('98-'00) Cooling fans - engine fans won't turn on (merged thread) - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 08:19 AM Thread Starter
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Cooling fans - engine fans won't turn on (merged thread)

My son's Forester has a fan problem. They don't come on. I did the diagnostic test and the fans function. That means the fuses and relays are working properly. I replaced the temperature sensor, not a fun job, but still they won't work upon warm up, or when the A/C is turned on. Any ideas where to look next? Help.

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post #2 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 08:24 AM
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@Derek'sForester I see this is your first forum post, so welcome to the forum from Oregon!

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post #3 of 60 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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engine fans won't turn on in normal conditions.

I keep trying to post questions here, but only one has ever showed up. I still need someone to try to tell me if there are two temperature sensors for the electrical radiator fan unit and where they are. I have replaced the coolant temperature sensor under the intake manifold. I have also used the green wires under the dash to show if the fans work. They do, but not when the A/C is on or when the engine gets hot. Is the ECU the only thing left?
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post #4 of 60 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 02:20 PM
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Did you check the radiator thermofan switch(es)? on the radiator?
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post #5 of 60 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by karlaudi View Post
Did you check the radiator thermofan switch(es)? on the radiator?
Where? I've never heard of them. I'll go out and look. The only wires I see going to the fans are the power wires.

Last edited by Derek'sForester; 05-04-2019 at 02:57 PM.
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post #6 of 60 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 04:00 PM
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Thermofan switches are most often located in the bottom tank of the radiator close to the lower hose. Or the lower radiator hose on side tank radiators. They are what turns electric radiator cooling fans on according to coolant temperature in the radiator. Check your thermostat too if no hot coolant reaches the radiator so that the fans turn on.

You may wish to see if a Subaru Service Manual is available from Subaru for your model and year. The price is right for downloading a PDF manual plus other information.

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post #7 of 60 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Derek'sForester View Post
I keep trying to post questions here, but only one has ever showed up. <snipped>
No need to create a new thread when you already have an active thread on the same subject. Per the forum posting rules, your threads have been merged.

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['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]

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post #8 of 60 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
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I am new to your forum and I am sorry if I didn't know some of your rules. I just wanted to find some information. I am not new to Subarus. I've owned two SVXs as well as having done several timing belt replacements on this particular engine. I'll try to follow your rules from now on, if I have broken them. I just wanted some help.
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post #9 of 60 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 05:21 PM
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@Derek'sForester did you read this on my previous posts?
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Bobby...

['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]

'07 FSXT - COBB Surgeline dyno stock Protune - Stage 1+
'03 X +AVO turbo kit = XT (son's)
'95 Neon Sport
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post #10 of 60 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
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I have done what you wanted Bobby. Any more issues you have with a fellow Oregonian?

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post #11 of 60 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 06:49 PM
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No, no issues. I'm just trying to help you get the help you're looking for.

Bobby...

['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]

'07 FSXT - COBB Surgeline dyno stock Protune - Stage 1+
'03 X +AVO turbo kit = XT (son's)
'95 Neon Sport
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post #12 of 60 (permalink) Old 05-05-2019, 09:21 AM
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@Derek'sForester if connecting the test connector verifies the main & sub fan are working, then that appears to be pointing to a ECM or sensor issue. Note that the fans are controlled by the ECM & not directly by the test connector or sensors.

Also...
Is this fan issue a new problem that just started up?

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['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]

'07 FSXT - COBB Surgeline dyno stock Protune - Stage 1+
'03 X +AVO turbo kit = XT (son's)
'95 Neon Sport
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post #13 of 60 (permalink) Old 05-05-2019, 09:41 AM Thread Starter
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It was intermittent for about a week, now it's all the time. We haven't driven the car in more than a week at this point.
I replaced the temperature sensor at the rear of the engine last Sunday. No change.
Thanks for the wiring diagram it helps. I ordered a Haynes manual and should receive it tomorrow. I'm putting it up on ramps today and I'll try to locate the sensors that were referred to in an earlier post. If it's the ECM then I guess the car is toast at 215,000 miles.
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post #14 of 60 (permalink) Old 05-05-2019, 09:51 AM
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In the past on my MY'03 the connectors for the fans have become corroded so perhaps worth investigating if you have similar connectors.

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post #15 of 60 (permalink) Old 05-05-2019, 10:00 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the information. I'll clean them up when I'm under the car, but it was my impression that if the fans start doing the diagnostic it wouldn't be a connection problem. I've had Subarus before, but never had an issue like this. Of course I've had SVXs and worked on Outbacks, but Foresters are pretty new to me.
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