Radiator fan turns on intermittently

Tiny
SUPERACE362
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 FORD TAURUS
  • 3.0L
  • V6
  • RWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 200,000 MILES
Okay, I have a DOHC.

When I crank my car the radiator fan automatically comes on. It will stay on for three minutes, then it will turn off. Then obviously without the Radiator Fan on after that first three minutes. The hot hand begins to move up.

The odd part is when you turn on the air conditioner. It will kick the radiator fan on as well. So if you have the air conditioner on. You can ride around all day and the car will not run hot, but if you turn the air conditioner off. Then The radiator fan stays off as well then obviously the hot hand will start to climb.

Things I have checked:

Low Fan Speed Sensor Relay #24 (It Worked) - fuse panel under the hood.
High Fan Speed Sensor Relay #32 (It Worked) - fFuse panel under the hood.
Fan
Cooling fan fuse #9 (It was not blown, and looked to be in great shape).

Here is the manual for the 2001 Ford Taurus. I will post the link to it below this text if the site will allow me to. If you can scroll down to page 151 on that manual. I have checked relays #24 (low fan), #32 (high fan), and #9 which is a cooling fan relay 40 AMP fuse.

Link to the 2001 Ford Taurus owner's manual:

http://taurus-club.ru/manuals/2001%20Taurus%20Owners%20Guide.pdf

The fans will come on during the first three minutes or so of the car being cranked then turn off. Then turn on again when The air conditioner is turned on. I am not a mechanic. Probably would not classify as the shade tree variety, but the fans do come on at varying points. So that tells me that the fans are good. It is just something that controls the different speeds or something like that, because it is cutting off prematurely causing the hot hand to rise.

The car runs like a top other than that issue, and even in it is current condition will run all day long without any problem as long as you turn the A/C on. I even drove it today thirty minutes with the A/C off and as long as you are moving and wind is blowing under the car. The hot hand stays in the middle where it is supposed to. It is just sitting still at red lights, etc. if you do not have the A/C on then those radiator fans are not on and it will cause the hot hand to rise. It is Summer in two days here in Georgia. So running the A/C will definitely be happening the rest of this month, next month, August, and a good portion of September, and the car will not overheat. I would however like to get this issue fixed as soon as I can though.

I want to personally thank in advance whoever takes time out of their busy day to read over this problem and help provide me with a solution. Thanks and have a great day.

Also: My car is front wheel drive (FWD) not a rear wheel drive (RWD). Sorry for the mistake.
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Monday, June 19th, 2017 AT 3:18 PM

9 Replies

Tiny
CJ MEDEVAC
  • EXPERT
Someone else may pipe in with better information than I am providing.

Until then,

I have no experience with your issue.

I did go into "Prodemand" and found the cooling fan diagram for you (may help).

In order to get it, it took three screenshots.

They overlap, so no information is missing.

The first diagram stacks on top of the second and the second on top of the third (with some overlap.)

I hope this helps somehow.

The Medic
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Monday, June 19th, 2017 AT 4:35 PM
Tiny
SUPERACE362
  • MEMBER
Thank you for the wiring diagram. I have saved it to my computer in case I need it for future reference. I may have to see if some wire is directly causing the problem. From people I have been talking to who are varying in their degrees of "mechanic expertise". I have heard a couple of different suggestions such as: engine coolant temperature sensor ($17.99 part at a big box chain), temperature switch ($10.99 part at a big box chain). Which from my understanding (like I said is pretty limited when it comes to automobiles) look to be two prime culprits. I have also heard thermostat as well. When I get time to picking those parts up which should be tomorrow. I am going to start with what I think is the most likely culprit from what I have heard and read online. Though finding information online about this specific problem has been tiring to say the least, but maybe I can figure out a way to get it solved before too long.

Also, thank you for taking time out of your busy day to respond to me. It is greatly appreciated.
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Tuesday, June 20th, 2017 AT 12:45 PM
Tiny
CJ MEDEVAC
  • EXPERT
No problem,

Some of those switches might have their connector 'paper clipped' (things with two wires, one/off stuff) to bypass the actual switch, for a test to see if things work.

I reckon you noticed a third relay in the diagram.

Depending on your location and stores, this might help you a bunch, now and later.

Other folks may still jump in here with better information!

At the top of our site pages you will find "repair guides", they are sort of organized, there are many, it may be that several of them could be helpful to you.

The Medic
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Tuesday, June 20th, 2017 AT 2:03 PM
Tiny
SUPERACE362
  • MEMBER
I drove my car to a "Big Box Automotive Chain" ( I am not sure if I can name names of stores on here. So I will say Big-Box Automotive Chain. I drove my car to their store, and they do free testing. They hooked up an OBD-II Scanner to my car since they do automotive testing for free. A man that looked like he was in his early 20's who seemed pretty knowledgeable hooked it up to a port under my steering wheel, and The only code that my car was showing that was faulty was The Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor. So I purchased that part for $17.99. I haven't had a chance to put it on yet, but I am relieved that it is the only problem that the car is showing, but I try my best to keep it maintained as good as possible. So we will see either tomorrow or Thursday whether that is the fix.

I will try to report back on whether it is the fix or not, but by the OBD II Scanner. It was the only issue that showed up, and it was one of the culprits that I thought of during my extensive online search to try and figure out what this issue has been. I'll try not to leave anyone hanging, because I know I haven't found this exact issue online, and will try to pay it forward so no one has the same headache that I have had with trying to solve this problem.

I hope that the Engine Coolant Temperature Switch is the cure for the woes that my Taurus has been having. It certainly makes me feel better that the OBD II Scanner listed it as the only problem that is showing up that my car is having.

