Question about 1997 BMW 318

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A/c fan not working

A/c fan not wotking if i un plug the wires from the radeitor and connect them directly with a wire the a/c fans goes next to the redator but not from inside the car checked all fuses everything seems to be ok xpect the fan my car is 1997 bmw 316
from a confused owner

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  • brianjohn01 Jan 27, 2009

    is the relay in the fuse box cause i tried to change them aswell but no help


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Are you saying the fan never comes on or just doesn't come on when you're watching it? most fans come on when the radiator coolant reaches a certain temp, then flips a relay to send power to the fan.

if the car is warmed up and the fan is not coming on (or if the A/C is selected on and fan doesn't come on), i would suspect the relay since you already proved separate power to the fan does make it work.

good luck

Posted on Jan 27, 2009

  • joe Jan 27, 2009

    not positive where the relay is on the 316. guessing this is a european model, right?

    owner's manual may show a pic of the relay and where it is located.

    one more thing to look at. are the pins/sockets making proper contact when when you reconnect the connector from the fan? if you "jiggle" it a bit when connected, will it come on (when coolant is warmed up or with A/C on)?


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Do the fans come on when the engine overheats? If so nothing wrong with the circuit and the thermostat(not thermo switch!) or radiator is to blame.
Test the fan. There are 2(if you have A/C fitted) Disconnect the electrical plug from the fan. Run 2 wires from the battery straight to the fan and see if the fan comes on. (Be careful when connecting not to short circuit the wires. Theres a lot of power in the battery!) Polarity does not matter. This is a direct current motor so reverse polarity will only make the fan turn in the wrong direction. If the fan turns reconnect its electrical connection and move to the next step.
To test the fan circuit locate the thermo switch. It is on the bottom right of the radiator and has 2 wires connected. disconnect the electrical plug and short circuit the 2 wires by inserting a piece of wire into the connector with the ignition on. The fan should come on. If it does the thermo switch is at fault and needs replacing.
With the electrical sorted there is not much else. Like I mentioned it is either the radiator(blocked) or the thermostat(sticking)
Radiator can be taken to a service centre and have them clean it out for you. The thermostat cannot be repaired and needs to be replaced. It can be removed and the engine will still operate, but just take longer to warm up. I'm not sure on the '99 model, but it is usually located on the right hand side of the engine at the bottom on the water pump housing.

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