Cooling Fan Running Too Often, Doesn't Shut Off - Nissan Versa Forums
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post #1 of 11 Old 10-25-2017, 12:23 AM Thread Starter
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Cooling Fan Running Too Often, Doesn't Shut Off

Hello All-

Just joined up to get some advice from folks who know their stuff (not like me). I've got a 2008 Versa SL hatchback. One week ago, I took the car in to get a coolant flush as I recently moved to ID where temps in the winter can freeze things up. Car has 100K miles and I bought at 60K from private party. Wasnt sure what previous owners had put in (more water than antifreeze maybe?) so to play it safe I had it flushed and refilled with proper antifreeze for colder enviroments. Mechanic calls me and says thermostat is "stuck open" and is bad so I need to replace it. So I had them put a new one in. After leaving the shop the cooling fan kicks on only after 5-15 mins of driving. Nothing has changed in driving habits (highway vs stop-n-go, etc) and the outside temps are only 50-55F. I get no warning lights or temp lights in the car and never have since owning the vehicle 3.5 years. I moved to ID from Las Vegas and ran A/C a lot (very hot summers). Fan would kick on at normal intervals when engine was hot so it was operating EXACTLY how is should. Again, never had any overheating problems even in Vegas. Taken back to shop twice now and they keep telling me their diagnostics computer is reading "normal" in that the fan is kicking on when engine temp reaches a certain temp. I dont buy that BS excuse. They did something to my car during the initial visit.


What could they have done with replacing the thermostat and a coolant flush to cause the fan to kick on waaaaaay too early and then NEVER shut off until I turn the engine off? Once the fan starts up after just 5-10 mins of driving it never shuts off until I turn car off? So frustrated and I'm trying to educate myself on what they did to screw up my car. Please help.
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post #2 of 11 Old 10-25-2017, 05:18 AM
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If your thermostat was stuck open your engine didn't get up to temp and stay up to temp the way it should. Because of that your fan didn't operate properly.
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post #3 of 11 Old 10-25-2017, 08:25 PM
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Welcome aboard.

Does the radiator feel warm to the touch? Do you feel air blowing out the grill or being sucked in?

Normally the t stat routes the coolant inside the engine and heater til its warmmed up to near operating temp. Then it goes to the radiator. The temp between operating temp and fan is like 20 degrees apart, so yeah. In stop n go driving you will have the fan pop off and on frequently. If you use the ac it will run on low then as the engine needs cooling it will burst into high speed and back to low as needed.

I think the newer Vs use 2 tstats to further help it warm up to temp and uses a water to oil intercooler above the oil filter.

Lastly, did you check the coolant level inside the radiator when it is cool? Could be there was an air pocket and the system isnt full of coolant, but again in stop n go driving mines does the same as yours.
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post #4 of 11 Old 10-25-2017, 11:26 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Cobb,
The radiator does not feel warm to the touch. Im not sure on the air going out or in, I'll have to check on that.

I just picked the car up from the shop again and asked about the air pockets. They said they could not find any air in the coolant when it was drained then refilled. Maybe SP1988 has a point because the tstat was stuck open the engine was not getting up to it's normal operating temp? However, when living in Vegas during HOT summers the fan kicked on and off all the time while AC running and it appeared to be "doing its job" as I NEVER once received any overheating light.

This shop in now telling me they ran some electrical tests and used their diagnostics computer and are 99% sure the ECM is failing to send signal to the temp control module? The "Service Engine Soon" light is now on and they are telling me they cannot clear it until a new ECM is put in. Next week the shop wants to run a few more "tests" to make absolutely certain this ECM is the problem.
Does this sound like a possibility of what could be wrong? I'm seeing the cost to replace this is $400-$1000. Is this common in Versa's at 99,xxx miles??? Seems crazy to me the "brains" of the car would fail at just a 100K, arent these Japanese cars suppose to run forever
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post #5 of 11 Old 10-25-2017, 11:59 PM
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Originally Posted by VersainID! View Post
This shop in now telling me they ran some electrical tests and used their diagnostics computer and are 99% sure the ECM is failing to send signal to the temp control module?
I think it is just opposite: temp sensor sends signal to ECM. Did you try to go to another shop for a troubleshooting?

Now, does your Versa has a temp gauge? If not, get any scangauge which you plug in the connector under the dashboard and it can display the temp how it comes from the temp sensor. If it reaches the right reading when the fan kicks it, then you ECM is probably good and it just reacts to the sensor. In this case your sensor may be bad.

If your fan kicks in when the temp reading is not high enough, then your sensor may be good and the ECM is the culprit.

I think there are some kind of devices to verify the electrical temp sensor where you can unscrew your sensor and screw that device, and it displays the temperature, which you compare with what your sensor was reading.

Good luck!
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post #6 of 11 Old 10-26-2017, 12:02 AM
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Originally Posted by VersainID! View Post
Seems crazy to me the "brains" of the car would fail at just a 100K, arent these Japanese cars suppose to run forever
This car is Japanese in the name only. Assembled in Mexico, parts made who knows where.
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post #7 of 11 Old 10-26-2017, 01:16 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SlickVersa View Post

If your fan kicks in when the temp reading is not high enough, then your sensor may be good and the ECM is the culprit.
SlickVersa, thanks for the advise. The fan 100% kicks in/turns on when the temp of the engine is not even close to high enough. In fact, now it sometimes comes on with starting the car and will not turn off until I shut the car off.
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post #8 of 11 Old 10-26-2017, 03:22 AM
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Originally Posted by VersainID! View Post
SlickVersa, thanks for the advise. The fan 100% kicks in/turns on when the temp of the engine is not even close to high enough. In fact, now it sometimes comes on with starting the car and will not turn off until I shut the car off.
You need to find out what the is the temp reading provided by the temp sensor to the ECM, when actual engine temp is low. Get any scangauge which you plug in the connector under the dashboard and it can display the temp how it comes from the temp sensor, and go from there.
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post #9 of 11 Old 10-26-2017, 05:39 PM
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So, ecu is bad, but car runs and drives ok, but the fan just comes off and on for no reason? If its not over heating, whats the problem?
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post #10 of 11 Old 10-27-2017, 12:43 AM Thread Starter
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I've got someone (that I trust) to help me check on what the temp sensor reading is sending to ECU. So I'll report back to hopefully give the community something worthy to learn from.

@Cobb , yeah I agree with you, it all seems a little fishy to me when this shop is so quick to just jump on the failed ECU idea. This place seems a bit more like a "part- replacer" shop than an actual mechanics shop truly diagnosing problems.
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