: Which sensor(s) control the cooling fans?



catera00
09-17-09, 11:55 AM
My fans usually start up when my temp gauge gets to one line above the halfway mark. But sometimes it doesnt kick in till it gets in the red. I know there are 2 sensors in the radiator. Are the sensors in the radiator solely responsible for turning those fans on? (Not including the A/C).

It also seems like there are 2 conditions that make the fans turn on. 1. when the temp gets above half way (This is when mine arent starting for some reason) and 2. when the temp reaches the red zone.

I'm just trying ti understand the system so I can figure out which component is malfunctioning. Thanks guys. Also, could a mechanic plug the car in and tell if the fans are turning on at the right times and figure out which part isnt working?

catera00
09-17-09, 04:56 PM
actually scratch that. I know its the sensors on the drivers side of the radiator. But now I need to order one and I need to make sure I get the correct part. Theres one on top just below the top radiator hose, and theres one under that one, close to the bottom of the rad. Does anyone know which one controls the fans for lower temps?

It was explained to me that one sensor starts the fans when the temp goes a little over operating temp.
And the other turns them on when you reach overheating levels.

Heres a long description I found on how this all works in case someone needs it:



The engine cooling system consists of one engine coolant fan, two auxiliary coolant fans (#1 and #2), two temperature switches (primary cooling fan temperature switch and secondary cooling fan temperature switch), one ARC compressor refrigerant pressure switch, one ECM cooling blower, one timing control pump, one auxiliary water pump, seven fan control relays and one engine coolant fan resistor.

These components operate as follows. B+ is supplied to the auxiliary water pump whenever the ignition switch is in the ON position. At 100C (212F), the primary cooling fan temperature switch stage 1 will close, enabling the ECM relay K48 and the fan control relay K26 to energize. When the ECM relay K48 energizes, B+ is applied to the ECM cooling blower allowing it to operate. When the fan control relay K26 energizes, B+ from fuse #52 is applied to the auxiliary coolant fan #1 and to thew auxiliary fan #2 through the normally open contacts of the fan control relay K52. This will cause the auxiliary coolant fans (#1 and #2) to operate in series at half speed. The fan control relay K26 will also supply B+ to the engine coolant fan after it goes through the engine coolant fan resistor. The engine coolant fan resistor will cause the engine coolant fan to operate at half speed. The fan control relay K26 will supply B+ to the timing control pump through the normally closed contacts of the auxiliary water pump relay K22. This will allow the timing control pump to operate. The primary cooling fan temperature switch stage 1 contacts will open when the coolant temperature reaches 95-C (203 -F). This will turn all three fans, the ECM cooling blower, and the timing control pump OFF, unless the air conditioning system is ON.

If the ignition switch is in the OFF position and the coolant temperature is above 100C (212F) , both of the auxiliary engine coolant fans (#1 and #2), the engine coolant fan, and the timing control pump will remain ON until the coolant temperature drops below 95C (203F) .

If the temperature reaches 105C (221F) , the secondary cooling fan temperature switch contacts will close enabling the fan control relays K52 and K28 to energize. When the fan control relay K52 energizes, the auxiliary engine coolant fan #1 will go to full speed because it is no longer in series with the auxiliary engine coolant fan #2. When the fan control relay K28 is energized, Be from fuse #40 will allow the auxiliary engine coolant fan d2 to go to toll speed. With the stage l contacts of the primary cooling fan temperature switch closed, the ECM cooling blower, the timing control pump, and the engine coolant fan will continue to operate.

The secondary cooling fan temperature switch contacts will open when the coolant temperature reaches 100C (212F) . This will cause the operation of the auxiliary engine coolant fans (#1 and #2) to operate differently as the primary cooling fan temperature switch designates.

If the coolant temperature reaches 110C (230F) , the secondary cooling fan temperature switch stage 2 will close enabling the fan control relay K67 to energize. When the fan control relay K67 energizes, B+ from fuse #42 will be applied to the engine coolant fan directly. This will cause the engine coolant fan to operate at full speed. All the other operations that were taking place before the coolant temperature reached 110C (230F) will remain in effect. The primary cooling fan temperature switch stage 2 contacts will open when the coolant temperature reaches 105C (221F) and the engine coolant fan will return to half speed.

At coolant temperatures above approximately 110C (230F) , all three coolant fans are operating at full speed. The ECM cooling blower, the timing control pump, and the auxiliary water pump are also operating. Only six of the seven relays operate at this time, unless the air conditioning system is turned ON. In this case, the fan control relay K87 and the A/C compressor relay K60 will also operate.

To prevent inadmissible high refrigerant pressure in the refrigerant circuit, the auxiliary engine coolant fans (#1 and #2) are switched from the first speed to the second speed at refrigerant pressures above approximately 1,900 kPa (275 PSI) . When the pressure drops below approximately 1,500 kPa (217 PSI) , the auxiliary engine coolant fans (#-1 and #2) are switched back to the first speed.

Read more: http://www.justanswer.com/questions/28083-97-catera-driver-side-c-fan-not#ixzz0ROqnKJOa

commtech
11-30-09, 04:08 PM
So did you ever find out which sensor is the primary and which is the secondary?

Karl M.

catera00
12-01-09, 02:15 PM
I believe the upper sensor on the radiator is the low speed and the lower was high speed. (I might have those backwards. Sorry, its been a while since I tested it.) But you can bridge each connector with a paper clip like I did and determine which is which by listening to the speed of the fan. I dint remember which pins in the connector it was to bridge but it wont short anything out if you poke around with the paper clip till you find the right combo to turn the fans on. Thats what I did. No sparks! ha. I havent resolved my issue yet. Since its winter I dont use the A/C so my car doesnt overheat these days. I replaced the battery and things seem ok but we'll see next summer I guess