Question about 1997 Jeep Cherokee

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I have a 97 Jeep Cherokee Sport The cooling fan is not coming on and forcing the car to overheat. I checked the plug, it was good. I then checked the relay and fuse. I took them out and inspected them, they looked fine, except the fuse was put in backwards facing from the rest. I put it back in like the others and started the car. I turned on the A/C, since this was the only immediate way of testing the fan and it started running again but, I went in to rinse my hands and by the time I came out the fan was off agian. I think that the relay is bad but, I would like a second opinion.

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  • kdgaydos
    kdgaydos Jul 09, 2010

    I am going to replace the relay anyway. It's bad right? The relay wasn't labeled anything other than "Fan Relay" Are there others and where are they located? I know the fan will kick on whenever but, was told that the fan always runs during A/C operation. Where is the "Temp Sender" located and how would I test this to see if it's the problem?

  • kdgaydos
    kdgaydos Jul 10, 2010

    I knew that the A/C function was on a seperate relay. I simply meant that the fan was not at fault because it would operate under those conditions. The cooling fan relay tested "good." I swapped it with the starter relay and the car still starts normally. My next thing is to swap out the sensor and see if that will fix the problem. Anything after that will simply be guess work. I'm not a mechanic, if I were I would not be here asking question to things I don't understand.

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  • Jeep Master
  • 6,982 Answers

Fuses are non-directional so it does not matter which way it was installed. Looking at a relay from the outside tells you nothing about what's going on inside of it. I'm not positive on yours but I'm pretty sure that fan relay for the a/c is different than the one that runs it normally. And, be aware that the fan will go on and off on demand from the computer. Temp sender sends signal to the computer which sends a ground signal to the relay which then turns fan on.

Posted on Jul 09, 2010

  • Richard Scordino Jul 09, 2010

    Even a system as simple as a fan circuit requires some working knowledge of electro - mechanical repair as each connector spade on the relay has a job to do and when it's not working, needs to be tested. I'm pretty sure that your a/c relay turns on the fan when the a/c is on. The other fan relay is used for non-a/c operation. To check a relay without the proper meters etc, you can swap the relay to another system (If you check, you will see that most of the relays are the identical part #). If the one you swapped restores operation, replace the non working one. Your temperature sending unit is generally attached to the thermostat neck on the engine or is very close to it.
    If you need to do further testing with a digital multi-meter, get yourself a good wiring diagram so you won't need to cut open the harnesses to determine wire routing. Most problems don't happen inside the harness but at the connector ends.
    Please do not rate my answers unless you actually understand them.

  • Richard Scordino Jul 10, 2010

    I gave you everything you need to know in order to do testing. Your statement about changing the relay because: "it's bad, right?" Told me right off that you don't understand what I told you. I did not say it was bad, I said to test it.If you get a manual you can find wire routing diagrams (they show where the wires go, not how they get there)
    I suggested you get a multi-meter (to use when doing testing as outlined in the manual) There is no need to be guessing if you can read. Don't only check power....check grounding as well (I did mention ground).
    I requested you not rate my answer because I've given you everything you need, short of me going there and doing the testing and repair myself. You can't rate what you don't understand.
    If doing repair work was easy, there would be no shops!!!
    Good luck!
    PS: Coolant sensor may not read correctly if system is low, so make sure it's full before testing.


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