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Ask Chris (aka-Moose) Your Own Question
Chris (aka-Moose)
Chris (aka-Moose), Auto Technician
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 901
Experience:  16 years of experience
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SLE V6: Got a 2000 SLE V6 that recently started overheating

Customer Question

Got a 2000 SLE V6 that recently started overheating at slow stop-and-go speeds and pulling up a 2000 ft mountain behind slow traffic. After stopping to cool a few minutes it may sometimes run ok, but not always. I had replaced all hoses and the thermostat, reverse flushed it and put in new fluid. I asked about the fans and the tech said they "worked". After a few weeks it started again. This morning I started it up, let it warm up, then ran at ~3000 RPM for 3-5 minutes as it slowly overheated. No fan operation.
Thoughts?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Toyota
Expert:  Boxer54 replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for trusting us with your questions. If you turn your air conditioner on, do the fans come on?
Expert:  Boxer54 replied 2 years ago.
What model is your vehicle. Camry?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Solara SLE v6. No, the fans don't come on with AC
Expert:  Boxer54 replied 2 years ago.
Do you have access to any test equipment such as a digital volt meter or a test light?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I've got a DVM.
Expert:  Boxer54 replied 2 years ago.
First thing, check the fan connectors for power. If there is no power and ground there, check the fuses for power using your meter.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No power to the connectors, the fuses are all good.
Expert:  Boxer54 replied 2 years ago.
There are 2 big fuses in the underhood fuse box. One is marked RDI and the other CDS. They are 30 amp fuses. Check both of these using the meter to check for power on both sides of the fuse. Visual inspection isn't good enough. These fuses have a clear plastic top on them that can be popped off to check the fuse with your meter. Once those are verified, Go to the Fan No 1 relay and remove it. Verify it has power on 2 prongs, and 2 grounds when the air conditioner is turned on.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
While trying to access the terminals on the RDI & CDS fuses, the fans started running. Possibly corrosion buildup on the fuse terminals? Do these two fuses pull out? I suppose this doesn't necessarily mean that's the problem though.
Expert:  Boxer54 replied 2 years ago.
So, it's operating normally now? Yes the relays pull out. Sometimes they are pretty tight.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
At least the fans came on with the AC. I was asking about removing the two 30 amp fuses (RDI & CDS) to look at the terminals.
Expert:  Boxer54 replied 2 years ago.
Yes, the fuses are removable. Some of these fuses such as the 100 amp ALT fuse are bolted in, but I don't believe those 2 fuses are.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I started it up again and the fans came on immediately without turning the AC on. Is this normal? I'm thinking that while jiggling the two 30 amp fuses to remove the plastic covers, a lightly corroded fuse terminal made contact again and started the fans. Any other things I might check, or do I need to just drive it and find out tomorrow?
Expert:  Boxer54 replied 2 years ago.
With the air conditioner off, do the fans come on with the ignition on, engine off?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
They do.
Expert:  Boxer54 replied 2 years ago.
It's gonna be a little difficult, but you need to check the resistance of the coolant temp switch screwed into the bottom of the radiator. It should be a normally closed switch when cold, and an open circuit when warm. The easiest way to check it is to backprobe the connector. Do you have anything to use as backprobe pins and a knowledge of how to backprobe a connector?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It's getting too dark and foggy to continue now. I'll chek the switch operation tomorrow. If it's ok, then what?