Question about Buick Riviera

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1997 Buick Riviera 3.8L Supercharged. Car is running a bit hot (210 degrees). Had small radiator leak last week, replaced radiator and even replaced thermostat too. Car is still running warm. When I noticed the coolant leak last week, I also noticed that the engine cooling fans only run when the AC is turned on. Why would they only run when the AC is turned on? Shouldnt they kick on when the temp reaches 195 degrees (the thermostats setting)? Any ideas on what I should do?

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Check the fan cooling switch on the intake to see if voltage runs through it when hot.It may be the problem. If not the cooling fan relay is bad

Posted on Jun 02, 2010

  • 11 more comments 
  • thomas langer Jun 02, 2010

    so its possible for the fan to only run when the AC is on and not when the car reaches a certain temperature?

  • frank thomas wilson
    frank thomas wilson Jun 02, 2010

    Cars with AC do have two fans. With out only one fan
    That means with the AC on the AC fan which is the closest fan to the bumper will turn on.. The AC circuit controls that one

  • thomas langer Jun 02, 2010

    my riviera has two fans in front of the radiator side by side. how do i know if i need to replace the relay in the cooling fan or replace the thermostatic fan control?

    where is the relay for the cooling fan located? i may as well try replacing that first. its cheap.

  • frank thomas wilson
    frank thomas wilson Jun 02, 2010

    It could be on the fender well or firewall area. Once you purchase a new one from your Buick daeler itwill match up very easily

  • thomas langer Jun 02, 2010

    i just changed the 10 amp fuse for the cooling fan that was located on the driver's side of the dash. im going to let the car heat up to 210 degrees and see if it kicks on now. the fuse i took out didnt look bad though so im not hopeful.

    maybe the fan control is set to 210 degrees and this is why ive never heard it kick on????

    is there a relay for the cooling fan somewhere in the engine?

  • frank thomas wilson
    frank thomas wilson Jun 02, 2010

    The cooling fan switch leans to be the problem with your car since this turns the power onto the relay
    Replace both parts to be certain if wanted.They are inexpensive. Also look and see if a resistor is attached to the fan. That May have blown out the sides.. It is ceramic and the sides will split if shorted out. Did you run a hot wire direct to the fan to see if that works?

  • thomas langer Jun 02, 2010

    i replaced the relay and the cooling fans now work!!!!!!

    however, the car still runs about 20 degrees hotter than before but it doesnt go into the red or overheat. should i worry about the temp being a bit high or should i not worry about it...

  • frank thomas wilson
    frank thomas wilson Jun 02, 2010

    Now since it works although the temperature is too high, replace the thermostat& gasket nowwith a 195 degree designed one which was equipt when new

  • thomas langer Jun 02, 2010

    thats my problem, they already replaced the thermostat today with a 195 degree thermostat and its still running at 210 degrees.

    what do you think?

  • frank thomas wilson
    frank thomas wilson Jun 02, 2010

    Check all hoses to see if any are collasped...If all ok you have a weak water pump or an internal blockage in the cooling system.. Flushing it out may help

  • thomas langer Jun 02, 2010

    the radiator and thermostat were replaced today.

    since the car isnt overheating, can i just leave it as is for now or should i have it looked at? will the slight increase in temperature damage the engine even if its not overheating?

  • frank thomas wilson
    frank thomas wilson Jun 02, 2010

    First of all are you checking the temperature with a hand held gauge? If not doso for the dash gauge maybe faulty.. 20 degrees too hot may cause damageif driven awhile for thr temperature may rise more on you. A flush out is needed

  • thomas langer Jun 02, 2010

    great idea. ill check it with a hand held gauge this week.

    i presume they flushed the cooling system when they replaced the radiator today. if i check the temp with a hand held gauge and it shows the temp 20 degrees hotter than normal i think i will go ahead and replace the water pump. the car has 90,000 miles and still has the original water pump.



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