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Old 01-25-2011, 05:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Loud fan squeal

Getting some horrible fan squeals from my 90 /91 model, both the cooling fan when I drive, A/C on or off, and also when the thermo fan kicks in after I park it.

I don't know whether it actually is a fan or a bearing or pulley or whatever, as I wouldn't have thought these 2 systems use the same fan?

Sometimes there's no noise and sometimes it's really loud, and when I'm driving if I kick the fan off and on it will stop it for a little while.

I've just had the timing belt changed and mentioned this to the dealer who said all of the fans have to come off for that task so everything will be re tensioned, but the noise is still there. I guess I will take it back in but just wondered if anyone had any thoughts.

Thanks

Scobie
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Scobie View Post
I've just had the timing belt changed and mentioned this to the dealer who said all of the fans have to come off for that task so everything will be re tensioned, but the noise is still there. I guess I will take it back in but just wondered if anyone had any thoughts.

Thanks

Scobie
This dealer is wrong. You don't remove the fans when changing the timing belt. They are electric, and mounted directly to the radiator. Belt tension has nothing to do with the fans on this car. The belts drive pulleys for the AC, power steering, and alternator, and do need to come off when changing the timing belt. If this noise was not there until after the timing belt work, then it's probably just a loose belt.

Are you hearing belt squeak or is the noise actually coming from the fans? You should be able to at least narrow this down for yourself. If it's one of the belts, then you simply need to re-tension it. If it's a fan, then you will need to replace the fan that's making the noise. The larger fan is the main cooling fan and the smaller fan is for the AC. 3rd gens without factory air do not have the smaller fan.
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Old 01-26-2011, 03:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi Colfax, thanks for the response.

I've actually confused the terminology on my initial post which has resulted in it being poorly worded, which your response has highlighted. So I'll try again....

The dealer never actually said the fans would be taken off during a timing belt change, but did say the belts would be, which of course is what you have pointed out as well.

The noise was present before the timing belt change, which is why I mentioned it to them at the time, but was told if it was a belt tension issue, then it would be picked up during the timing belt change due to all belts being retentioned, which sounded fair enough to me at the time.

But seeing as the procedure of changing the timing belt has not stopped the fan squeal, I think it's safe to say that it is not a belt tension problem. So given that, what fan component is common to the interior cooling fan, and also the engine cooling fan that kicks in when the car is turned off, as this is where the noise is coming from. The car has factory air.

I'm at work at the moment so haven't been able to check out your suggestion of trying to localise the noise as yet but will when I get home.

Thanks

Scobie.

Last edited by Scobie; 01-26-2011 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 01-26-2011, 04:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Ok, thanks for clarifying. I was wondering if that guy should even be working on your car, lol.

Interior cooling fan? You mean the heater/AC blower? You didn't mention a problem with the blower in your first post, so I'm confused as to why you mention it now. Unless I wasn't clear about the two fans I brought up. The larger fan is called the radiator fan, and the smaller one (also mounted to the radiator) is called the condenser fan. Do not confuse this with the interior fan that blows inside the car. It's mounted under the dash.

Here is a wiring diagram I found in the online factory service manual. It shows the control for both the radiator and condenser fans. Maybe it will help you out. But since the only moving parts are the fans themselves, you'll probably be replacing a fan.

http://media.honda.co.uk/car/owner/m...sf121/15-6.pdf
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Old 01-26-2011, 04:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Ok, my poor terminology is the culprit once again!

In my initial post when I said
Quote:
both the cooling fan when I drive, A/C on or off,
I was referring to the heater/AC blower.

So the squealing noise from the engine occurs (in both cases sometimes, not all the time) when I

a) Turn on the fan for the interior blower - if the squeal starts turning this off will stop it.

b) After turning the car off and the engine cooling fan kicks in. If it's late at night I'll disconnect the battery so as not to wake the neighbours..! Again this does not happen every time, but as often as not.

Thanks

Scobie

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Old 01-27-2011, 03:46 AM   #6 (permalink)
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OK from what you say and by the look of that schematic the blower motor and the radiator fan are completely separate, so the noise I hear after I shut the car off is definitely the radiator fan. But what is causing the blower noise? Does the radiator fan kick in at all when the air con is running?

