MINI Cooper MINI Cooper specs
 

Go Back   North American Motoring > 1st Generation MINIs > Stock Problems/Issues
Sign in using an external account
Register Forgot Password?


Welcome to North American Motoring !
Welcome to North American Motoring,

You are currently viewing our forum as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our community, at no cost, you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is free, fast and simple, so please join our community today!


» Latest Main Topics
Advertisement

Reply
 
 
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 04-17-2013, 04:38 PM
Eleo Eleo is offline
3rd Gear
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 152
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Gallery
Garage
Coolant temperature warning light at low speed

This evening, I was stuck in traffic. I noticed that white smoke seemed to be coming from my hood, but I wasn't sure if it was really from my hood or the car in front of me. I heard a weird noise (sorry I can't describe it, I had to turn off my music to make sure I was hearing anything) maybe three times as I inched forward in stop-and-go traffic, but then it went away. Could have been nothing or something else in the vicinity, but the noise did seem to correlate with me moving forward.

I noticed around the same time that my coolant temperature warning light was on. This in conjunction with the sound had me getting ready to try to pull over and see if anything was wrong, but then the light went away on its own. Traffic picked up and I didn't see or hear anything out of the ordinary for the rest of the ride home.

When I got home, I looked under the hood. There appears to be some fluid in the general area of the power steering pump reservoir. I'm not sure what tank/reservoir that is right next to it; is that the coolant tank? There's kind of a "spatter pattern"; looks like the fluid sprayed/splashed. Whatever fluid it is, it was pretty slick when rubbed between my finger and thumb. The fluid appeared to be a bright yellowish/greenish color on a white cloth.

Any ideas what's going on? What would make the car freak out when moving < 10mph yet be OK when I sped up?

This is a 2004 R50.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 04-17-2013, 05:12 PM
Eleo Eleo is offline
3rd Gear
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 152
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Gallery
Garage
Radiator fan? My radiator fan isn't spinning at all. I turned on the car, turned on the AC to the lowest temp and put the fan speed on maximum. My radiator fan just sits there.

How do I verify that it's working properly? Or at all? Maybe when I was driving at low speed, there wasn't enough air flow to keep the engine cool? And then when I picked up speed, there was enough moving air to make up for the radiator fan? I just never encountered this issue because I generally don't encounter this kind of traffic congestion.

9 year old car with 95K miles, and I'm reading that at this mileage, the fan should be dead. Not sure how much the radiator fan affects the coolant, or if it could cause it to spray or boil or something like that. Whether that's the problem or not, I think I want to replace this radiator fan in the near future.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-17-2013, 05:23 PM
xsmini's Avatar
xsmini xsmini is offline
6th Gear
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Bishop, Ca
Posts: 1,802
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Gallery
Thats the problem, these cars need that fan spinning. They do ok when moving, but sitting even a few seconds will cause them to heat up. I believe the AC kicks on the low speed fan, (which is the one that most commonly fails) if you let it run long enough the high speed fan should come on, I believe around 220.

Nik
__________________
2003 LY/W Cooper S w/ 337,000+ ish? Miles
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-17-2013, 07:49 PM
ZippyNH ZippyNH is offline
6th Gear
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Southern NH
Posts: 9,824
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Gallery
Bet your PS fan is STUCK...
This often causes a blown fuse, rendering the Radiator cooling fan inoperative.
This issue was fixed on 2005+ model year gen1 cars, and on cars with the "modified" wiring harness done under a dealer service campaign.
If I recall, the blown fuse is just a 5 amp one in the drivers side interior fuse compartment.
Having NO fan WILL result in an OVERHEAT...the RED LIGHT means TURN OFF THE CAR.
Just having a failed LOW SPEED fan will NOT result in an overheat...the hi speed fan will kick on...cooling the car...it will be LOUD, but will prevent overheating.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-18-2013, 10:46 AM
Eleo Eleo is offline
3rd Gear
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 152
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Gallery
Garage
I need to jack up the car to confirm, but I think the PS fan is working. It's hard to see it spinning with a flashlight and the car grounded, but I can also hear it moving a lot of air. I checked fuse F5 as well, and it looks OK to me.

