Mechanics

COOLING FANS NOT TURNING ON W/O AC

2004 Pontiac Aztek • 6 cylinder FWD Automatic • 81,000 miles

I have a 2004 Pontiac Aztek that is running hot. It has yet to overheat (gauge in the red or dash warnings) but the dash gauge has been to the dot before the red zone more than once. It occurs mostly on hot days in traffic when it is stop and go. Extended highway driving seems to help it down some but will still fluctuate a bit. When I watch it in the driveway the temperature gauge keeps climbing but the cooling fans do not come on unless I turn on the AC. This is typically a wash on the temp gauge as the engine works harder but the fans are on. Thoughts on how to diagnose?
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Wgerbick
July 7, 2011.




Check and test the engine coolant temperature sensor/fan relays

Tiny
Rasmataz
Jul 7, 2011.
This is probably normal. The fans are not programmed co come on until about 227 degrees. That ma seem high but it's normal.

Wrenchtech
Jul 7, 2011.
Thanks for the information. Good places to start. Followup questions though.
- every other car I've seen once the car is up to operating temp the gauge doesn't move. Would it be normal for the gauge in the aztek to fluctuate between less than half and nearly overheating on a consistent basis.
- in the aztek what temperature do the notches on the gauge reference? Or is it arbitrary?
- is there a way to measure the engine temperature? Like with an infrared thermometer or something to that effect.

Thanks again and in advance.

Tiny
Wgerbick
Jul 8, 2011.
The dash gauge is not real reliable but the fluctuation could also mean air pockets in the system. The best way is to use a scan tool and see the exact digital temp that the computer is seeing and verify that with an infrared thermometer.
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Wrenchtech
Jul 8, 2011.

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