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Guest Message by DevFuse
 

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Question about electric radiator fans...


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10 replies to this topic

#1 Atomic Robot

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Posted 19 January 2004 - 12:30 PM

Relating to my recent problem of smelling coolant:

It's been really cold recently, but I'm wondering when the electric fans are supposed to kick in. I've been opening the hood a lot recently, trying to track down the source of the smell and realized yesterday that I've NEVER seen the fans operating. If they were on, there would probably be enough air movement to dissipate the coolant odor.

Should they be going on with the engine at operating temp, or would the outside cold keep them from activating?

If they should be operating, then maybe I've got a blown fuse- anybody know which one to check?

#2 99obw

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Posted 19 January 2004 - 12:36 PM

The coolant needs to be pretty darn warm to turn the fans on. Let the engine idle for a while with the heat off. The fans should turn on. Keep an close eye on the temp in case they don't work.

#3 Atomic Robot

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Posted 19 January 2004 - 01:20 PM

Thanks, I'll give that a shot.

Maybe I'll turn the heat off a few miles from home when I leave work today and have a look.

Anybody know which fuse to look at, just in case?

#4 99obw

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Posted 19 January 2004 - 01:24 PM

I doubt turning off the heat while driving will cause the fans to turn on, too much air blowing across the radiator.

#5 frag

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Posted 19 January 2004 - 01:57 PM

LIke 99obw said, if your cooling system (rad, stat, poump, etc.) is in good shape, these fans should'nt come on unless the temp is coming close to overheating. In normal circumstances this will happen only if the car is not moving and the engine has been idling for some time.
In my case it usually happens when the engine is idling at a stop light during the summer.

#6 Atomic Robot

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Posted 19 January 2004 - 01:59 PM

Yup, you're right.

Guess I'll just let it run a while in the driveway when I get home and see what happens...

#7 Legacy777

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Posted 19 January 2004 - 03:19 PM

fans kick on around 190-200 deg F I believe, or so they do on my car.

Turn on your A/C or defrost. That will kick the fans on regardless of temp. But yeah if it's super cold, I wouldn't expect the fans to be on much, if at all. Subaru cooling systems are very robust.

#8 Atomic Robot

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Posted 19 January 2004 - 03:41 PM

Thanks Legacy- I'll do that to see if they're working.

I'm guess I'm kind of "grabbing at straws" here since the system pressure tested OK and the coolant level stays the same, I can't figure out why I'd be smelling anything. I notice it mostly at stops, so I thought that maybe the fans weren't moving the air. Can't think of anything else to do at this point... :(

#9 rallynutdon

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Posted 19 January 2004 - 03:44 PM

I'm in my garage yesterday, temp inside is about 45 degrees and I'm working on my cooling system (91 Legacy, radiator tank had a pin hole). Brought the car up to temp twice and left on high idle (screwdriver jamed in throttle linakge). Fans never turned on. That's normal in that circumstance.

#10 subyroo

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Posted 21 January 2004 - 06:30 AM

Originally posted by Atomic Robot
Relating to my recent problem of smelling coolant:

It's been really cold recently, but I'm wondering when the electric fans are supposed to kick in. I've been opening the hood a lot recently, trying to track down the source of the smell and realized yesterday that I've NEVER seen the fans operating. If they were on, there would probably be enough air movement to dissipate the coolant odor.

Should they be going on with the engine at operating temp, or would the outside cold keep them from activating?

If they should be operating, then maybe I've got a blown fuse- anybody know which one to check?


Re red text above:
I don't mean to sound rude or abusive here matey, but RTM, Manufacturers put it in the car for you to familiarise yourself with the car and it's workings, it has a layout of the fusebox in it.
That is such a lame/lazy question IMHO, especially for somebody onto their 2nd Subaru (re Signature).

#11 Atomic Robot

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Posted 21 January 2004 - 08:53 AM

Originally posted by subyroo
Re red text above:
I don't mean to sound rude or abusive here matey, but RTM, Manufacturers put it in the car for you to familiarise yourself with the car and it's workings, it has a layout of the fusebox in it.
That is such a lame/lazy question IMHO, especially for somebody onto their 2nd Subaru (re Signature).



Wow.

I'm at a loss for words...

Let me explain why I posted this lame/lazy question...

Sometimes, I post during downtime at work and the responses come before I can even get outside to look at the car. There are so many helpful and knowlegable people on the USMB that I figured somebody might just know the answer off the top of their head and shoot me a response.




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