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2001 SL1 Radiator Fan Not Working

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  #1  
Old 07-28-2009, 12:06 AM
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Default 2001 SL1 Radiator Fan Not Working

My radiator fan quit working so when I stop for a few minutes, such as a red light, the temp. goes into the red zone. I have a 2001 SL1.

I popped the hood and noticed that the fan is not working. Do I just need to install a new relay, or will I likely need a new motor or fan? Thanks for any help with this.
 
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  #2  
Old 07-28-2009, 12:20 AM
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I forgot to mention: the a/c is starting to go out too; it blows cold for a few minutes and will then get warmer, and goes back and forth. I have heard that the fan in Saturns are connected with the A/c in some way. In this case, I'm wondering if the fan is good but the A/C might be causing the problem?
 
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Old 07-28-2009, 06:13 AM
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Your A/C behavior and heating up at stops are fully consistent with the fan motor not operating at all.

Indeed, the fan is designed to kick in when the A/C is turned on and should be running whenever the A/C is running. This helps cool the condenser when the car is stationary, thus keeping the A/C air cool when the car's not moving. Same goes for the radiator if the engine gets hot enough, thus explaining your heating up at stop lights without the fan kicking in to cool things back down (fan should kick in at 3/4 tick)

So the fan is not kicking on when it should (at all). The question is why not....

Normally I would start with replacing the ECTS which measures coolant temp but since yours does read right into the red zone it appears functional in the right ways.

Next to check is the relay. Swap it with the identical one next to it (the A/C relay, which we know is good since the A/C kicks in) in the underhood fuse box. Try to turn on the A/C. IF the A/C comes on, then we know the cooling fan relay itself is good, since it operates in the A/C relay slot just fine. If the A/C doesn't come on, then the cooling fan relay was bad and needs replacing.

Another quick test is to disconnect the connector at the fan and briefly wire the terminals straight to the battery (and ground) just long enough to see if the fan spins. If it does not, the fan motor is bad.

It is possible but unlikely that the relay AND fan motor are both bad --- so diagnose in the order listed above......(relay, then fan motor)
 

Last edited by derf; 07-28-2009 at 06:16 AM.
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Old 07-28-2009, 03:31 PM
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Quick -- clean -- concise -- correct.

Derf, you are the Master .......
 
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  #5  
Old 07-30-2009, 12:52 AM
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Default Thanks, Derf!

Thanks a lot, Derf! Your advice was right on target, and I don't think anyone could have put it more clearly! You saved me about $250. It was the fan which I bought for $40 and was able to install in about 2 hours. I'm new to doing my own car work so most people could probably do it in a few minutes.

I found this video on youtube, but there was no way I could take out the fan in 5 minutes :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-FQjlPrqrc
 
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  #6  
Old 07-30-2009, 03:44 AM
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Always glad to help.
Welcome back to the land of the fanned.....

(Thanks for the props, OA....)
 
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  #7  
Old 06-04-2014, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by derf View Post
Your A/C behavior and heating up at stops are fully consistent with the fan motor not operating at all.

Indeed, the fan is designed to kick in when the A/C is turned on and should be running whenever the A/C is running. This helps cool the condenser when the car is stationary, thus keeping the A/C air cool when the car's not moving. Same goes for the radiator if the engine gets hot enough, thus explaining your heating up at stop lights without the fan kicking in to cool things back down (fan should kick in at 3/4 tick)

So the fan is not kicking on when it should (at all). The question is why not....

Normally I would start with replacing the ECTS which measures coolant temp but since yours does read right into the red zone it appears functional in the right ways.

Next to check is the relay. Swap it with the identical one next to it (the A/C relay, which we know is good since the A/C kicks in) in the underhood fuse box. Try to turn on the A/C. IF the A/C comes on, then we know the cooling fan relay itself is good, since it operates in the A/C relay slot just fine. If the A/C doesn't come on, then the cooling fan relay was bad and needs replacing.

Another quick test is to disconnect the connector at the fan and briefly wire the terminals straight to the battery (and ground) just long enough to see if the fan spins. If it does not, the fan motor is bad.

It is possible but unlikely that the relay AND fan motor are both bad --- so diagnose in the order listed above......(relay, then fan motor)
I have done all this and my fan still does not kick on at all. What should i do now? My thought was to just rig it up to a small switch and the battery so i can just flip it on when ever i get in my car. Yes or no? any help would be awesome and greatly appreciated. Thank you!
 
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Old 06-04-2014, 08:24 PM
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What was the result when you wired the fan directly to the battery terminals?
Fan works or doesn't work?
 
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  #9  
Old 06-04-2014, 08:26 PM
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It worked fine, but replacing the relay and the motor with it hooked up the correct way it doesn't work, so i am assuming some sort of short or torn wire somewhere in there.
 
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  #10  
Old 06-04-2014, 08:31 PM
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does your A/C engage the A/C clutch when turned on?
Does the system blow cold air?
 
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