Question about 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier

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I need to know why my cooling fan won't kick on, i replaced the relay fuse and i can't figure out why it won't come on, i ended up having to wire a toggle switch to get the fan to work, what could be the problem

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I believe your problem is with the PCM (computer) The car doesn't have a cooling fan switch, so I believe the computer should turn on the fan when the coolant temperature sensor regisiters a certain temperature.

Posted on May 15, 2010

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1 Answer

98 Olds van, how does the high/low cooling fan work?


I'm showing three fan relays in the wiring diagram.
The fans are powered by two 30amp maxi fuses. The relays and fan motors are grounded thru the engine computer. The computer takes input from the coolant sensor and the ac control to decide when fans are needed. You would need to know if the computer is grounding the relays, and if not, why not. You may need a scanner to monitor computer output.

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Cool fan won't run on its own I put a relay to the cooling fan motor so it runs key on ,all is well ,temp stays normal ! I pulled the relays / fuse tested them with a meter , replaced the temp send...


Need to know some specifics for a specifis answer.
To answer in general, Sounds as if you replaced the correct computer temp sensor (it would have a voltage reference signal) and not the gauge sender. The temp may need to reach 235 degrees or so to kick the fan on. Too me that is way too high. But running at a higher temp normally lowers emissions and I think that is the reason for the high temp to kick on a fan.

With a scanner you can see what the temp sensor is reading and when there is a fan request from the computer. Not everyone keeps a scanner for home use.
Do you have A/C and does the fan ever kick on when the A/C is on?

You can try this,
Go to your factory fan relay and figure which is the ground signal wire (the ECM sends a ground signal to trigger the relay. Early wire such as in my 89 IROC is a green with white stripe). Ground this wire with the key on. Does the fan come on?

If the fan comes on, look at the cylinder heads between the exhaust ports. The right side may have a pipe plug towards the rear. Left side it would be up front.
If there is a pipe plug then there is a provision to add a low temp fan switch. Search SummitRacing.com (or another source) for a low temp fan switch. Hypertech makes some. Install that into the port where the pipe plug is (careful of thread sealant as it can interfere with a good ground it needs). Connect the wire from the low temp switch to the ground wire of the relay. You can use a center tap as all you're doing is adding a ground (thats not like something that will draw current which you don't want to do).
This way you have a low temp switch to send a ground signal to the relay and still have the factory computer circuit.

You can get free wire diagrams from autozone.com in the repair section. This way you can look up your specifuc vehicle and see what wires do what and which would be the ground from the ECM.

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CHECK MODE RELAY IF BOTH RELAYS GOOD YOU CAN CHECK RELAY BY REMOVING IT FROM FUSE BOX HOOK RELAY TERMINAL 85 TO BATTERY POSITIVE AND GROUND TERMINAL 86 IF CLICKS RELAY GOOD. IF RELAY GETTING POWER GOOD AND THE 30 AMP COOLING FAN FUSE OKAY.EITHER THERE IS A SHORT IN COOLING FAN WIRING OR THE PCM HAS FAILED.THE PCM HAS LOST OR COMMAND RUN CIRCUIT IN PCM SHORTED OUT DUE TO PCM FAILURE.LET DEALERSHIP OR GARAGE USE DIAGNOSTIC EQUIPMENT TO ACTIVATE THE PCM SEE IF IT HAS FAILED.DONT SPEND MONEY ON NEW PCM COULD BE SHORT IN THE WIRING CIRCUIT

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2 Answers

Cooling fan


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