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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi guys/gals,
I wanted to tell you what I expereienced and my steps for diagnosing a bad fan. (Radiator or AC Compresser fan).

The symptoms I experienced were:
  • Hotter than normal engine temps
  • AC not functioning as well at idle
  • AC compresser clicking when cycling on/off (clicking stopped when AC was off)
  • AC condenser fan not spinning while engine was hot and AC on

The fan in my mind was immediately suspect, but I had not noticed it until i'd left it at idle for 45min+ while at the carwash. Looking back however, I did notice similar symptoms while sitting in traffic etc.

I wanted to rule out a bad fan before checking fuses/relays/connections etc.

Here's how you verify your fan's operation:
(with your engine OFF)
  1. disconnect electrical connector to the AC Fan
  2. connect a wire from the positive (+) side of the battery to terminal #2 (an in line fuse on your test wire is recommended)
  3. connect a wire from #1 terminal to ground (-)
  4. If the motor fails to run or does not run smoothly - it's faulty



The ground/negative (#1) side of the connector is a black wire & positive
(#2) is a blue wire.

In my case, the fan was at fault.

One question it did bring up was:
I expereienced a clicking sound when the AC Compressor would cycle on/off...

Is there a cut-off switch if the system is running too hot?
 

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One question it did bring up was:
I expereienced a clicking sound when the AC Compressor would cycle on/off...

Is there a cut-off switch if the system is running too hot?
There is a switch at the high pressure side that cuts-off the compressor when the pressure is too high. (not based on temperature, but works with the temperature as consequence)

which motor did you change? the pan-shaped or the long one?.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have not changed it yet - it's on order, but it's the shorter one - ac condensor fan (on the passenger side).

The motor itself goes for $40-50 but I picked up the whole assembly for $60 shipped so decided to go that route.

Thanks for the confirmation Wrench - I figured it was some type of cut-off as it stopped this symptom after I got the car moving and some cool(er) air across the condenser.
 

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Had exactly the same problem where the fan motor went bad and it caused my AC to cycle on and off on over pressure.

Unfortunately I was pressed for time and took it to an AC guy in Pensacola that replaced the fan to the tune of $240 for the fan and 175 for labor. A week later I found out I could have gotten the fan motor for $63 and done it myself.

I believe a person should benefit from their labor. But there's a special place reserved for all the mechanics who screw people over...:evil:

Will ensure I look here on the site before I ever shell out another dime for someone to work on my E.

Erik
 

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It isn't rocket science to test an electrically-isolated 12VDC motor with a 2 pin plug, but it sure can be aggravating to get to that plug. Actually doing step 1 can be a b*tch.

The key to identifying which of the fans involved isn't functioning, is simply to see if the Element overheats with the AC off. The condenser fan shouldn't be functioning; the radiator fan should be on as soon as the engine warms up.

The two fans are electrically interchangeable, so if you are in a jam and the radiator fan fails you have a spare. Just unplug both, and if the radiator fan plug won't reach, run jumpers over to the condenser fan.

Aside from the thermostatic switch, the other electrical components involved in fans' operation are listed in this thread: http://www.elementownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?p=922270#post922270
 

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It isn't rocket science to test an electrically-isolated 12VDC motor with a 2 pin plug, but it sure can be aggravating to get to that plug. Actually doing step 1 can be a b*tch.

The key to identifying which of the fans involved isn't functioning, is simply to see if the Element overheats with the AC off.

I have a better way... Just get into the Hwy and the clicking will go away and the AC will work great...
 

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I have a better way... Just get into the Hwy and the clicking will go away and the AC will work great...
You've thinking of those creatures in cars, with their heads out the window and tongues flapping in the wind. They don't sweat; panting is how they cool off. They come in all breeds, but when you hear them howling nut-ty things, you can tell that they're Wrench-meisters. :roll:

I don't suggest that an overheating car be troubleshot by driving it; idling while parked should work.
 

