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Please Help! Battery light & Radiator Fan Issue

 
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Old 28 Jul 2015, 11:29 am
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Question Please Help! Battery light & Radiator Fan Issue

First of all, I want to thank the posters on this forum. Over the years it has helped me to diagnose and fix nearly all of the issues that I could not figure out on my own.

My wife and I own a 2001 pt cruiser limited. All the trouble began when, a couple weeks after replacing the AC Compressor and getting the AC working again, it overheated causing the AC to force the compressor plug (and all the Freon) out. I replaced both the high and low fan relays after noticing the fan wasn't coming on. The fan now does come on when the temperature gets to a certain level, but not when the AC is turned on. (I figured this was because I have yet to replug the electrical switch back into the AC compressor/recharge)

But now, the PT has started doing something screwy. It will drive fine for a period but then will do a slight little sputter (like when a sports car kicks into a higher gear going fast) then the battery light comes on. With it being the battery light, I thought of the usual suspects - battery/alternator. We took it to advance auto & they tested both and told us that both were running 13.8 amps and anything between 13.5 and 14 was normal range - they were both fine. When the radiator fan kicked on, he said it jumped down to 12, but then returned to normal range.

It's not doing the "normal" bad battery/need an alternator things - no dimming lights or slowing electrical things, no needed jumps, no dying.

The only codes are that the battery was unplugged recently (I did so to recharge the battery, thinking it would solve the problem), that the EGR valve needs to be replaced (been like that for a year and ran fine), and a new "Generator field control problem".

The closest similar situation I found online was a girl who said "they figured out the cooling fan wasn't working properly causing pressure to build up in the heads causing the motor to flood causing the system not to charge correctly" (https://answers.yahoo.com/question/i...7042033AA8GITQ)

Any advice? Anyone had a similar issue? Is the fan issue connected to this? I need to get this figured out because it's our only car at the moment. Any help or ideas will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 29 Jul 2015, 02:45 pm
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Default Re: Please Help! Battery light & Radiator Fan Issue

Does the radiator fan come on now after the A/C is turned on with the engine cold ?
I would check the ground wires on the driver's side fender. Check and make sure the group of ground wires don't have corrosion underneath where you can't see it.
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Old 30 Jul 2015, 09:36 pm
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Default Re: Please Help! Battery light & Radiator Fan Issue

Thanks for the reply. No, the fan doesn't come on with the AC turned on, just when the coolant gets hot. I managed to get the fan to work using both "hot wires" running to the fan when running a wire straight from the battery, which tells me its not the fan, but tracing the wiring was my next step. I've been waiting until Sat to get into that because I didn't want to start tearing into it during the week with work the next day and it our only way to get there.

Along with the whole "Fan kicks on for hot coolant temp but not for the AC" quirk, another thing we just noticed - the battery light doesn't come on if we keep the speed under a max of 45-50mph. (This has meant taking a more scenic route to work the last day or so. haha)

I've been looking through the schematics in the manual that was posted to this site to see which wires to trace on Sat. (Thanks for whoever posted that link!)

Thanks for the advice, I'll look into it and post again when I know a bit more.
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Old 30 Jul 2015, 10:00 pm
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Default Re: Please Help! Battery light & Radiator Fan Issue

I would suggest checking the wires for the generator field control problem. Other members have found a short in the F terminal control wires. They run from the ECU to the alternator in a wire loom above the CV axle and below the exhaust. The wires rubbed on the inner CV axle boot and rubbed all the way through the loom and wire.

You can solder in a splice and sealed it using heat shrink tubing. also recommend putting some plastic wire loom over the harness to provide more protection.

I would work on this first before working on the low speed radiator fan problem.
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Old 02 Aug 2015, 08:42 pm
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Default Re: Please Help! Battery light & Radiator Fan Issue

I checked the area we discussed and sure enough a wire was nearly rubbed bare. (I attached a picture for anyone that has similar trouble in the future.) I used the manual to discover that this was a wire running from the computer to the alternator. In fact, just moving the wire to check it caused the three remaining connected wires to sever and the battery light come on and stay on. I had to add another length of wire because once stripped to reconnect it couldn't reach, but it was connected and heat-shrunk to protect. I also used a zip-tie to hold it away from the axle boot in the future.

Test drove it to a nearby town about 20 miles away and ended up getting it to over 80mph on the bypass, but the battery light never came on either way. Fingers crossed this was the final solution.

I tried to figure out the fan issue, and again noticed the fan will come on if running a straight wire to it but I never got any signs of any power coming to the fan with the AC on. Checked the relay points for the new relays and they're good. I'm only coming up with taking the fuse box under the hood out and following each wire from there to the computer and from there to the fan. Know of any particular problem areas for these wires?

Thanks for the help. 1 problem down - it seems so far, 1 more to figure out.
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Old 02 Aug 2015, 10:43 pm
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Default Re: Please Help! Battery light & Radiator Fan Issue

That is great news.

I would suggest you check the wires from the A/C to the PCM. Make sure the wires are good and making good contact. If the PCM is not communicating with the A/C then it doesn't know that the A/C has been turned on.
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Old 04 Aug 2015, 01:38 pm
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Default Re: Please Help! Battery light & Radiator Fan Issue

I checked the AC wires for good connection and they seemed fine...trying to disconnect the wire connector on top of the AC compressor to make sure that it's still getting a good signal to "turn on" but haven't been able to for the tight space - gonna have the wife do it for me when she gets home at the end of the day (her arms are bonier than mine )

I checked all the wiring for the high speed fan relay -

The relay control wire never had any "juice" to activate the relay and send power to the fan. I was able to use a paper clip to send it from the fuse/ignition switch to the fan wire and it started the fan right up, so the wiring is OK (at least from the power block to the fan). Now i just need to figure out why it's not getting a signal that the AC is on to the relay.
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Old 05 Aug 2015, 11:19 am
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Default Re: Please Help! Battery light & Radiator Fan Issue

traced the wire from the fan relay to the computer - no obvious things (fraying/bubbling/etc). Took the wire connections off the end of the computer and in the end which the relay wire connected to the computer, there was a liquid substance - it looked almost like motor oil and had a similar consistancy. It was pooled in the bottom and was on the pins and in the holes the pins go into. I wiped it out as best I could.

Anyone found this on their PT? Even though I replaced the computer about 5 years ago, maybe I need to do it again? Don't know how oil could have gotten in there under the connector and in the pins...I'm at a loss here...
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Old 05 Aug 2015, 07:54 pm
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Default Re: Please Help! Battery light & Radiator Fan Issue

This is not a common problem but it is also not totally an unknown one, either. The cause maybe coming from a leaking oil pressure sensor. The wire harness is wrapped and/or sealed in a protective tube and the oil wicks along by capillary action and may also actually be pushed up and into the PCM.

I suggest you check the oil sensor for leaks and the harness to be inspected for any other oil intrusion.

I would also suggest removing a section or two of the protective outer wrap of the harness down below the PCM to create a gap which will prevent the wrap from being a continuous oil pipeline.
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