Need Help Bad Fan Belt Not spinning?

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  #1  
Old 07-27-09, 12:14 PM
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Need Help Bad Fan Belt Not spinning?

Hello: I dont know if this has anything to do with it or not but I had my 1991 Plymouth acclaim (2.5) in the shop last month for a water pump replacement.
Today for the first time (that I noticed it) that my car engine was really hot under the hood, so i looked at the Fan belt and it was not moving, I just had all the belts replaced when the put the water pump in.
my question is, could they have disconnect something on the fan belt to work on the water pump replacement and forgot to plug it back in, like a fan motor lead"? If so where is it located?
Also if it is somekind of fan motor where is that located and can I replace it myself? Im a senior citizen on low income and could really use the help, Thank You
 
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Old 07-27-09, 02:29 PM
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It is possible the belt has slipped off the idler, or as you said they didn't put it back very well. The fan belt must move with the motor running or you will not only over heat, you will kill your battery and won't have power steering. Take it back to the place that did the work on the water pump and have them correct it.
 
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Old 07-27-09, 03:56 PM
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There is no "fan belt". From reading your post, it sounds like you may not know why the fan was not turning, and presumed it had to be a belt. The fan motor is electric.

These 91 cars can have problems with an air pocket getting where the thermostat is. And when this happens, it gives false information to the temperature sending unit that sends temp to computer to tell the electric fan to come on.

It is entirely possible that when that happens, the engine is getting hot at the other water temperature gauge(the one that sends the signal to your dashboard temp gauge), and yet the to-computer sending unit temperature gauge does not think it is hot due to the air pocket or bubble surrounding it.

These cars are also notorious for blowing head gaskets. And when that happens, combustion air is sent into the cooling system under pressure(it is not normally supposed to do that!) and this air can get trapped by the sending unit and thermostat area.

You can suspect such a problem if you notice bubbles in the coolant in the reservioir, even right after you start up the car.

Also, another tell tale sign if the head gasket has gone out is if the coolant in the reservoir never gets higher in the reservoir when the engine gets warm, and never lowers when the engine cools down, and has been setting, say overnight.

Some people simply check the reservoir to see if the radiator presumably has coolant in it. They can erroneously suppose that since there is coolant in the reservoir, that the radiator also must be filled all the way to the top. Not necessarily so.

With the engine cool, undo the radiator cap. Is it right up to the tippy top inside? If not, top it off - wait a few seconds til it gurgles on down - then add more, etc., til it stays up to the very top. And then, after you drive the car that day -then check it again in the same way the next day. If you have to keep adding, you have a problem.

Besides a blown headgasket as the cause, any kind of leak where the coolant can escape, can cause not only the coolant to leak out, but cause it so that coolant is not drawn out of the reservoir back into the engine. But if you observe that bubbling in the reservoir, especially right after you start it up, it most likely is the head gasket. If the engine has to warm way up and then bubbles can be seen popping in the reservoir, then you also have to rule out a weak radiator cap.
 
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Old 07-27-09, 04:16 PM
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ok, There are no bubbles in the reservoir and it was filled up a little more when it was hot and it does go down when cooled over night.
I had new head gaskets put on a couple of years ago and its been running like a top ever since. Also had a new thermostate put in and everything flushed out with new antifreeze.
I talked to my mechanic and he said what I am experiencing is Normal. It is a real hot day here in phila. now and he said when you do alot of short trips (starting and stopping) the heat can build up under the hood and alot of people dont notice it.
He said to take it on a long trip (I usually take it to delaware) and the fan will then kick in and the motor will not get as hot, like it does on short one.
I hope he is right, I may be going to delaware in another week!
 
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Old 07-27-09, 05:12 PM
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Make sure that fan kicks on at least when the gauge reads half-way!! Do not believe someone to say it is normal for engine to be hot (albeit this is entirely subjective as to what that person is refering to/talking about exactly).

I have experience with these very cars! (a 91 Spirit and then a 90 Spirit, that I have now). I know the gauge behavior. Going down the highway you can expect the gauge to be between about 1/4 and half. And in town, for the temp to climb to about 1/2, because the fan comes on about then. If it climbs and stays above halfway, suspect possible air trapped at thermostat area. If it runs hot down highway, you could even have limed up radiator like my 91 Spirit that I cut open after I removed it, to see) or could be out of whack sendind unit or fan relay also.

But the bottom line is, do not let that engine get hot. Otherwise, you may blow another head gasket!
 
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Old 07-27-09, 05:25 PM
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You're right, of course, Ec . I was referring loosely to the "fan" belt. I should have said "equipment running belt" or something like that. If the belt to the water pump is not turning, there is a problem there. Agree? It was my understanding the belt was not turning. Think the OP was referring to the fan itself?
 
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Old 07-27-09, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by chandler View Post
. Think the OP was referring to the fan itself?
Yes. After reading his Op several times, I came to that conclusion. The talk near the end about the fan motor - and then the senior citizen part, is what leads me to believe this way. Maybe he is not all that much up on newer cars, and still remembers how fans were belt driven. And he looked down by the fan and saw it was not going and thought the belt to the fan must not be going, even though some other belt down there might be going.

Maybe?
 
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Old 07-27-09, 06:29 PM
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UNCLEDIEZELS PET PEEVES ENTRY 27....

Never , Ever, judge an overheating problem based on underhood Temperatures, or "How Long you can keep your hand on the radiator hose before it burns you".

