92 Dodge Spirit - Radiator Fan doesn't work

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Old 10-09-10, 02:52 PM
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Exclamation 92 Dodge Spirit - Radiator Fan doesn't work

Hi,
I just recently spent $250 on a 92 Dodge Spirit, 2.5L SOHC (not turbo). When I got it, the engine overheats (Like the needle goes past H). Someone said it was the waterpump and threw that in with the car, so I replaced the waterpump, but I knew that wasn't the problem. So, I investigated the thermostat. The thermostat was closed and wouldn't open. So, I took the thermostat out, then I started the car and noticed that it will still getting really hot, just not as quickly. Then I looked at the fan and found out that the fan wasn't working. Checked out on the web on some similar issues and other people recommended that you replace the coolant temperature switch (Which is on the engine, next to the thermostat), so I did it. I'm still seeing the same problem. So I was like..well what the heck, I'll replace the Fan relay. Did that today and the fan still won't come on. But! If I turn on the A/C (which still works), the fan turns on! When I do this, the engine temperature does come down to normal (Indicated by the needle going to the middle). So, I also read that if you disconnect the cable from the coolant temperature switch, the fan should turn on. Which it does, but makes the car run very rough when starting. I've checked all of the wiring and the wiring looks good. Any hints?

Thanks!
 
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Old 10-09-10, 02:57 PM
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Might be easier to just spend $50 or so for a fan assembly at a used parts yard and put it in yourself. Never done one for your car, but shouldn't take more than an hour I would think
 
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Old 10-09-10, 03:12 PM
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Why would I need a fan assembly if the current fan does work, after you either turn on the A/C or unplug the coolant temperature sensor cable? Maybe I'm missing something lol
 
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Old 10-09-10, 03:43 PM
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2 things........

1) Ensure you got the Correct Coolant Temp SENSOR, NOT SWITCH. There is a difference. There are 3 or 4 different "Animals" and the only thing they have in common is that they fit in the same hole.
2)....These sensors MUST be IMMERSED in COOLANT to work. Any air pocket or lack of coolant flow, will Immediately Invalidate any reading the sensor provides.

To avoid Confusion, A little theory on "FANS". Just because you unplug the sensor and the fan turns on, doesnt mean that the sensor has anything to do with the fan DIRECTLY.. That is your computers way of saying He doesnt know coolant temp, so Incase I'm overheated, I'll turn the fan on.

Yes, You may rule out Fan motor, relay , fuses. You may still have a bad computer, but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

Was the Check engine light on prior to changing the sensor????
 
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Old 10-09-10, 04:31 PM
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Thanks for replying.
I meant sensor, not switch. I verified that it was for this car with this engine, so I'm hoping that I did get the right sensor. I bled out the system to make sure that there wasn't any air pockets in the system. And no, the check engine was not on prior to changing the sensor.
 
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Old 10-09-10, 07:00 PM
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Have the radiator checked by a professional who knows how to use an "Infared Thermometer" and post the results.

Click on the link below to learn how to read your cars computer error error codes. If there are any error codes post them so we can see them.

| Repair Guides | Trouble Codes | Reading Codes | AutoZone.com
 
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Old 10-09-10, 07:50 PM
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I checked the system and the codes come back with are 12 and 55. 12 means something with the battery being disconnected within 50 starts and 55 means that it's the end of the codes.
Would it really be the radiator, especially when the fan turns on, that it cools down the engine? Some people say that there's something on the radiator that also turns on the fan, but there is no such thing on this car, I looked all over and followed cables, and there isn't anything.
 
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Old 10-09-10, 08:33 PM
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The radiator mounted fan switches ended I believe probably around 1986 or 87. Im thinking it co-incided with the Demise of the CARBURETOR.....anyway.. You are absolutely correct, It does not exist on your vehicle.

Like I mentioned, an air pocket, or ANYTHING THAT WOULD CAUSE LACK OF FLOW can be a suspect. RADIATOR definitely qualifies..

..Given your history with " Parts Tossing".... Take Sams advise and find someone who knows how to use a non contact thermometer before replacing it.....Those radiators arent cheap..

** How did you NOT get a CTS code, when you unplugged the Coolant sensor to check fan operation?????...Hmmm?????**
 
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Old 10-09-10, 08:34 PM
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You’re right in terms of code 12 and 55.
Basically mean nothing.


Let’s get back to basics.

Foward and reverse flush the heater core,

Use a cooling system pressure tester to rule out any external coolant leaks.

Install a new thermostat.

Next install a “Prestone Flush and fill kit” (Image below). Make sure you install the kit and flush as per enclosed instructions.

Next rule out a:

Head issue
Or
Head gasket issue.

To do that post the results of a compression and cylinder leak down test.

Or

Purchase a “Block Tester Kit” from a well stocked auto parts store. Use the kit according to the instructions, and post the results.


