Strange Cooling Fan issues - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
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post #1 of 4 Old 06-11-2019, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
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Question Strange Cooling Fan issues

Good afternoon Toyota Nation folks.

Lately I've been having an odd issue with my cooling fans. For the past 2 or 3 weeks, the fans would come on with the ignition when cold, not low speed, but high speed. Engine not running, AC / Fan off. I thought it was the fan switch on the radiator but when I unplugged it, the fans stayed on anyway. I could pull the relays and they would shut off. Since I was under the car anyway, I went ahead and drained the radiator and refilled with new coolant and a bottle of Water Wetter.

Fast forward to today, second day of extremely hot weather, been running the AC pretty much non-stop when I'm driving. This afternoon I noticed when the AC was off, the fans weren't running continuously like they did, so I figured I'd watch the temp with my BluDriver scan tool and see if they would kick on. Well, at 208 Degrees, nothing, so I kicked on the AC to get the fans to cool the system.

So, I'm wondering if it *is* the fan switch, or maybe the relays? I have two new ones coming from RockAuto today, as well as a new switch I bought last weekend, or could it be the ECU Temp sensor up by the hot water outlet? I would assume since there is a fan switch, that the ECU wouldn't be responsible.

Any ideas are helpful!
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post #2 of 4 Old 06-11-2019, 04:23 PM
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Test the switch that is in the radiator - that's the one that turns on the fans when temps get up there. It is supposed to be open when temps get high to turn on the fans, and closed when the temps come down.
The whole system is designed to fail-safe - if any component fails open, the fans will stay on. That's why when you unplug the switch on the radiator the fans stayed on. The switch turns the fans off if that makes sense, and turns them back on when coolant gets hot.
AC has another switch that turns the fans on and off independently of the radiator switch.
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post #3 of 4 Old 06-12-2019, 06:48 AM
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+1 fan switch is primary culprit. They usually get stuck closed (and are normally closed), so the fans don't come on at idle.

Let's assume your ECT and gauge senders are working fine. When you see the gauge needle move at all (from the middle where it normally resides), turn on the A/C to keep the engine cool. IME the fan switch opens before the gauge needle moves.

Not to hijack the thread, but what's normal operating temperature for gen4 5S_FE? I replaced a defective thermostat on mine today, and the fans started coming on; 103 deg F ambient and live data showed between 207 (moving) and 216 (max at idle).

00 Camry 5S-FE 184k smoooth
01 ES300 147k NEEDS TRANS WORK
01 Insight 137k BROKEN CAMSHAFT
02 Insight 178k DC-DC BELLY-UP
08 STS-V 67k 570 RWHP!
01 Viggen 112k 400 FWHP
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post #4 of 4 Old 06-12-2019, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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In my case, the switch was stuck open, when I took it out, I tested with my multimeter and didn't have continuity.
New switch in, and the fans came on around 215 Degrees F not moving, then off around 197.
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