fan not working

I'll make it brief (I'm at work right now):
95 SL2, about 148K mi. While waiting in the drive-thru at McD's temp gauge gets to 3/4. I hit the A/C button to start the cooling fan. Nothing happens. When I got home I let it idle to heat up to see if it would start on its own. NOthing.
I did a search and got some good info. Here's what I've done so far.
1) Checked fuse. Looked OK but who knows? I changed it.
2) Switched AC and fan relay. No change. What the heck, I put in a new relay.
3) Fan runs with the paper clip (like when doing a diagnostic) so fan motor is OK.
4) I checked ETCS. It is only about 1yr old but it is the resin tip. Looked OK but I replaced it with the brass tip. Connector is nice and clean. No change.
5) I don't think I hear the AC clutch engage. I checked all the AC HVAC fuses. They look OK.

What's my next step to diagnose the problem? I ghetto rigged a manual fan switch for now (thanks to the How-to) but that's just a work around.

Thanks for the replies in advance. I may not be able to check back here for a while.

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Old 01-14-2008, 03:24 PM   #2
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Default Re: Radiator Cooling Fan not working

What's the temperature there? I'll bet it's below 45 deg F. The A/C won't engage at that temp and it won't turn on the fan.

On a '95 the fan won't come on until the gauge is a little over 3/4. If you aren't getting there, don't expect the fan. It's possible your thermostat is stuck open.

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Old 01-14-2008, 03:26 PM   #3
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Default Re: Radiator Cooling Fan not working

could just crank the heat for the 5 minutes ur in line...that'd cool it down

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Old 01-14-2008, 03:51 PM   #4
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Default Re: Radiator Cooling Fan not working

Sorry, I should have mentioned that I live in Southern Calif... a freezing 75 degrees right now.

I also know about the seemingly high temp these S-series run. Thermostat is about a yr old.

Yeah, I blasted the heater at high with all the windows open while I was waiting in line for my burger.

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Old 01-14-2008, 04:04 PM   #5
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Default Re: Radiator Cooling Fan not working

If the fan is going on when you jumper the ALDL terminals, that means the fuse and relay are good. Only thing left is the ECTS and/or connector.

When you did the A/C test, did the compressor engage?

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Old 01-14-2008, 07:38 PM   #6
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Default Re: Radiator Cooling Fan not working

Quote:
Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
When you did the A/C test, did the compressor engage?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeroherokid
5) I don't think I hear the AC clutch engage. I checked all the AC HVAC fuses. They look OK.
If there is any thing with the airconditioner system that prevents the compressor from engaging, such as low refrigerant, then the fan will not come on as a result of an airconditioner command. The airconditioner system has a low pressure switch on the drivers side next to the battery and underhood fuse/relay box. You can remove the connector on that switch and jump it with the air cond switches on. Do this ONLY for a second. Long enough to see if the airconditioner compressor engages. If it does, you should also see the radiator fan come on. If all this works, I'd say everything is working except that you may need to get the A/C serviced.

As already stated, if the fan comes on with the ASDL jumped in the diagnosis mode, then you know the fan itself and it's controls are working. The exception is as madpogue said, the ECTS or its connector but you said you have checked/changed that.

As Barnowl said, the 95's would not normall turn the fan on untill the temp gauge was over 3/4. If it isn't in the red, it isn't overheated.

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Old 01-14-2008, 08:08 PM   #7
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Default Re: Radiator Cooling Fan not working

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky King View Post
The airconditioner system has a low pressure switch on the drivers side next to the battery and underhood fuse/relay box. You can remove the connector on that switch and jump it with the air cond switches on. Do this ONLY for a second. Long enough to see if the airconditioner compressor engages.
What does this switch look like? (pics anyone?) Would a loose connector cause this problem since AC was working perfectly prior to this. I would think that low refrigerant would come on gradually with a noticible decrease in cooling. I might have knocked something loose while fiddling around that side of the engine when I replaced the battery a few days ago. I'll have to check once I get off of work.

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Old 01-14-2008, 11:51 PM   #8
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Default Re: Radiator Cooling Fan not working

Look at the A/C line up by the battery. You can't miss the switch. If the connector's off, you found the problem.

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Old 01-16-2008, 05:31 PM   #9
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Default Re: Radiator Cooling Fan not working

OK, I found the switch connector. Everything is tight. I tried jumping the switch per Sky King's suggestion, and yes, the AC clutch does engage and fan goes on. So, maybe low pressure? Maybe something else?

A few questions:
1) Even if the AC isn't working, shouldn't the fan go on when the temp gauge goes high? Mine usually goes on at a hair past 3/4. It's now in the red and the fan does not go on.
2)If I want to add refrigerant, how does one do that if the clutch doesn't engage the compressor? Jump the switch? Is adding refrigerant futile at this point since pressure that low probably needs professional work.
3) I get an SES light when I use the manual fan switch (code 26, i think). Is that normal in OBD1? I know it happens with OBD2. Is this pointing to yet another problem?

Thanks again to everyone. This forum and members are awesome!

