Strange Overheating Issue - Ford Mustang Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-03-2014 Thread Starter
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Strange Overheating Issue

Hello all!

I am hoping you will be able to help me figure out what the issue is!

To start from the beginning.. I was driving down a road at 40mph with stoplights every 5 blocks or so. I noticed my A/C stopped blowing cold air, and i turned it up so it would blow harder. After a minute or so of warm A/C, I started noticing some steam coming out of the front driver side of the hood. I pull over, and let the car cool down. NO leaks or drips coming from the bottom.

I let her cool down and limp it home about a quarter mile and filled up the coolant that had steamed off and began to diagnose the situation.

I noticed my radiator fan was not spinning. I took the car to a shop to have them look it over and see what they thought. I told them to take a look at the fan because it as not spinning and the cooling system in general. I figured the fan was not kicking in, so the coolant was not being cooled, which caused the system to overheat and purge some steam off to relieve pressure. The steam comes from under the support that holds the radiator, I can't see exactly where it is coming from. It looks like it's coming from right below where the big metal support piece covers up the top of the radiator. It's a low volume of steam, about equivalent to what you see when you boil a pot of water. Definitely noticeable, but not billowing smoke.

The shop said the radiator fan had seized up and they agreed that there was no leaking. I replaced the radiator fan with a new OEM one, but it still does not kick in and start spinning. Could i have a blown fuse or something? Hopefully it's something simple like that!

I also noticed the bottom left pulley (bottom one on the passenger side) only spins a little bit every few seconds. Every few seconds it will do maybe a quarter or half turn. Is this normal? I believe it is the water pump pulley, but not sure. It's the one with the three bolts on the face of it.

Cliffnotes
- a/c stops blowing cold (but still blows just fine)
- steam comes up form driver side near top of radiator
- no leaks or drips on to ground
- replaced radiator fan
- replacing fan didn't help situation

Thanks in advance for any input!

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-03-2014
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Check your fan fuse, when the fan seized up it probably blew the fuse when the motor was trying to turn and couldn't. When an electric motor is locked and can't turn it draws a few times more current then it does when it is running at speed. Im willing to bet that the fuse is designed to blow when the motor draws this startup current for too long (like when its seized) to prevent an electrical fire from overcurrent.

I would ignore the steam if the garage verified no leaks, just keep on eye on that coolant level every so often.

That pulley you see moving a little and stopping is the A/C compressor clutch. That is the pump that moves the freon around your a/c system. I am willing to bet its acting wierd because your fan isnt turning. The fan not only cools the radiator, but also the condenser of the A/C system. that needs to have air moving over it just like the radiator does. I would put money down that your a/c will start blowing cold again and acting normal as soon as you figure out why the fan isnt running.


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-03-2014 Thread Starter
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That's good news, I'll give the fuses and electrical system a run down and see what I can come up with. Thanks for the input and for dropping the knowledge! You helped narrow it down and I always like learning more.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-03-2014 Thread Starter
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Yep! It looks like it's busted. The little "S" shaped plastic thing on the inside of the fuse is cracked. Going to catch a ride to the auto parts store and get a replacement and see if that fixed the problems.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-03-2014
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The A/C is supposed to cycle on and off, it is not constantly on as that would over pressurize the system. The fuse should have been the first thing to be checked, when your shop didn't even think about checking the fuse that just goes to show how incompetent they are. Find another shop next time, ALWAYS start by checking the electrical in such cases. The fan would most likely need replacing anyways, but it could also have been a one time occurrence that blew the fuse. I had a similar problem last week, I had to replace the fan and the fuse as the fan motor had bad bearings which caused the fan to hit the shroud and break into several pieces.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-03-2014 Thread Starter
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The fuse did the trick! The fan kicked on. Going to let her get to operating temp and see what she's doing now. The fan had siezed up, I could turn the fan blade by hand but there was a ton of resistance making it turn.

Definitely going to use another shop next time. I can't believe they wouldn't even check the fuse. I can't believe I didn't either though... lol. Sounds like you had a fun time picking plastic parts out of your motor bay!

Thanks again for the help! It is much appreciated.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-03-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 02trueblue View Post
The fuse did the trick! The fan kicked on. Going to let her get to operating temp and see what she's doing now. The fan had siezed up, I could turn the fan blade by hand but there was a ton of resistance making it turn.

Definitely going to use another shop next time. I can't believe they wouldn't even check the fuse. I can't believe I didn't either though... lol. Sounds like you had a fun time picking plastic parts out of your motor bay!

Thanks again for the help! It is much appreciated.
Glad that was your issue, I figured that was it. Like i said when that huge fan motor is locked and drawing that startup current for an extended amount of time it will melt the fuse.

Its whats called a "slow blow" fuse. When the fan motor starts, it will actually draw above what the fuse is rated for for a second or two. That fuse is designed to tolerate this higher current for a little bit. But when that current is present for too long, and doesnt drop the fuse gets hot enough and finally melts.

Cool concept, its short and motor overload protection in one.

1985 Mercury Capri- 351w gt40 iron heads 70mm on3 turbo F303 cam

2002 Chevy S-10 2.2L Auto 2wd- Stock (Daily Driver)

2006 Yamaha FZ6- TwoBrothers exhuast, Arrow-cat eliminator pipe, Power commander, K&N filter/"ported" air box, HID converstion, "Naked" fairing swap
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