My theory is that the low-speed hasn't worked since I bought this car. The high-speed used to spin up when I idled; made a loud vacuum-like sound every 1-2 minutes. I can't remember the last time I heard it do that, though; makes me wonder if the entire radiator fan is working in any capacity now.

This is actually kind of a pretty easy problem to miss, especially since I do mostly highway driving. Even when I hit stop-and-go traffic, I rarely end up going as slowly as I did yesterday.

I'd definitely like to get the radiator fan working in full capacity given how the weather is getting warmer.

How should I check if the radiator fan functions at all? Hopefully it's just the low-speed resistor and I can fix it for cheap; a new fan assembly isn't cheap but there are some OEM options under $200.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-18-2013, 11:03 AM
Eric_Rowland's Avatar
Eric_Rowland Eric_Rowland is offline
6th Gear
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Posts: 12,898
Feedback Score: 3 reviews
Gallery
Got a replacement fan for $89 delivered from Rock Auto.

Per the Bentley manual, and confirmed by my ScanGauge, the fan operates at low speed at 221F, and turns off at 214F. The fan switches to high speed at 234F and remains on high until the coolant temps drops by 7F. Supposedly it also turns on when the AC is on and the AC system pressure reaches 8 bar (114psi)
So if you have a temp gauge, you'll know the whole fan is dead if it doesn't kick on by 234F
Otherwise you could run a jumper wire, but not sure of that procedure.
__________________
'04 IB/W MCS w/all the goodies, Ian's auto-up/GDO, MMC#I69/MID CURV169; power folding mirrors
"You can't save the world unless you're willing to make other people sacrifice." - Dogbert, via Pendergast
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04-18-2013, 11:14 AM
ZippyNH ZippyNH is offline
6th Gear
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Southern NH
Posts: 9,824
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Gallery
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric_Rowland View Post
Got a replacement fan for $89 delivered from Rock Auto.

Exactly what I did YEARS ago...NO ISSUES!!
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04-18-2013, 11:20 AM
ZippyNH ZippyNH is offline
6th Gear
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Southern NH
Posts: 9,824
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Gallery
To check the radiator fan to see if it runs at all (quick and dirty), try just turning on the AC when the car is not moving....Fan will be turned on within seconds (if it works)!!
If not....you have a clue.....to start tracking down the issue.
Another trick...drive up and park your car on a curb, and half on a road (from a driveway)...this will give you access to the underside of the car to check the PS fan..no jack+jack stands needed if the curb is reasonably high, and you are reasonable small...on a VERY quiet street!!
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 04-18-2013, 11:33 AM
Eleo Eleo is offline
3rd Gear
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 152
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Gallery
Garage
I was looking at Rock Auto for their fan resistor. Didn't know they had fans for $89; I'll check that out.

The fan does not actuate when the AC is on.

I don't have a temp gauge. I'm wondering if I can get the temperature in real-time with my Bluetooth OBDII and the Torque app for Android... (Thinking out loud.)
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 04-18-2013, 01:29 PM
ZippyNH ZippyNH is offline
6th Gear
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Southern NH
Posts: 9,824
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Gallery
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eleo View Post
I was looking at Rock Auto for their fan resistor. Didn't know they had fans for $89; I'll check that out.

The fan does not actuate when the AC is on.

I don't have a temp gauge. I'm wondering if I can get the temperature in real-time with my Bluetooth OBDII and the Torque app for Android... (Thinking out loud.)
Ok...so it is possible the fan is OK, but not getting power....
The fan connectors are on top of the area by the radiator.. kinda a circular shaped plug...to the right side. There (should be 2 plugs close together, on a car with the ps fan still running off the Radiator fan circuit ) One plug will have 2 wire connector....this goes to the PS fan...the other goes TO the rad..has multiple wires.
IMO get a multimeter, and TEST it for power!
90% chance the low speed is gone on the fan...But just tossing in a new one will STILL result in no fan (hi or low) if the issue is anything OTHER than the fan being BURT out!
Typically, the hi speed is fine....so I'd dig deeper BEFORE swapping it out.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 04-18-2013, 03:43 PM
Eric_Rowland's Avatar
Eric_Rowland Eric_Rowland is offline
6th Gear
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Posts: 12,898
Feedback Score: 3 reviews
Gallery
If the red light (WAY overheated) came on, I'd say the whole fan is kaput. I discovered my low speed was out after it killed my AC compressor (lack of flow = overstressed) but the fan still came on at 234F () so I never got a warning light. I was stressed out enough when I saw it hit 225. Certainly worth testing, but that's my $0.02.
__________________
'04 IB/W MCS w/all the goodies, Ian's auto-up/GDO, MMC#I69/MID CURV169; power folding mirrors
"You can't save the world unless you're willing to make other people sacrifice." - Dogbert, via Pendergast
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 04-18-2013, 04:14 PM
Eleo Eleo is offline
3rd Gear
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 152
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Gallery
Garage
Ugh, had a whole post written out but then it got lost when I had to log in.

