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Gary, Chevy Technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 17018
Experience:  15 years GM master tech
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On a 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier The cooling fan is not kicking

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On a 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier The cooling fan is not kicking on when it is suppose to. The cooling fan relay has been replaced and also the coolant sensor. But when you unplug the coolant sensor it will kick on. What do you think the problem is?
what size engine is in it?does it have a/c?will the fan kick on with the a/c on?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
It does have A/C and I think the engine is 2.2 liter L4 engine. And it will not turn on with A/C turned on either.
hmmmm...usually when you unplug the 2 wire connector to the coolant sensor it tells the computer its [email protected] -36 degress and then if you jump the 2 terminals with a paper clip it should tell the computer its like 300 degrees and turn the fan this car runs hot and the fan never comes on at ALL ? how hot will it get?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

According to my dad and brother that drives the car it guage never shows running hot. The guage does not have a red mark for the danger mark but will get up to about where the red mark starts on the guages that do.


ok..will it just run that hot in stop and go trafiic and be fine when driving down a highway? we just want to make sure we have a cooling fan problem or the engine running hot like a stuck thermostat ect...low on coolant..stuff like that
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Going down the road is fine. But my brother has just let car car run sitting still and the fan never comes on. Also I forgot to mention I think he also replaced the thermostat but not sure on that I would have to ask him next time I talk to him. He also flushed the cooling system and put in new antifreeze.
ok..these cooleant fans are supposed to come on @ 220 there any chance you can get acces to a scan tool to moniter the computers coolant temp reading in the data list? if not go the coolant fan relay is there 4 terminals that the relay goes into when its plugged in?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

My brother replaced the relay but I do think that there are 4 terminals there. 220 degrees on a guage that doesn't have numbers to show you what temperture just a line the guage arm let you indicate by would be over toward hot a good distance wouldn't it ?

yes at idle is when these engines get their hottest because there is no air flow threw the radiator at idle but when you drive air is flowing threw the front of the car and th 220 would be maybe between 3/4 to 7/8 of the guage BUT the fan should kick on @ 220 and we need to make sure that is happening..its hard to do with out knowing what temp the computer is reading threw the coolant sensor..well if you can find out if the fan is not coming on at @ 220 and it gets to like 225 228 shut it off the fan should have come on by then..if thats the case pull out the relay there should be 4 wires 2 should be 12volts key one engine off then the other 2 terminals are 1 of them goes to the fan and the other is the signal sent from the computer to turn on the fan..if we have power at 2 terminals then we look at the last 2 colors of wires and let me know what color they are..usually out of the last 2 terminals left one of those wires should be bigger than the other the big one goes to the cooling fan jump one of the power wires to the bigger wire for the fan and with key on see if the fan will run..
Gary and 3 other Chevy Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thanks for the help I will check out all the stuff you told me and if I got more questions I will get back with you again.
ok just repost threw this link..i will be on and off all weekend
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Here are the wire colors that you wanted me to let you know about. The three big ones are orange, red and green. The smaller wire is a green too but a little bit lighter green than the other. The RED and ORANGE wires are the 2 hot wires.

My brother said he jumped from one of the hot wires to the one that goes to the cooling fan and it didn't make it work.

My dad had someone that works in a local garage come by the his house and look at it and he thinks they might have gotten a new coolant sensor that was made for lights and not guages. But if you go to autozone website it only shows one. many wires go into that sensor you replaced?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
2 wires
ok looking at the electrical scematic for the fan if you remove the fan relay and turn the key on and jump either red to the lightblue wire that fan should shows 2 reds one greeen and then a lightblue..turn the key on and jump the red to the lightblue and see if the fan runs..and if it runs is it running realy fast or slow?if it does not run leave those 2 wires jumped at the relay and unplug the connector to the fan motor and see if you have 12 volts at the lightblue wire and the black wire has a good ground ig you have power and ground at the motor and the motors not running ..the motor is bad
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
The motor will run testing it straight wired from the battery. The mechanic my dad has coming by the house has a scanner I think he is going to go back by his house and see what the coolant sensor is actually reading. I will have my brother check the stuff you just sent me back to check and will let you know what happens.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
My brother went and bought another new coolant sensor and put in and now the fan is working. The fan doesn't kick on he said until it is right before the red danger marks start. The guage must be off. Thanks for the help you gave and if I need any more help I will contact you again. I will also refer other people to you.
thanks..good job