Page 1 of 1

Radiator fan not working

Posted: Mon Nov 18, 2019 8:38 pm
by Bob216
Hi All,

I have a Rover 216i 16v coupe R-reg. The cooling fan won't operate automatically.

If I disconnect the coolant temp sensor, the fan turns on automatically and stays on. This is the fail safe mode (am assuming). Disconnecting the coolant sensor also causes the engine to misfire or have trouble starting.

The coolant temp sensor is within spec (about 3K ohm cold and 300 Ohm when engine is hot).

There are only two coolant temp sensors that I can see. Both are connected to the radiator top hose, near the cylinder head. One is for the dash gauge and one for the fan.

Do I need to start looking for replacement ECU, or is there a better solution?

Re: Radiator fan not working

Posted: Mon Nov 18, 2019 9:07 pm
by 1234dist
Just replace the cts first, it’s not uncommon to have to replace them every year thanks to carp Chinese sensors.

Don’t buy cheapies from eBay get the Land Rover version.

Re: Radiator fan not working

Posted: Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:51 pm
by Bob216
Thanks, but done that. New cts gave exactly the same resistance readings as old one.

Re: Radiator fan not working

Posted: Mon Nov 18, 2019 11:53 pm
by crepello
You could investigate the ECU response by temporarily wiring a 4k7 potentiometer into the CTS plug. You could relate the 'fan on' resistance to equivalent temperature via the specified behaviour of the CTS.

Re: Radiator fan not working

Posted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:44 am
by Bob216
Have just ordered a 5k pot. Doesn't arrive until Thursday. Will see what gives.
I was hoping this might be a common fault.

Re: Radiator fan not working

Posted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:50 am
by itcaptainslow
Does the temperature gauge actually rise? It does seem to take a lot to get a K-Series fan to kick in, especially in the winter. When bleeding the cooling system it takes a good 15 odd minutes of idling before the fan kicks in (with me worrying that I’ve cooked it in the meantime!).

Re: Radiator fan not working

Posted: Wed Nov 20, 2019 9:47 pm
by Bob216
Yes. The gauge sensor is seperate to the cts but it does rise normally.
The engine overheats to the point the coolant boils in and escapes from the expansion tank and the engine starts burning oil - if stuck in a traffic jam.

The cts is definitely working fine - in that it is changing its resistance (perfectly within spec) when tested in situ, as the engine warms up.
I'll see what the 5k pot does. If it does switch the fan on then I'll be able to measure the resistance at which the fan was activated. It should give me a better idea of where to look for the fault.
As a side note, even though the ecu switches on the fan if the sensor is disconnected, the engine check light doesn't come on(??)

Re: Radiator fan not working

Posted: Wed Nov 20, 2019 10:45 pm
by crepello
Have you confirmed coolant flow through the radiator?
Pump or thermostat fault would affect that.

How is the cabin heater behaving?
Pump fault would affect that.

Re: Radiator fan not working

Posted: Sun Nov 24, 2019 8:03 pm
by Bob216
Cabin heater is normal - am using the old technique of heater on full blast to keep engine temp down when stuck in traffic.
Coolant flow appears to be ok. Although, I don't understand how coolant flow would make a difference here since the cts is heating up to give the correct resistance readings.
The radiator did have some radweld put into it but, as I said above, if the cts heats up and gives the correct resistance readings, then that part of the radiator fan/cooling system circuit must be functioning ok, correct?
The 5k pot has arrived and I will use that sometime this coming week and see if I can activate the cooling fan by dropping the resistance down to about 300 ohms.
If so, then I'll check the cts wiring condition and resistance. If that all checks out, then it's back to assuming a faulty ecu.

Re: Radiator fan not working

Posted: Sun Nov 24, 2019 8:56 pm
by crepello
I believe the CTS would still be in the 'short' coolant circuit even when the 'long' circuit through the radiator is closed, either by blockage or thermostat.
Can you feel heat across the whole width of the radiator?

Re: Radiator fan not working

Posted: Wed Dec 11, 2019 1:41 am
by Bob216
Crepello, I don't understand your point.

Managed to test circuit using a 5kohm pot in place of the cts.
It worked fine. The fan stayed off until the pot resistance was lowered to 360 ohms and then the fan activated automatically.

I've ordered a new cts sensor to try that - as a half-hearted chance. Even though the one already fitted is new (bought to try and fix my ongoing problem) and perfectly within spec.

My question now is, why does a 300 ohm resistance from the cts not activate my cooling fan, but a 300 ohm resistance from a resistor (in place instead of the cts) does activate the fan?

Re: Radiator fan not working

Posted: Wed Dec 11, 2019 6:27 am
by 1234dist
Thermostat.