Anyway, the power steering fan appears to work fine. In fact, when I turn the key to the farthest position without starting the car, the power steering fan came on and ran for a good ten minutes. I walked away and came back, it was finally off.

I used my OBD2 to watch the coolant temps with the car sitting in the driveway... The temps passed 235F, but the radiator fan never started at all. The PS fan seemed to turn itself off around 212F.

I checked the radiator fan connector and nothing seems out of the ordinary.

It's possible the entire fan is dead, but I'm also somewhat skeptical. I ordered a replacement fan since I'm confident low speed has been dead since purchase, but I'm not sure if replacing it is all I need to do. Although I definitely hope so.

I don't have a multimeter. I'll order one from Amazon to try to get it here by Saturday, and then see if there's power going to the fan at all. But if it wasn't, what should I look at next?

The dried coolant takes on a white/greenish color not unlike dried toothpaste. There are spatters in a few places. Coolant level still looks OK though.

Hopefully there aren't any other issues contributing to overheating...
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 04-23-2013, 04:18 PM
Eleo Eleo is offline
3rd Gear
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 152
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Gallery
Garage
I propped up the new radiator fan outside of the car, and was able to get it to start by turning on the AC. I think the old one is completely shot, hence my coolant boiling! Maybe a non-functioning fan should trigger an SES light? It's way too easy to overlook that this thing is not working, and in my case the only warning was smoke and coolant spray.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 04-24-2013, 02:38 AM
Eric_Rowland's Avatar
Eric_Rowland Eric_Rowland is offline
6th Gear
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Posts: 12,898
Feedback Score: 3 reviews
Gallery
Yeah, SES would be nice, before it kills the AC compressor as it did in my case. :/
__________________
'04 IB/W MCS w/all the goodies, Ian's auto-up/GDO, MMC#I69/MID CURV169; power folding mirrors
"You can't save the world unless you're willing to make other people sacrifice." - Dogbert, via Pendergast
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 04-24-2013, 05:18 AM
bouddha bouddha is offline
1st Gear
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 23
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Gallery
I had the exact same issue, it turned out to be 2 problems:
- low speed fan resistor dead
- thermostat stuck

replaced the thermostat and later on did the low speed fan resistor mod, now everything is just fine.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 04-24-2013, 05:51 AM
ZippyNH ZippyNH is offline
6th Gear
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Southern NH
Posts: 9,824
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Gallery
Issue is a fan is not made to trigger a light...
Power is sent to it....computer just knows car is running hot...it does not know if it is hot cause of extreme workload..towing, hot temps, etc....guess on a new car, fan could have a rpm sensor to check...but often sensors are actually less relilable than the part they are montoring, especially on older cars!!
Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2013, 05:51 AM
 
 
 
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Forum Jump


MINI CooperMINI Cooper PrivacyMINI Cooper Terms of UseMINI Cooper Guidelines MINI Cooper Advertising The North American MINI Cooper Community
  MINI Cooper news, forums, FAQs, and reviews for enthusiasts and owners of the North American MINI Cooper
All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:24 AM.
 Copyright © 2002-2008 North American Motoring. All Rights Reserved.     Powered by vBulletin and vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:24 AM.



Powered by vBulletin and vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.
North American Motoring is an independently operated web site supporting MINI owners and enthusiastsworldwide. As such it has no official relationship with MINI USA, BMW AG, or BMW of North America.All original artwork and design is Copyright © 2002-2004 North American Motoring.
Admin Account Passwords