Thanks
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Old 01-27-2011, 12:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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3 fans total 1 in the cab 2 under the hood the compressor fan kicks on with the a/c, the radiator fan is temp controlled and the blower fan is controlled from the dash. sounds as though 2/3 if not all are going out. are you gonna be doing the work or are you taking it to a shop?
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Old 01-27-2011, 02:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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are you gonna be doing the work or are you taking it to a shop?
I was going to try and do it myself, unless the job is really tricky. Any tips?

2 fans going at the same time? Is that unusual?
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Old 01-27-2011, 04:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
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OK from what you say and by the look of that schematic the blower motor and the radiator fan are completely separate, so the noise I hear after I shut the car off is definitely the radiator fan. But what is causing the blower noise? Does the radiator fan kick in at all when the air con is running?

Thanks
Yes, they are separate. But it's possible that by turning on the blower (inside) fan, that is also enabling the AC to turn on, which turns on the condenser fan. I'm also pretty sure that it's the condenser fan that runs when the car is off but I could be wrong about that. But I'm suspecting you just have a bad condenser fan.

What I suggest you do is unplug the condenser fan. You don't need that if you are not using AC. Turn your AC off and make sure that you don't have defrost on (the defrost setting also causes the AC to run). Just be aware that it's a kind of a pain to get to the connector for that fan, and it's easier to reach from under the car. You'll need to remove the splash guard. Then drive the car and see if it makes that noise. If it doesn't you'll know it was the condenser fan.
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Old 01-27-2011, 05:29 PM   #10 (permalink)
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If it is the condenser fan then that would certainly explain what's going on.
Thanks for the test plan, could I achieve the same thing by pulling a fuse?
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Old 01-27-2011, 09:25 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Just chatted with a service rep who says that the radiator cooling fan sometimes kicks in when the A/C is running, as the A/C causes the engine to get hotter and trips the thermo sensor. If this is the case makes perfect sense.

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Old 01-27-2011, 10:10 PM   #12 (permalink)
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only tricky part is the blower motor its on the far right under the dash, behind the glove box.
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Old 01-28-2011, 05:54 AM   #13 (permalink)
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The schematic shows the 2 fan circuits essentially in parallel, when 1 fires so will the other. And this certainly happens when I turn on the A/C as I found out today.

They are on different fuses though, so next time it squeals in the driveway I'll just pull the fuses or relays 1 at a time and see when the noise stops.
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Old 01-28-2011, 11:55 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Scobie View Post
The schematic shows the 2 fan circuits essentially in parallel, when 1 fires so will the other. And this certainly happens when I turn on the A/C as I found out today.

They are on different fuses though, so next time it squeals in the driveway I'll just pull the fuses or relays 1 at a time and see when the noise stops.
No, they are not wired in parallel. One is controlled by the signal on the red/grn wire and the other is controlled by the signal on the yel/blk wire. It's the coil that controls the relay and opens or closes the contacts. It's possible that it's designed to turn on both fans when the AC is turned on, but since my AC doesn't work I can't verify that. But if you are running the engine without the AC or defrost on, you should only see the radiator fan turn on once the engine is up to temp unless a previous owner has modified something.

Yes you are right about the fuses though. That would be much easier than unplugging the fan connector, wouldn't it...lol.
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Old 01-28-2011, 03:00 PM   #15 (permalink)
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No, they are not wired in parallel. One is controlled by the signal on the red/grn wire and the other is controlled by the signal on the yel/blk wire.
Thanks again Colfax, I was looking at the wrong manual..didn't check the online 1990 supplement which has the wiring diagram you're referring to, showing the separate paths for the relays. The one I was looking at had the same blk/yel wire across both relays, but is from the '88 manual.

Cheers

Scobie

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Old 01-29-2011, 01:53 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Thanks again Colfax, I was looking at the wrong manual..didn't check the online 1990 supplement which has the wiring diagram you're referring to, showing the separate paths for the relays. The one I was looking at had the same blk/yel wire across both relays, but is from the '88 manual.

Cheers

Scobie
Yeah, I can see how you thought that then. It's strange that the wiring for my 89 is different than either of those. I kind of figured that it would be the same as an 88, but it's not. Anyway, good luck with your troubleshooting Scobie. Let us know what you find.
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Old 01-29-2011, 07:42 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Thanks Colfax. Would you believed the fan has stopped squealing! Prelude heal thyself..!

I'm sure it will come back though, and 40 deg (110 deg F) outside so not the day to spend troubleshooting.

Let you know how I go.

Scobie.
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