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Old 06-17-2018, 07:31 PM   #1
Sky Pilot
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Wagon
2008 SKY Red Line
Wrench Engine Heating Question

Last week my temp went up to 218 for 3 or 4 minutes. Some context, I was heading home, outside temp was about 78, I was on the toll road, a 6% grade for probably 5 miles, with the A/C on, speed was about 65, so when I hit the top I was at 218. I see it go up to 210 frequently going up the same grade, but this was the first time I've seen 218. I checked the oil and coolant levels this weekend, coolant was spot on, oil appeared to be right at the absolute full mark of the dipstick, maybe even a little high (unfortunately I didn't do the last oil change due to a stripped out torx plug).

So, the question is... is hitting 218 for a few minutes under the above circumstances a big concern?

Aside from that, I hope every dad out there had a happy father's day.

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Old 06-17-2018, 09:56 PM   #2
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Engine Heating Question

According to specs, both cooling fans should be on high speed when coolant went above 215F. Our cooling fans runs in one of three speeds.

L81

Low Speed
*Enabled if coolant temperature exceeds 96C (204F) or the A/C refrigerant pressure exceeds 1199 kPa (174 psi).
*Disabled if coolant temperature goes below 92C (198F) and A/C system pressure goes below 799 kPa (116 psi).

Medium Speed
*Enabled if coolant temperature exceeds 99C (210F) or the A/C refrigerant pressure exceeds 1695 kPa (246 psi).
*Back to Low speed if coolant temperature goes below 97C (207F) and A/C system pressure goes below 1399 kPa (203 psi).

High Speed
*Enabled if coolant temperature exceeds 102C (215F) or the A/C refrigerant pressure exceeds 2398 kPa (348 psi).
*Back to Medium speed if coolant temperature goes below 100C (212F) and A/C system pressure goes below 2198 kPa (319 psi).

Engine Coolant Indicators

Engine Coolant Temperature

The IPC illuminates the engine coolant temperature indicator when the body control module (BCM) determines that the coolant temperature is greater than 123C (253F). The BCM receives a class 2 message from the PCM indicating the coolant temperature. The BCM sends a message to the IPC via the class 2 requesting illumination.


As long as cooling fans turn on and coolant doesn't overheat, overflow from the coolant tank, this may be considered normal. Using ac doubles heat loads. The ac condenser coil is hot with airflow pushing hot air from condenser coil into the radiator. AC use always turns on cooling fans.

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Old 06-18-2018, 10:42 AM   #3
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Wagon
2008 SKY Red Line
Default Re: Engine Heating Question

Excellent info, thanks! So then will at least 1 fan come on when the AC is turned on?

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Old 06-18-2018, 02:13 PM   #4
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
2002 SL2
Default Re: Engine Heating Question

The fans on the L series consist of a "puller" fan and a "pusher" fan. One either side of the radiator.
My only comment would be to get it checked out either by yourself or by a mechanic.
With summer upon us and you being in a hot area, overheating can turn your car from a means of transport to a boat anchor.

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Old 06-18-2018, 02:57 PM   #5
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Wagon
2008 SKY Red Line
Default Re: Engine Heating Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by floridasl22002 View Post
The fans on the L series consist of a "puller" fan and a "pusher" fan. One either side of the radiator.
My only comment would be to get it checked out either by yourself or by a mechanic.
With summer upon us and you being in a hot area, overheating can turn your car from a means of transport to a boat anchor.
Interesting, so which is the AC fan, pusher (front) or puller (rear)?

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Old 06-18-2018, 03:37 PM   #6
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Default Re: Engine Heating Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky Pilot View Post
Excellent info, thanks! So then will at least 1 fan come on when the AC is turned on?
The fan control module (next to the battery) electronically wires each fan to run in a series or parallel circuit along with selecting resistors to vary fan speeds. Wired in series like two flashlight batteries, each fan loads the circuit, reducing the overall current to make both fans run slow. Medium speed has power applied to both fans equally but a resistor in each fan reduces power. High speed occurs with power applied to both fans equally without resistors. Medium and high speed fans are operated as parallel circuits, each fan receiving 12v battery power.

Cooling Fan Logic

The fans run together at three different voltage levels to create three speeds or stages:

*Low speed - both fans run in series - 6 volts each
*Medium speed - both fans run in parallel with a resistor in series - 9 volts each
*High speed - both fans run in series - 12 volts each

The cooling fan speed is based on coolant temperature or A/C system high side pressure.
The pusher fan is in front, puller fan behind radiator.

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Old 06-18-2018, 07:41 PM   #7
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Default Re: Engine Heating Question

Just arrived home from work, temp was about 206-ish, pulled into the garage, opened the hood, grabbed a flashlight and found both fans running. Couldn't tell whether they were running at low, medium or high, but both were running.

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Old 06-18-2018, 08:39 PM   #8
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Default Re: Engine Heating Question

I'm lazy and do not want to get out to listen for fans in hot and humid weather (and breaking out into a sweat) when the chances of high speed fan cooling is likely. I have found situations in ac weather when I'm in a parking lot, idling for a minute or so when circumstances are just right, high temps when high speed fans are heard switching on (radio off, blower on low or medium speed). How can I tell the difference? Once I hear the fans (all windows closed, in about a minute or less the fans suddenly quiet down. I suspect high speed fans were running for less than a minute, switching to medium speed (quieter) then switching back to high if I'm idling longer than a few minutes. If I idle long enough I'll hear this a few times. Since I don't idle in parking lots often, I was impressed with how fans cycle from (presumed medium speed to high and back). Low speed fans always runs as soon as ac is turned on.

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