Also, I am going to buy a Haynes or Chilton repair manual for this car and my van. On most vehicles I own. I do wind up buying either of those repair guides, but time and not really thinking about it much. I haven't bought one yet for this one, and I know I need to, because they are great to have around as a reference repair guide.
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Tuesday, June 20th, 2017 AT 8:57 PM
Tiny
CJ MEDEVAC
  • EXPERT
Keep us posted!

The Medic
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Tuesday, June 20th, 2017 AT 9:07 PM
Tiny
SUPERACE362
  • MEMBER
I wanted to drive the car around a little while before coming back. It's been roughly 2 and a half weeks since my last post. The car is running fine in that time span, but the radiator fan only kicks on when I turn on the air conditioner. However, there has been no problem with the car trying to overheat even when I don't have the Air Conditioner on. Like I said in the earlier post. I will be running the Air Conditioner anyways this month (July), August, and September for the very least, because it gets hot, humid, and sticky here in Georgia.

For those wondering though and hopefully this will be of some help.

Right before I bought the part which turned out to be an Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor. 2 or 3 days before I bought the part and after I posted on here the last time. The Car started exhibiting some of these symptoms.

- The car began to idle strangely. RPMs would go below 800, then 600 and finally the car would stall out and die.

- Started not wanting to crank until after it sat for about 30 minutes and cooled off.

- Car begin to ride rough and couldn't handle hills well. Kind of like it would when you would need spark plugs.

- Hot hand would pretty quickly get past the halfway mark.

After I bought the Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor these problems went away and the car is running like a champ again. The only thing is like I said the Radiator Fan which used to come on the first 3 minutes or so when I would crank the car doesn't come on at all anymore unless I turn the Air Conditioner on. However, the car hasn't been running hot anymore, and the hot hand has stayed right in the middle where it has always stayed since I bought the car.

As of June 2017, The Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor cost $17.99, and on this model of 2001 Ford Taurus SE. It is located near the Thermostat on your car. It is a very simple 5-10 minute procedure that even someone who doesn't work on cars by trade or even hobby should be able to fix with no problem.

With newer cars, I believe I heard 1996 or newer. If you have a car that is 1996 or newer. Which I am sure almost everyone does these days. Most of the Big Box Automotive Chains can hook up an OBD-II Scanner to your car and it reads the codes to tell you what your issue is and most if not all do it Free Of Charge. When I went to one. The salesman hooked the scanner to a port under my steering wheel, and the only issue that it came back was that the Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor. So I bought that part for $17.99, installed it, and haven't had anymore of those problems I mentioned above, and the hot hand has been staying where it needs to.

Anyways, I thought I would report back in to keep my promise to not leave anyone hanging. I hope that whomever reads it finds it helpful, and maybe some how, some way I might have helped someone else along the way who might experience a similar issue. 2 1/2 weeks later after my last post The Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor seems to be the fix for the problem.
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Friday, July 7th, 2017 AT 9:00 AM
Tiny
CJ MEDEVAC
  • EXPERT
That's great that you have probably got it all figured out.

Many times you ask someone is their Check Engine Light on? Many times you get a response like, "It's been on forever from when my gas cap was loose/ or bad O2 sensor/ etc."

Well they don't seem to understand that there are Hundreds of codes BUT ONLY ONE LIGHT that can come on!

Even with the code you had (p0?) It could have been a loose connector/ broken wire/ etc. In most cases the code does not say "A Part Is Bad", It will say something in that circuit is wrong. (Yes, 'The Part' itself, could be one of the probabilities).

The Best Guess, EZ to replace, even sorta inexpensive, sometimes is the route many folks try first. Just not to get you excited if you have another code issue in the future, it might be one of the other possibilities and not the EZ/ Obvious parts mentioned in the code definition. The part may be expensive that you might wanna 'Throw At It". Sometimes some testing might be a way to narrow down the repair.

Getting/ Writing Down the exact Code Numbers (sometimes more than one will show up). There are different codes that may relate to same sorta issues, it is important to have the code number for a correct interpretation. This will serve you well if you need to post them here on 2carpros or look 'em up yourself. It's too late when you erase them or disconnect your battery and they are gone!

See-uns how it's unlikely you will buy pre-'96 vehicles anymore (I do!), It might serve you well to purchase an inexpensive scan tool (like Actron $50 or so, see Amazon/ EBAY too) they start out basic, just reading codes and advance on up from that.

It's kinda nice to be able to get your own codes especially if your vehicle is unable to drive to a Auto Parts Store for a free palm reading LOL! Surely this tool will help you in the future, it's not obsolete yet.

Having one can also aid your family and friends with one dead in the water or after the auto store is closed. Wanna recoup some of your scanner money? Charge a couple of bucks to hook up to their vehicle! When 'you' have the scan tool and others are ignorant, You immediately become "THE MAN!"

Glad you are probably fixed! Just trying to maybe prepare you for making future issues EZer on you!

The Medic
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Saturday, July 8th, 2017 AT 11:15 AM
Tiny
SUPERACE362
  • MEMBER
I am running a little low on cash at the moment, but I definitely need to buy somethings anyways for car repairs. Like Wrenches, Sockets, etc, because I lent them out and people just don't want to return borrowed tools. Like my dad used to always say you can't lend out tools or fishing poles or you won't see them again. I'll have some extra money to spend soon so when I buy some new tools, I will pick up a new OBDII Scanner as well.

As for older cars, I personally prefer them, but there are some of the modern conveniences that I do like on these newer cars that are built in. I do appreciate you having a place so people can come with their car troubles. I feel good about this fix. Hasn't given me any troubles since I put the Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor on.
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Saturday, July 8th, 2017 AT 11:31 AM
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
Please let us know what happens, we are interested to see what it is.

Cheers, Ken
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Monday, July 10th, 2017 AT 11:13 AM

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