All jokes aside....Your mechanic is on the money, with his description of electric fans.....And yes, on a hot day... it WILL get hotter under the hood.....Especially with the A/c on....

The Fan Belt "Confusion" , coupled with the fact that you mentioned "Senior Citizen" Leads me to believe that you havent had this car that long, and you are "USED" to the old days . Im not going to have the Modern Versus Classic technology debate, Because I will obviously LOSE, but things have changed drastically in the last 20 years, and There is No Chance of things getting back to the SIMPLE OLD STUFF...The problem with the PRE Millenium 4 cylinders, was just what you describe....They generate incredible amounts of heat, and the engineers never came up with a way to turn that into something good. Having said that... You own the last of a dying breed, and it will keep you very happy for years to come if you treat it right.
 
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Old 07-28-09, 01:06 AM
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In my original statement I mistakenly said Fan Belt, I meant to say just the Radiator fan (the one behind the center of the grill) and you guys are right I am thinking from back when the fan moved as soon as you turn on the engine (old fashion I know)!
Here is one problem that arose about a year ago, I dont know if it has anything to do with my problem, but I had it checked out and after testing, and putting in two new different thermostates, the gauge still bounces all over the place, then settles down and starts up again, it goes up to very near the hottest point and the goes back down to normal.
The Engine did NOT get real hot before on a long trip even with this thermostate acting that way and the Radiator is not over heating. The mechanic said they tried pressure tests etc and could fined nothing wrong. Does this gauge have a sensor that could be bad and could this be causing anything,can I put one in myself? Remember the antifreeze is NOT boiling, not losing any either!
what do you guys think?
 
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Old 07-28-09, 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by tomtom59 View Post
Here is one problem that arose about a year ago, I dont know if it has anything to do with my problem, but I had it checked out and after testing, and putting in two new different thermostates, the gauge still bounces all over the place, then settles down and starts up again, it goes up to very near the hottest point and the goes back down to normal.
My 4 cylinder van did that when the head gasket went, either as cause or symptom. I am experienced at blown head gaskets(several times over), unfortunately, , with these newer engines with the dissimilar metal heads.

Unc will probably weigh in.

I wish to apologize to Chandler in the sense that my last post was not meant as a way to say 'I am right about fan belts and you were wrong'. I know that you know what belts do on cars. I have read many of your posts in the cars and trucks forums to know that you know what you are talking about with vehicles. I just jumped in quickly, with a hunch. I also should have askled tomtom if he saw any belt turning on the left side of the engine. That would have erased all doubt.
 
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Old 07-28-09, 08:07 AM
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Ok, Im starting to think, I may have jumped the gun on this, it may not be a problem after all as far as the car engine getting hot in this very hot weather we are having as you guys mentioned too. I was told by others too, that short trips in the heat will not turn on the fan (like in the old days lol) the fan ran as soon as you started the car, I guess I could not get that out of my head to think straight.
I went thru a list with my mechanic, first, the anti freeze was not boiling, and I was not loosing any either. Also, the heater worked good but my air conditioner doesnt work (needs a compressor). next the fan is not suppose to kick in (I believe he said) til a certain temp is reached or I am on a long straight away!
He said I probably need a sensor, but it wont hurt anything if I dont get it right away as long as everything is working ok.
So I will be taking it on a long trip (around 50 miles) this weekend and will see how it is when I reach (or if) LOL I reach my destination.
Meanwhile I will keep my AAA card handy just incase!
I will let you all know how it turns out. Thank You
 
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Old 07-28-09, 12:53 PM
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Long trip 50 miles? Not in my world. I drive that much or more for work most days. It may be possible that you need another fan, but do not quote me on it since I have no clue how many miles your car has and there are differences between foreign and American cars.
 
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Old 07-28-09, 02:00 PM
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Ecman, you were 100% correct. No apology necessary, absolutely. I drew a picture in my mind of a newly installed water pump with the belt not turning it, and just made a reference to a "fan" belt. Obviously electric fans are the thing, now, so that's just one less thing the engine has to run. I'm glad you persevered in your thinking and came up with the right analogy. We'll see how this trip fares with the OP.
 
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Old 07-28-09, 03:09 PM
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Head gasket is a possibiliy, but it would have likely cooked it self beyond help by this point.....

The sensor for the gauge.....MUST be submersed in coolant to operate.....

ECMAN..think back, ....Your gauge would go almost full cold when you were out of coolant....

On a lighter note, and more common, is the power supply to the instrument panel.......There is a "Converter" in the cluster that drops voltage to the gauges. If this converter or IVR were to fail, it would cause the erratic readings that are disscussed.

Then there is my favorite Scenario, which has Bitten me in the Arse more times than I care to recall. On the passenger side of the engine compartment Find the motor mount from timing cover to body. Across the mount should be a gray Braided metal "Strap", with a "Spring Clip" on either end....MAKE SURE IT IS SECURELY CONNECTED.....The mount is Rubber, so the strap carries the "Ground" from engine to frame, and can be responsible for all kinds of Strange Anomolies.....
 
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Old 07-28-09, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by nightowlpunk View Post
Long trip 50 miles? Not in my world.
It can be, if you are a senior citizen. Especially if you can't see as well as you used to - like my mom.
 
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Old 07-29-09, 12:27 PM
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Long trip for me is from southeastern CT to Taylorville Illinois, 1200+ miles each way. Two day drive each way.
 
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