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Yes check fan

This is a very common problem with the E AC fan and Engine fan,, A friend/mechanic showed me a trick if your e is running hotter than normal and it seems that one or both fans should be turing on give them a tap with a wrench or hammer on the back of the fan motor(while the engine is running). Both my fans went out and it wasn't until my second fan stopped working that I figured out I had a problem. Initially I though I had an AC problem, but sure enough when my engine started heating up I kept it running tapped the fan and it began to working. I have replaced both my fans and it takes about 45 mins engine fan and 15 for the AC fan, the hardest part is getting the plastic wire clips re connected after the new fan is seated in place. See other posts on fan replacements.
 

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I don't suggest that an overheating car be troubleshot by driving it; idling while parked should work.
Of course if your car is overheating.

that might indicate a different problem and a different approach needs to be taken. I wouldn´t take it for a spin either.

( I didn´t really get the dogs comment. was that a joke? )
 

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Agree with other posters. I recently change my honda accord's passenger fan and radiator. Car overheated while parking for 25 min. Only one of my fans was working. I would like to add that both fans turn on and off when you turn your AC on. If you see that one fan is not working with your AC on and the other is working, that is a very good sign that the nonworking fan is broke. You can get one from a slavage shop for $50-70 for the whole fan assembly - will cost around $160 from auto parts store for a new fan assembly and cost more if you buy a genuine honda part. I opted for just replacing the fan motor with a new one fron autozone for $100. If you have to buy the motor, make sure you check brand of the radiator. It can be Valeo or Denzo and the motor they use is totally different. BTW, most overheating issues usually occurs when you're in idling for prolonged period of time. Check for leaks and coolant level too.

Also check your thermostat if it is stuck. I use FailSafe brand thermostat. Even if the thermostat is broke, it keeps the flow of coolant continueously.
 

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Hi guys. I hope it's ok to bump this. My AC quit the other day in a nasty heat wave. Mech is saying it's the condenser fan, about $200 for the part and another $200 for the labor. I searched the form for "condenser fan" and found this thread. My El exhibited none of these symptoms. It just stopped working. I'm guessing this would be pretty hard to change myself? Thanks.
 

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Hi guys. I hope it's ok to bump this. My AC quit the other day in a nasty heat wave. Mech is saying it's the condenser fan, about $200 for the part and another $200 for the labor. I searched the form for "condenser fan" and found this thread. My El exhibited none of these symptoms. It just stopped working. I'm guessing this would be pretty hard to change myself? Thanks.
Check out this thread, then make up your mind:

http://www.elementownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=66272

I can tell you that I would NOT spend $400 to replace a fan!!!!!

I would test it yourself using the methods in this thread first to make sure
that the fan is the culprit.
 

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Not too difficult

Follow the steps on the posted short cut,,

http://www.elementownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=66272

You can remove the crossmember bolts on top and then only loosen the bottom which gives you just enough room to slide the fans out, but really it is a lot easier to remove the lower plastic shroud and completely remove the center crossmember. Do yourself a favor and replace both fans while your into it because you better believe that the other fan will die sooner than later. The photos are excellent I found a Discount auto AC parts on the internet $90 dollars engine fan, and $120 for the condensor fan.
 

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Follow the steps on the posted short cut,,

http://www.elementownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=66272

You can remove the crossmember bolts on top and then only loosen the bottom which gives you just enough room to slide the fans out, but really it is a lot easier to remove the lower plastic shroud and completely remove the center crossmember. Do yourself a favor and replace both fans while your into it because you better believe that the other fan will die sooner than later. The photos are excellent I found a Discount auto AC parts on the internet $90 dollars engine fan, and $120 for the condensor fan.
Thinking about trying this myself but I'm a little scared. Do you have the name of the parts dealer you used? Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hi Glorth -
I believe it was car-stuff.com that I ordered mine through. However, I don't exactly recommend them as the part I ordered was not exactly as advertised. I paid around $60 for the fan motor only, but was under the assumption that it was the entire assembly I was getting. It was 1/2 my fault (or more) as I should have known due to the price it was the motor only.
I am willing to bet you can do a Google search (under the shopping section) and find a replacement for around $40-$45 for the AC condenser fan.
It's not a difficult repair - a bit cramped, but it's a pretty straight forward repair.

We'll be here for you if you get stuck. Go crazy with it.
 

