Question about 2003 Chevrolet Impala

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My heater fan stays on after car is shut off and drains battery

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  • Michael Anderson
    Michael Anderson May 17, 2014

    The heater fan is controlled 3 ways in some models and 2 in others. One with automatic climate control, there should be a setting to turn it to manual so that the computer board does not control the fan, set to manual and it should go off. Otherwise, it could be a faulty switch for the fan, (the one that you turn to adjust fan speed) or the resistor on the fan motor is bad. Usually, if it is the resistor, the fan will only run on a couple speeds and not the full range. As a temporary measure, you can pull out the fan fuse to disable it while you troublshoot the issue.



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  • Chevrolet Master
  • 799 Answers

I assume you mean the radiator cooling fan inside the engine compartment? That is controlled by the temperature sensor. If it is unplugged or has gone bad, the fan(s) will run continuously. To locate the sensor, follow the upper radiator hose down to the intake manifold. You should see a brass sensor to the left of the hose going into the bottom front of the intake. The wiring and sensor may be covered with a heat shield. Check the wiring to verify it is plugged in and/or does not have corroded terminals, otherwise, replace the sensor. It is a brass looking fitting, sort of resembling a spark plug.

Posted on May 17, 2014

Testimonial: "no I did not mean the radiator cooling fan I meant the interior heating climate control/AC. When the car is completely shut off the fan continues to run and drains the battery. Any suggestions?"

  • Lorraine Maksimovic May 17, 2014

    or how do I shut it off temporarily other than disconnecting the battery

  • Michael Anderson
    Michael Anderson May 17, 2014

    Just pull out the fuse for the fan in the fuse box, should be marked 'HTR or HTR FAN'



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Why does engine fan stay on after shutting car off and drains battery on 2003 cavalier?

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Fan blower stays on after i shut car off i unplug the wire for it so it does shut off and when i need air i plug it back it and my radio stays on after i shut car off and take key radio is...

Some cars are designed to have the fan run for a few minutes after you turn the car off. But if doesn't stop until the battery drains, then it might be a faulty switch or temperature sensor.

Or, if the fan stays running when the engine and radiator are cool you have a very cheap problem: The fan thermostat is stuck closed. A new thermostat will fix the problem--the hardest part of replacing it is finding it. Follow the wires from the fan to the switch--it is usually on the bottom tank of the radiator. Drain the radiator first and save the coolant to put back in after you replace the thermostat. NEVER OPEN A HOT RADIATOR.

If that wasn't it then check the following:
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  • Lay your hand on the radiator (with the engine off) and feel if it is as hot at the top as it is at the bottom. If not, your radiator may be clogged and need flushed or replaced. (Flushing is cheap. Replacing the radiator isn't)
  • Do you get heat from the heater? Leave it turned on high and see if your fan stays running the next time. If it takes care of the problem that could mean you have a kinked radiator hose.

Hope this helped (remember comment and rated this).

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Having the fan run on for a bit after the engine has stopped is not abnormal in itself, but 20 minutes sounds excessive.

If the fan does eventually shut off, I'd consider changing the thermoswitch (this is a sensor screwed into the radiator somewhere near the bottom, with a pair of wires connected to it - to change it, you'll need to drain the cooling system).

If the fan stays on continuously until the battery is completely flat, see what happens when you unplug the wires from the thermoswitch. If this stops the fan, you need to replace the thermoswitch. If it doesn't, then you need to examine the wiring associated with the switch and the fan, looking for damaged insulation.


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