 
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Old 10-10-10, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by brenteve View Post
Hi,
I just recently spent $250 on a 92 Dodge Spirit, 2.5L SOHC (not turbo). When I got it, the engine overheats (Like the needle goes past H). Someone said it was the waterpump and threw that in with the car, so I replaced the waterpump, but I knew that wasn't the problem. So, I investigated the thermostat. The thermostat was closed and wouldn't open. So, I took the thermostat out, then I started the car and noticed that it will still getting really hot, just not as quickly. Then I looked at the fan and found out that the fan wasn't working. Checked out on the web on some similar issues and other people recommended that you replace the coolant temperature switch (Which is on the engine, next to the thermostat), so I did it. I'm still seeing the same problem. So I was like..well what the heck, I'll replace the Fan relay. Did that today and the fan still won't come on. But! If I turn on the A/C (which still works), the fan turns on! When I do this, the engine temperature does come down to normal (Indicated by the needle going to the middle). So, I also read that if you disconnect the cable from the coolant temperature switch, the fan should turn on. Which it does, but makes the car run very rough when starting. I've checked all of the wiring and the wiring looks good. Any hints?

Thanks!
I've had 2 2.5L Spirits and 1 3.0 V-6 Spirit. Take it from me - you do not want to overheat the 2.5, or 2.2 for that matter. ALL of these blew head gaskets on me. All 3. A chicken and egg scenario with air pocket behind the stat. All of these cars had oscillation of the temp gauge, before total head gasket failure. Head gasket failutre primaily at cylinder #1 and or #4. I have the old head gasket carcasses so I know. The stupid things rust! Idiots!

Chicken and egg? Is it head gasket slowly going first, causing exhaust gases to get stuck behind the stat? Or other issue causing air pocket, then gasket failure due to that?

I now drill a small hole (about 1/8th inch dia.) in thermostat to solve the air bubble problem! Even on my mint condition V-6, the day I test drove the car before I bought it, temps kept oscillating on my temp gauge! (pause) Even though the factory temp has some sort of relief hole in it with sort of a check valve pin, the oscillating occured. But ceased immediately for good forever ever since I removed and drilled a hole in it also! One small hole. No need to try to "burp" then. It wil do it automatically. Because if air ever got behind it, it will then try to get to the top of the raditor where then it can escape to the reservoir.

I will never ever, from now on, on these elcheapo aluminum head cars, not have a hole driled in my thermostat.

On my 90, the radiator plugged up terribly! How did I even make that assessment. Here is the clue. If the car runs cooler around town, but runs hotter on the highway, and/or runs hot on the highway and then when you come back to town , the temp drops lower - likely the cause will beaa plugged radiator. Why so? Because the explosions are not as hot when cruising around town at 30 mph. But when you go highway cruising and fight that wind resistance, the explosions are bigger, causing more heat that cannot dissipate due to the plugged/or partially plugged radiator.

You do not need a fan going when at highway speed, so that gets ruled out.

My temps climbed to hot even on the highway, even with the stat taken out!

I tried to see if the radiator was plugged by running garden hose through it and it ran thru just fine. Therefore this is a poor test. You need more water to pass than what a garden hose can offer. At least from what I got out of my hose. If you run the radiator with the cap off, if the coolant tries flying out where the cover is, chances are you have a plugged radiator, as that is the easiest away out, obviously if the core are plugged.

VERY easy to change out that radiator. Mine cost $100 brand new. I bought it at a junk yard (yes, it was new). I cut the end caps off the old one and discovered arteriosclerosis of the cores like you would not believe. REALLY plugged with lime scale.

I also now will never ever run nothing but anti-freeze/DISTILLED water mix. Even if the antifreeze is made at factory with hard tap water, you still would cut down the amount that can lime by 50% when you mix coolant 50/50.
 
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Old 10-12-10, 01:23 PM
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Double check that it was the fan relay you changed, and not some other relay. There are four relays in that location. I mention this because the fan relay is the usual culprit with the symptoms you mentioned.
 
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Old 10-12-10, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Kestas View Post
Double check that it was the fan relay you changed, and not some other relay. There are four relays in that location. I mention this because the fan relay is the usual culprit with the symptoms you mentioned.
True...But......

OP stated that unplugging CTS activated the fan, and the fan also is operational with A/C.....Based on this, power and ground supply to fan and .Relay malfunctions can be eliminated as culprits.
 
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Old 10-13-10, 07:34 AM
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Clogged radiator - biggest clue of all!

The problem with the Dodge Spirit and the air bubble issue behind the thermostat is something that must be resolved as discussed.

But if anyone ever suspects their radiator might be partially clogged, this check is most simple: You idle the car til the radiator fan comes on. (Make sure engine heat is making it come on and not the A/C!!! Leave the A/C off!!!) On a Spirit, this often can be right around the midway point on the temperature gauge. When it comes on, carefully feel the air as it blows out from behind the fan (between the fanblade and engine). IF it is not uniformly warm-hot air all the way around the fan, you have a coolant circulation problem!

Mine, when it clogged, caused the right side of the fan(when facing it) to blow cool air, and only the left side had warm air blowing through it. After I put in my new radiuator, it was uniform!

I just tested my 92 Spirit this way, minutes ago, and hooray for me, after it idles and the temp gauge went up to 1/2 way and the fan came on, it blew nice warm-hot air out all the way around.
 
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Old 10-18-10, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Unclediezel View Post
True...But......

OP stated that unplugging CTS activated the fan, and the fan also is operational with A/C.....Based on this, power and ground supply to fan and .Relay malfunctions can be eliminated as culprits.
I can understand unplugging the CTS, I'll give you that. But the A/C relay operates the fan independently from the cooling fan relay. I've been in a situation (with my 90 LeBaron) where the cooling fan relay didn't work and I had to operate the cooling fan and cool the engine by turning the A/C on! I didn't understand it, but that's how it worked!
 
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