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Hi Glorth -
I believe it was car-stuff.com that I ordered mine through. However, I don't exactly recommend them as the part I ordered was not exactly as advertised. I paid around $60 for the fan motor only, but was under the assumption that it was the entire assembly I was getting. It was 1/2 my fault (or more) as I should have known due to the price it was the motor only.
I am willing to bet you can do a Google search (under the shopping section) and find a replacement for around $40-$45 for the AC condenser fan.
It's not a difficult repair - a bit cramped, but it's a pretty straight forward repair.

We'll be here for you if you get stuck. Go crazy with it.
I appreciate it. Just to make sure I'm doing the right thing...the place that diagnosed this wanted $45 for the diagnosis since I didn't have them do the repair yet. They said about $200 for the part and $200 for the work. I have a friend that works in the parts dept of a large Honda dealer and said it would cost about the same through them. He can get me a discount on the part but it's much more out of the way for me. I'm getting my oil changed at a garage near work tomorrow which is very convenient for me. I asked them if they would give me a 2nd opinion and they said sure...for another $45.:roll:

The guy I spoke to was trying to ask for symptoms as he thought it was odd so I double checked. The vent fan runs. It's just that the air blowing out of it isn't air conditioned. Does this still sound like a sound diagnosis?

Thanks again for all your help. This place rules.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'd start with testing the fan's operation and then check back with us. You'll need to two wires that you've stripped the ends on. Connect one side of your fan to the positive terminal & the other to the negative side (see diagram in post #1) and the fan should turn (the motor that looks like a pancake). If not - you've successfully diagnosed a bad fan for yourself and should get a warm fuzzy feeling knowing that you just did $45.00 worth of work in your own garage.

I'd say $200 for a fan might be about right if it was a Honda OEM part. For me though - I figured I can replace this fan 5x by the time I buy an OEM part...and that may well be in the long run. : )
 

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I'd start with testing the fan's operation and then check back with us. You'll need to two wires that you've stripped the ends on. Connect one side of your fan to the positive terminal & the other to the negative side (see diagram in post #1) and the fan should turn (the motor that looks like a pancake). If not - you've successfully diagnosed a bad fan for yourself and should get a warm fuzzy feeling knowing that you just did $45.00 worth of work in your own garage.

I'd say $200 for a fan might be about right if it was a Honda OEM part. For me though - I figured I can replace this fan 5x by the time I buy an OEM part...and that may well be in the long run. : )
I found this at carstuff.com. Which, as you say, looks like the whole unit which would seem to be an easier replacement. I wonder how much better the Dorman is for being almost twice as much. I don't want to go through this again any time soon.

I'm thinking this is the engine fan, which it's being recommended I replace at the same time. It almost looks like the first 2 entries are the fan motor and then the shroud w/out the fan motor. Other options after that are entire units. Does that sound about right to you? Also, would you say it would be significan't faster and easier to change the whole unit or is swapping the motor pretty easy once you get it out? Thanks again for all your help!! :)
 

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I found this at carstuff.com. Which, as you say, looks like the whole unit which would seem to be an easier replacement. I wonder how much better the Dorman is for being almost twice as much. I don't want to go through this again any time soon.

I'm thinking this is the engine fan, which it's being recommended I replace at the same time. It almost looks like the first 2 entries are the fan motor and then the shroud w/out the fan motor. Other options after that are entire units. Does that sound about right to you? Also, would you say it would be significan't faster and easier to change the whole unit or is swapping the motor pretty easy once you get it out? Thanks again for all your help!! :)
i would 100% go with the doorman..they are a good name brand and you dont want to be doing this job again in a year like you said,,,,,as for your other question,,,its always easier and faster to replace the whole unit...however once the unit is out of the car its only a few more minutes and screws to change out the motor...good luck...keep us posted..
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Agreed - once the entire assembly is out of the car - the hard part is over and to me it's worth the cost savings to just swap the motor.

I would recommend spraying a bit of WD40 and letting it sit for a second before attempting to unscrew the tiny phillips head screws holding the fan blade and motor in. (3 screws for each)

I ended up having a bear of a time with one of the screws that stripped as I was attempting to disassemble. I ended up having to notch it with a dremel cutoff wheel and use a flatblade on it.
 
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