Electric Cooling Fan Circuit

Engine engine cooling fan circuit.

Today's electric engine cooling fans are computer-controlled. The control module uses a signal from the ECT or engine coolant temperature sensor to operate the fan motor. Notice in the illustration that the driver grounds the fan relay circuit to operate the fan motor.

Simple fan circuit explained.

Point A is pointing toward the connector from the ECT sensor to the control module. Any resistance in this circuit corrupts the signal affecting fan motor operation.

ECT or engine coolant temperature sensor.

Point B, like the other points, is pointing at a connector. An open in the circuit caused by a broken wire, or a loose plug or pin would result in no fan operation. The circuits driver is unable to ground the circuit controlling the fan motor relay.

Replace a blown fuse.

A short to ground at point C causes the relay to close, activating the fan motor whenever the ignition switch is turned or pushed ON. Short circuits cause high current burning the fuse protecting the circuit.

The electrical symbol for an automotive connector.

An open at the point D, the connector leading to the fan motor, results in no fan motor operation — all four of these answers point to connectors. Connectors and plugs are a common source of problems in electrical circuits and should be visually inspected and tested for continuity and voltage drop if suspected.