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Old 01-16-2008, 05:51 PM   #10
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Default Re: Radiator Cooling Fan not working

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeroherokid View Post
OK, I found the switch connector. Everything is tight. I tried jumping the switch per Sky King's suggestion, and yes, the AC clutch does engage and fan goes on. So, maybe low pressure? Maybe something else?

A few questions:
1) Even if the AC isn't working, shouldn't the fan go on when the temp gauge goes high? Mine usually goes on at a hair past 3/4. It's now in the red and the fan does not go on.
2)If I want to add refrigerant, how does one do that if the clutch doesn't engage the compressor? Jump the switch? Is adding refrigerant futile at this point since pressure that low probably needs professional work.
3) I get an SES light when I use the manual fan switch (code 26, i think). Is that normal in OBD1? I know it happens with OBD2. Is this pointing to yet another problem?

Thanks again to everyone. This forum and members are awesome!
Yes the fan should go on at about 3/4 on the temp gauge.
You changed the ECTS but not the connector.....mine at first glance looked ok and it was nice and clean when I was done...I wound up having to switch it out anyway and that solved my problems
It is normal to get an SES light when you use the manual fan switch

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Old 01-16-2008, 05:57 PM   #11
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Default Re: Radiator Cooling Fan not working

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeroherokid View Post
1) Even if the AC isn't working, shouldn't the fan go on when the temp gauge goes high? Mine usually goes on at a hair past 3/4. It's now in the red and the fan does not go on.
That's a good indicator of a bad ECTS. Your car actually has 2 coolant temperature sensors. One for the gauge one for the PCM. The one you want to replace is the one for the PCM. It's the one with two wires going to it. Are you sure you checked the right one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeroherokid View Post
2)If I want to add refrigerant, how does one do that if the clutch doesn't engage the compressor? Jump the switch? Is adding refrigerant futile at this point since pressure that low probably needs professional work.
I'll let fdryer answer this one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeroherokid View Post
3) I get an SES light when I use the manual fan switch (code 26, i think). Is that normal in OBD1? I know it happens with OBD2. Is this pointing to yet another problem?
No that happens. There was a post a while back from Low Saturn that showed how to do it without turning on the light.

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Old 01-16-2008, 10:53 PM   #12
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Default Re: Radiator Cooling Fan not working

Quote:
Originally Posted by BarnOwl View Post
That's a good indicator of a bad ECTS. Your car actually has 2 coolant temperature sensors. One for the gauge one for the PCM. The one you want to replace is the one for the PCM. It's the one with two wires going to it. Are you sure you checked the right one?
.
Exactly. 95 and older have two sensors. The one for your temp gauge can be good, giving good temp gauge indication but the one to the PCM is the one that has controls fan operation due to temp.

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Old 01-16-2008, 11:51 PM   #13
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Default Re: Radiator Cooling Fan not working

To sum things up, you've checked the fan and fan relay circuit twice with the same results, the fan works, period. You checked it by the paper clip method and by shorting the compressor low pressure switch. What you may not know is that the engine coolant temperature sensor (ECTS), when its brass and the two-wire connector are electrically conducting properly, sends the temperature data signals directly to the PCM that in turn powers up the cooling fan when the interpreted data signals matches what we know as approximately 220F., as posted by Sky King. A bad combination of a good or bad coolant sensor and corroded connector will skew the signal data connected to the PCM. In other words, the one-wire coolant sensor and connector that tells you the coolant temperature from the dash gauge is not the two-wire coolant sensor with the wiring going to the PCM. This oddity was corrected around '98(?) using only one sensor for the gauge and the PCM. The one wire sensor isn't affected by coolant and works fine to display the coolant temps but the two-wire one causes all sorts of mayhem. The two-wire connector may seem clean but it must be noted that the signals sent to the PCM are very low, between 0.1-4.9 VDC. Any resistance such as unseen corrosion in the connector that skews the signal data to the PCM can be interpreted as the PCM 'seeing' a colder engine coolant than compared to the temperature display. What you're seeing, the temperature needle in the RED but no cooling fan powered up. Clean the two-wire connector thoroughly or replace it if in doubt.

Please don't try tackling two separate problems that you have, the cooling fan dilemma and the lack of a/c. The a/c not running presently, in plain language, is due to a leak in the system that the low pressure switch detected as too low to continue operating the compressor without damaging it from lack of compressor oil lubrication. Refrigerant distributes compressor lubricating oil throughout the system, ultimately finding its way back to the compressor to lubricate the compressor moving parts. No refrigerant to move the oil would result in the compressor running dry possibly ruining it, requiring an expensive repair. The low pressure switch detecting the lack of refrigerant opens the clutch circuit preventing the compressor from running. Finding and repairing the source of the leak is crucial to returning the a/c back to normal operation. Read the following link to have a better idea of what you're up against; http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=80107

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Old 01-17-2008, 12:43 AM   #14
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Default Re: Radiator Cooling Fan not working

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
This oddity was corrected around '98(?) using only one sensor for the gauge and the PCM.
96 actually

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Old 01-17-2008, 01:17 AM   #15
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Tks p-d-y!

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