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Old 08-10-2009, 07:09 PM   #1
papayamon2
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1996 SL2
Default Cooling fan keeps running

As of about a week ago, the cooling fan on my '96 sl2 wants to keep running even after the car is turned off. At first the problem was sporatic and, upon quickly starting and killing the engine, then shut off. For the past two days, it has happened much more frequently and takes more times of starting/stopping the engine (or just turning it to the "start" position) for the fan to shut off.

This morning I replaced the cooling fan relay, but to no avail. I replaced the ECTS with a brass tipped one from NAPA about 14 months ago when I rebuilt the engine--could it be bad already? Are there any other probable culprits to check?

Thanks!
Kevin

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Old 08-10-2009, 07:29 PM   #2
OldNuc
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Cooling fan keeps running

There are 2 likely possibilities for this. The FAN relay is sticking. Replace it with another relay and see if the problem disappears. The other possibility is that the ignition switch is not opening the circuit. That would mean replacing the switch, which is not the same part as the lock. As you have replaced the relay that leaves the switch. The easy (cheap) way to test this is to remove the lower steering column cover so you can disconnect the 8 pin plug from the back of the switch. It is on the right side of the column just behind the lock cylinder housing. When the fan decides to run just unplug it.

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Old 08-10-2009, 07:42 PM   #3
papayamon2
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Default Re: Cooling fan keeps running

As I said previously, I did replace the cooling fan relay this morning. The ignition switch, on the other hand, hadn't crossed my mind. I'll follow your directions and check that sometime tomorrow...

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Old 08-10-2009, 08:18 PM   #4
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Default Re: Cooling fan keeps running

If the switch is not completely shutting down then there should be other symptoms also. The fact that the fan will shut down when you cycle the key a couple of times tends to point at the switch its self.

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Old 08-10-2009, 09:45 PM   #5
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Default Re: Cooling fan keeps running

One more piece to the puzzle--my son, who drives it most often, says that the "squiggly radiator with thermometer light" has been on very often lately. I believe that's the coolant level sensor, correct? It has plenty of coolant, but could that sensor being bad cause the computer to think it needs to keep running the fan on shutdown? If that's the case, perhaps cycling the on/off switch simply resets it?

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Old 08-10-2009, 10:26 PM   #6
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Cooling fan keeps running

Ask him if it is on solid or blinking? Blinking is the level switch and solid is high temperature. If he says "solid" then ask "what was the temperature gauge reading?" There is no -after key off cool down function- but the ECTS could have failed or the connector is coroded. The PCM has to think its hot to turn on the fan and light unless he is running the A/C and then the fan is on with the A/C.

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Old 08-10-2009, 11:01 PM   #7
papayamon2
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Default Re: Cooling fan keeps running

Egads--I took a look and it was indeed low on coolant!!! I added a full gallon to bring it up to level, so it's no doubt been running hot, eh? Thus, the cooling fan being on... I guess that's a lesson for me on driving the car myself when something odd is going on. I did take it for a drive after adding coolant, and it seems like the engine runs fine, thank goodness!

So of course, the question now is where the coolant is leaking from. After a bit of inspection, it appears that the water pump has been weeping coolant ever so slightly. Hey, I needed something to do on my day off anyway, right? So now I have two questions: 1) Is it easier to go through the wheel well or work from the top, and 2) Do I put blue RTV on just the waterpump flange before setting the gasket (per Haynes), or put it on both the waterpump and the engine block before assembly with the gasket?

My, this thread has morphed a bit, hasn't it?

Thanks!

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Old 08-11-2009, 09:57 AM   #8
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Default Re: Cooling fan keeps running

On water pump replacement I think it is easiest to work from both the top and through the wheel well. Be sure to use a jack stand.

Try get your son involved in the replacement. Good bonding opportunity, he can learn some practical life skills, and it may help him learn to take better care of the car.

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Old 08-11-2009, 01:14 PM   #9
OldNuc
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Default Re: Cooling fan keeps running

You use the RTV to hold the preformed gasket on the pump flange. Getting the 3 bolts out of the pulley is not easy. Try real hard to not round them off. There is a richpin video on how to do it. You may have to remove the upper motor mount and lower the engine to get enough clearance.

That still leaves the issue of the fan running when the key is in off. You can simulate high temperature by unplugging the ECTS. If the ignition switch is defective then eventually it shorts the battery directly to ground through the wires along the column. This makes a major mess.

Probably lucky that it was a real low level. I would hazard a guess that you have mentioned to your heir that all of those colored lights are demanding immediate attention when they light up.

Last edited by OldNuc; 08-11-2009 at 01:26 PM..

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