Question about 1996 Oldsmobile Aurora

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1996 Oldmobile Aurora electric radiator fans only work when AC is turned on. What is the problem?

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  • William Oliver Mar 31, 2011

    What do you mean by Radiator Thermostat? How does this open a circuit? The last time I seen a Thermostat is was round and had a spring in the middle and has no wires attached. I need to know if this car specifically has something that controls when this fan comes on. The Temp guage in the dash is working properly.

  • William Oliver Mar 31, 2011

    I replaced 2 relays that are under the hood in the small fuse box on the passenger side just behind the passenger side headlight. Where is the 3rd relay that you speak of?

  • William Oliver Mar 31, 2011

    Is there anything else that controls when the fans come on?

  • William Oliver Mar 31, 2011

    My brother just said that he replaced the engine coolant temp sensor. If the relays and the radiator thermo doesn't fix this what could be the problem?

  • William Oliver Mar 31, 2011

    I have tried to find this Radiator Thermostat as a part online and all that comes up is a reqular thermostat. What is this part called besides radiator thermostat?

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  • Oldsmobile Master
  • 19,396 Answers

Hi.

If the car is not overheating, the fan starting only with the AC on can be normal.

If the fan does not start Unless the AC is on even when there is overheating, check the following:

  • 60Amp fan fuse under the hood.
  • Fan relays (about $10)- There are three of them, one is on for slow speed and the three of them are enegized in high speed. Replace it or swap em, or better test them using a volt meter. A good relay will show 12V on two of its contacts when energized.
  • Radiator thermostat- it must open the circuit at determined temp (about 220F), or may cause the problem described.It can be tested using an Ohm meter. This is the most common fault resulting in the problem you experienced. Check if with thermo disconnected fan comes on. Keep fingers away from the fan while disconnecting thermostat connector.If it does, then the thermo. may not be opening at temp.
  • Variable speed fans- If the fans do not run at determined speed because faulty you may get what described. Fans are tricky to test. Jump them using fused wire, if one of them is shorted the power draw may damage more parts.
  • Check AC is working correctly and cooling. Check that refrigerant pressure is OK (between 190 and 240 psi).
  • Check grounding. Check also AC and PCM connectors.
  • The PCM itself may be damaged
I uploaded here a wiring diagram for Olds/Buick comprising the Aurora cooling system.

Posted on Mar 31, 2011

  • 5 more comments 
  • Ginko
    Ginko Mar 31, 2011

    Hi the radiator thermostat is located in the lower side of the radiator. It is a cap with two wires connected.

    The third relay is the slow speed cooling fan relay. It is located near the windshield motor


  • Ginko
    Ginko Mar 31, 2011

    There is also to check the engine coolant temperature sensor. That is a possible culprit:


  • Ginko
    Ginko Mar 31, 2011

    Hi.

    What really controls if the fan comes on is the ECM, which is the car main computer. In determinate circumstances the ECM may start the fan when the AC comes on. This happens if refrigerant is outside limits, and in some AC mode (I think defrost mode).

    If the Fan comes on the relay are probably good. The relays can be swapped to be tested.

  • Ginko
    Ginko Mar 31, 2011

    Defective A/C system. The AC system is directly controlled by the ECM. In determinate conditions the ECM may switch the fan on when the compressor is defective. Is the A/C working. Has the AC gas pressure being tested recently? That can be the cause. If that is the problem the fan will work OK when compressor is off. Test fan removing compressor 10 Amp fuse.

  • Ginko
    Ginko Mar 31, 2011

    Reading myself back I found two mistake.

    In the first comment I wrote PCM, I meant ECM. The two things are similar, but the computer I was talking about is called ECM.

    In the third comment I wrote windshield motor, please read wiper motor.


  • Ginko
    Ginko Mar 31, 2011

    About the problem:

    If fans do not work, and only come on when A/C is on, and A/C is OK: Problem is the coolant temp sensor. I mean the one in picture, ensure that this part has been replaced.

    If fans work OK, but they come on all the time when A/C is on, then the A/C is probably defective.

    This standing to your description of the problem and of repair and troubleshooting done.

    All the best.

    Ginko.

  • Ginko
    Ginko Mar 31, 2011

    Hi.

    It is not that thermostat, it is this one: 1995-1996 Oldsmobile Aurora Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor ...

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