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Unread 09-08-2018, 04:54 PM   #1
bradleyheathhays
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O'er heatin' problem

Complete re-edit...


I have an '11 Crown Vic (270k miles) with an overheating problem that I believe is being caused by the rad fan not turning. Here's what I've seen so far...

1 - The overheat condition doesn't happen while moving, it only happens while in park after idling for a while

2 - Top radiator hose DOES get hot

3 - If the a/c is off, the rad fan DOES NOT turn at all during overheating as the temp gauge moves all the way up

4 - At normal engine temp the rad fan DOES turn as soon as the a/c is turned on, but I've only observed this so far at normal temperatures.

5 - During the times it overheats and the a/c is on, the cabin vent air gets hot and humid right when the overheating occurs. I haven't yet made it a point to check the rad fan at this point to see if it's still turning.

6 - During testing, after getting the engine temp up to idle hot and the temp gauge read normal in the middle, to trigger it to overheat I had to run the engine at 2k rpm for over 5 mins before the dash temp gauge began to rise. After the gauge begins to creep up I've let off the gas but the temp continues to go all the way up. Although to trigger the overheat condition I ran it at 2k for a while, it DOES overheat by simply sitting in park and idling.

7 - The coolant reservoir cap has a small leak but I don't think this is a major factor. I've continued to top off the reservoir throughout my testing and overall there doesn't seem to be much coolant leaking from the reservoir. Although, you CAN hear air seep from the reservoir cap when you squeeze the top rad hose.

The main problem seems to be the rad fan not turning. Any ideas? I'm all ears.

Last edited by bradleyheathhays; 09-09-2018 at 03:50 AM.
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Unread 09-08-2018, 09:13 PM   #2
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If it's overheating at a progressively lower temp, I would think you have a plugged radiator and/or heater core. Also possibly the engine block itself. Start with the cheap and easy fixes first, flush and refill the cooling system and get a new thermostat. Also make sure your fan/fans are working. Then if needed, get a new radiator, water pump, and heater core. If it still over heats after you change out everything, then your block is plugged up.
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Unread 09-09-2018, 01:08 AM   #3
bradleyheathhays
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Thanks for that advice.

After watching it overheat a couple times now a pattern has emerged of coolant leaking from under the reservoir cap while the dash temp gauge still reads normal. After that the gauge goes up to full overheat. What would leaking around the reservoir cap indicate in this situation?
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Unread 09-09-2018, 03:51 AM   #4
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Did some testing and I'm sure it's the rad fan now. Here's what I'm seeing...

1 - The overheat condition doesn't happen while moving, it only happens while in park after idling for a while

2 - Top radiator hose DOES get hot

3 - If the a/c is off, the rad fan DOES NOT turn at all during overheating as the temp gauge moves all the way up

4 - At normal engine temp the rad fan DOES turn as soon as the a/c is turned on, but I've only observed this so far at normal temperatures.

5 - During the times it overheats and the a/c is on, the cabin vent air gets hot and humid right when the overheating occurs. I haven't yet made it a point to check the rad fan at this point to see if it's still turning.

6 - During testing, after getting the engine temp up to idle hot and the temp gauge read normal in the middle, to trigger it to overheat I had to run the engine at 2k rpm for over 5 mins before the dash temp gauge began to rise. After the gauge begins to creep up I've let off the gas but the temp continues to go all the way up. Although to trigger the overheat condition I ran it at 2k for a while, it DOES overheat by simply sitting in park and idling.

7 - The coolant reservoir cap has a small leak but I don't think this is a major factor. I've continued to top off the reservoir throughout my testing and overall there doesn't seem to be much coolant leaking from the reservoir. Although, you CAN hear air seep from the reservoir cap when you squeeze the top rad hose.

The main problem seems to be the rad fan not turning. Any ideas? I'm all ears.
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Unread 09-09-2018, 09:36 AM   #5
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Check your fan with the A/C on, if it's not running then that is your problem. The fan should come on with the a/c, regardless of engine or coolant temp. Throw in a new thermostat and coolant reservoir cap while your at it, they are both cheap insurance.
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Unread 09-09-2018, 10:04 AM   #6
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The fan comes on when the a/c is on, but that seems to be the only time it runs. If the a/c is off the fan doesn't come on as it's overheating.

It does have scenarios where it overheats when the a/c is on, but when the temp gauge goes up the vent air suddenly gets hot and humid.

I need to check to see if the fan is blowing during these events but I think it wouldn't be.

From what I'm seeing now I need advice on checking the things/parts/switches that are responsible for turning the fan on.
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Unread 09-09-2018, 01:35 PM   #7
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Most modern fords use a cylinder head temp sensor to tell the pcm when to turn on the fan and feed info to the temp gauge if you have one
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Unread 09-10-2018, 12:04 AM   #8
bradleyheathhays
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Tested water pump and it's working good. Now, I've replaced both the reservoir cap and thermostat with new.


Then did some more testing by way of observing the fan speed when turning the a/c on and off. Fan speed seemed sluggish as if it wasn't being properly commanded. At different points it seemed like it wanted to turn but would stop. Maybe a dumb idea but after turning the a/c off and the blades came to a stop I took a small twig and gave the blade a quick push and it slowly started going again.


So what is this a bad fan motor maybe? And if so, where do you get just the motor? Can't find it at any of the major car store sites.


I've also read the connectors on either end of the fan control module (connected to the fan body) can get corroded.
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Unread 09-10-2018, 09:00 AM   #9
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I don't think you can buy just the motor, you may have to buy the entire fan assembly. But if the fan motor is slow to start, that sounds like the root of your problem.

Just did a quick check on rock auto, you can get a whole new fan for as little as 90 bucks all the way up to 200 for a genuine motorcraft fan assembly.

Get some dielectric grease to put on the contacts for the fan. Any 12v motor pulls a lot of juice, and if the contacts are corroded it can restrict the current flow enough to give the impression of a bad motor. Before you spend any more money on parts, make sure your contacts are good and the fan is getting a full 12v. The easiest way to change the speed of a dc motor is change the voltage, and your car may be restricting the voltage enough that the fan doesn't have enough to start without a physical push or a boost from the a/c turning on. If your contacts are bad, a good cleaning may solve your issue and save you a ton of money.
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