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Overheats in traffic / Not in idle or while moving steadily over 30

 
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Old 27 Oct 2016, 03:19 pm
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Unhappy Overheats in traffic / Not in idle or while moving steadily over 30

I got an 02 base model PT from a friend that is my daily driver. It had an over heating issue so I replaced the Fan Assembly/ Thermostat/ Radiator and 40 amp fuse and everything seemed fine. That was two months ago.

Now I overheat when sitting in traffic or moving through a parking garage, temperature goes from mid to 3/4 to almost redline if the engine has been operating for awhile (i have either been lucky to get to a good speed or caught it with a heater or just shut off the car. before it hits the red). If I just sit in idle I can see the fan come on and keep it at the half way mark for over an hour. I refilled the AC with r 134a because you could tell it was out from the condenser clicking. AC can work fine but I seem to lose a lot of engine power when its on and sometime it cause the car to tremble while idle. I was hoping I could just run the ac to turn the fan on at low speeds but to no avail on it controlling my issue. However I tried just turning the heater on full blast and it seemed to resolve this issue at least for this mornings drive while in traffic. (This is a horrible option in Southern California but we gotta do what we gotta do.)

So I did some research, I bought a Multi meter and tested both relays and they work fine(I tested them with power running and with out power running to them.) I also tested the fan and it works. The 4 spots I can think of is

1) The wiring (I'm not sure how to check this completely)
2) The water pump (with the issues I'm having I think the water pump is not the issue)
3) The Coolant Temperature Sensor ( since my temp gauge works I'm guessing this is noir the culprit.)
4) the PCM. (I don't even know how to begin testing it)

It seems to me based on everything I have observed that the fan is not coming on when its needed such as when I'm in traffic but will come on during a dead stop. (I don't know how I could test this theory)

I am not extremely knowledgeable about automotive but I am a good researcher and mechanically inclined. I also know I can't not budget a shop and be able to maintain my needs. A friend said to wire the high fan to the ignition and use a manual switch in the dash but I also read somewhere else that this would destroy my PCM.

Has any one experienced this type of over heating before? Does any one have suggestions on how to tackle this issue?

A friend said to wire the high fan to the ignition and use a manual switch in the dash but I also read somewhere else that this would destroy my PCM?

Thank you in advance.
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Old 27 Oct 2016, 05:38 pm
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Default Re: Overheats in traffic / Not in idle or while moving steadily over 30

I would suggest checking to see if the high speed radiator fan circuit is working properly. With the engine off, pull the low speed radiator fan relay off, start the engine and see if the high speed on the radiator fan automatically comes on? You will need to reset the engine trouble code for P0480 after you have started the engine and tested this out.
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Last edited by ptcruisersteve; 27 Oct 2016 at 05:47 pm.
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Old 27 Oct 2016, 07:35 pm
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Default Re: Overheats in traffic / Not in idle or while moving steadily over 30

Quote:
Originally Posted by ptcruisersteve View Post
I would suggest checking to see if the high speed radiator fan circuit is working properly. With the engine off, pull the low speed radiator fan relay off, start the engine and see if the high speed on the radiator fan automatically comes on? You will need to reset the engine trouble code for P0480 after you have started the engine and tested this out.

Thanks, I'll try that tonight when I get home. Car will be nice and warm by then to do a quick test. I'll post what happens.
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Old 27 Oct 2016, 09:35 pm
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Default Re: Overheats in traffic / Not in idle or while moving steadily over 30

Got home fine running heater the entire time. Went through alot of traffic and hills for 30 miles. Not sure if that means anything but I know I can at least get around in bad conditions if needed.

Quick answer neither fan came on during the test. Details below.

When I got home I started test I turned off the car but forgot to remove first relay once I had hood opened. I restarted the car and temp guage was at half. After the temp gauge started to climb after a minute realized I didn't unplug the first relay and the low fan did not come on at all at this point.( I know its been on at times, I've felt it when I was doing the first tests a couple days ago. ) I let it climb to 3/4 and nothing came on.
Turned off engine and then went ahead and removed low fan relay. Turned car back on and took it to just below red before I turned off engine. Car had been on for 2 hours at this point including my drive home from work.

I'm more certain this is a wiring issue after doing this test. Thank you for the idea. Any other suggestions would be more then appreciated. I plan on working on it Saturday and go through all the wires and see what's up with it. I have a millimeter so I can test them and figure out if there's a short.

I found this diagram for how the wires connect to each component.


Last edited by madjack; 27 Oct 2016 at 09:44 pm.
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Old 27 Oct 2016, 10:03 pm
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Default Re: Overheats in traffic / Not in idle or while moving steadily over 30

I am suggesting you have an open circuit.

I would suggest manually checking the radiator fan low and high speed by applying 12 volts to it. Sometimes you can get a bad radiator fan.

I would also physically check the radiator fan plug. On one of the new radiator fans I got one of the pins was pushed in making bad contact.

Keep up the good diagnosis work.
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Old 27 Oct 2016, 10:29 pm
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Default Re: Overheats in traffic / Not in idle or while moving steadily over 30

Thank you. I'll recheck it on Saturday with gator clips straight from the batery. Then assuming the fan works out I'll go through finding where the open spot in my circut is. I figure it shouldn't be to hard to locate since there are only so many wires to check on the PT. I'm going to assume an open circut is more likely to be the issue then the PCM failing.
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Old 28 Oct 2016, 12:49 am
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Default Re: Overheats in traffic / Not in idle or while moving steadily over 30

First I would check the wiring harness connector where you connected the fan.
Check the area inside the connector for anything that looks like heat damage, or anything melted by the pins.
Mine had the center pin (ground) melted causing a loose (open) connection at times. I tried repairing it with spade connector jumpered around the bad harness connector, that too failed not long after. I ran a new ground wire from the battery, soldered directly to fan side of the connector and never had a problem again.
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Old 30 Oct 2016, 05:04 pm
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Default Re: Overheats in traffic / Not in idle or while moving steadily over 30

Update. Tested the fan again directly with the battery. Worked on high and low.

I tested my lines from the fuse box. Low fan had continuity on negative and one on the (I guess hot wire. Battery was unplugged.)

High fan had a resistance on the negative port 30. I could not get Continuity on the hot wire 87 at all. There is alot of wires, the one that is the issue is the green one if I understood correctly. Now I don't know where in the green wire the issue lies. Either it's the connection in the connector that turns on the fan, the wire, or the connection to the 87 port within the fuse box.

Is the green wire one continuous wire?
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Old 30 Oct 2016, 05:47 pm
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Default Re: Overheats in traffic / Not in idle or while moving steadily over 30

Quote:
Originally Posted by madjack View Post
Update. Tested the fan again directly with the battery. Worked on high and low.

I tested my lines from the fuse box. Low fan had continuity on negative and one on the (I guess hot wire. Battery was unplugged.)

High fan had a resistance on the negative port 30. I could not get Continuity on the hot wire 87 at all. There is alot of wires, the one that is the issue is the green one if I understood correctly. Now I don't know where in the green wire the issue lies. Either it's the connection in the connector that turns on the fan, the wire, or the connection to the 87 port within the fuse box.

Is the green wire one continuous wire?
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Old 30 Oct 2016, 07:23 pm
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Default Re: Overheats in traffic / Not in idle or while moving steadily over 30

I would suggest checking to see if the engine coolant temperature sensor is working properly. If the sensor is not working properly the PCM will not turn on the radiator fans unless it gets a signal from the engine coolant temperature sensor.
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