Engine or fan problem?
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  1. #1
    Tadpole
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    Default Engine or fan problem?

    Hi Guys,

    Any advice is appreciated.

    My Renault car, Scenic 2002

    Symptoms: at the low gears, from the engine heating indicator, I can see the heat of the engin goes up very quickly to two more grids then usual (around 5 or 6 minutes in low gears, such as in a long queue and slow traffic), and the engine viberating can be feeled clearly when stopping. But when the speed goes up to 60km/h, after a while, the heat will go back to the normal status (at the middle of the panel), also the viberating is less.

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    Where is the problem most likely?

    By the way, Renault has another car service station at Waterloo which is the one most convenient for me. has anyone tried any fixing there?

    Thanks a lot in advance.

    Yang

  2. #2
    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    Does the car have two fans in front of the radiator? If so, it's quite possible one isn't working.

    If it only has one fan, there's a good chance the fan is not operating at low speeds; it's either going full speed or not at all.

  3. #3
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    En, not quite sure, could be only one. So, supposedly, once I start the engine, the fan should run there, so, I should can tell that, right? I better to check it tomorrow morning.

    Yang

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    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    OK, it does look like there is only one fan, by Google.

    When you start the car with a cold engine in the morning, the fan will turn slowly if the aircon is switched on. If the AC is switched off, the fan is unlikely to run at all until the engine is warm.

    You have checked the coolant level with the engine cold? If this is low, it would explain the temperature rise, also.

  5. #5
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    Thanks so much. I will do the checks and post the result back asap.

    Yang

  6. #6
    1000+ Posts Fordman's Avatar
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    The temp gauge in our Scenic (2003) sits almost exactly halfway on the scale when warm.

    The cooling fans only turn on when the engine gets warmed up and seem to run faster when its a hot day and the engine is hotter. The fans give a lot of vibration in our car, so if you have vibration it might just be the fans operating.

    When you first start in the morning, the temp gauge should go up to half way after about 5-10 minutes then sit steady on half way for a while - this would indicate the thermostat is working correctly.

    When you are going slow in traffic, there is no air flow through the radiator and after a while the temp gauge will rise and then the fans should turn on to pull some air through. Then the temp gauge should come back to half and the fans will turn off again. This is normal, especially in hot weather. When you are driving at 60 km/hr there is enough air flowing through the radiator and the temp gauge will stay on half without the fans being needed. On a very hot day, when you stop you will hear the fans running very fast, they are very noisy. If the air-cond is turned on, the engine will get hotter and the fan will turn on more.

    As long as the fan turns on and cools it down again after a few minutes, it is normal for the temp gauge to go up to about 3/4 when stopped or travelling slowly. A good test is to leave the engine running when you stop after a good drive when the engine is nice and warm. With the engine idling, the temp gauge will slowly increase to about 3/4, then you should hear the electric fan turn on and after a few minutes the temp gauge will return to half way and the fan will stop. That is normal operation. If the temp gauge goes higher and the fan does not turn on then you have a problem.

    If the fan cannot cool the engine down, it would probably boil the coolant (the coolant will be spurting out on the road), then it may possibly be a blocked radiator or something else.

    And as Addo says, check the coolant level regularly.
    2004 Scenic I 2.0 auto (Hers)
    2016 Ford Territory (His)
    2004 WRX (Sunday car)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fordman View Post
    The temp gauge in our Scenic (2003) sits almost exactly halfway on the scale when warm.

    The cooling fans only turn on when the engine gets warmed up and seem to run faster when its a hot day and the engine is hotter. The fans give a lot of vibration in our car, so if you have vibration it might just be the fans operating.

    When you first start in the morning, the temp gauge should go up to half way after about 5-10 minutes then sit steady on half way for a while - this would indicate the thermostat is working correctly.

    .................

    And as Addo says, check the coolant level regularly.
    Thanks for your detail information. The temp gauge was acting exactly as what you said until two months ago. Now, the gauge goes up, but doesn't go back to the middle even the fan starts working. One interesting thing we found just recently was when the aircon was switched on, the gauge seldom went up the high as before: actually it stayed even a little lower then the middle.

    I don't think the two things are relevant, but it lookes happening in this way. A little strange...
    Last edited by yybean; 12th December 2012 at 09:23 PM.

  8. #8
    1000+ Posts renault8&10's Avatar
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    With the age of the car, it would be worthwhile getting a few things checked. The coolant level (how long since it was changed?); the radiator condition - it may need a clean/recore; and the water pump. water pumps are usually changed when you do the major service and have the timing belt kit changed. When was this done on your car?

    When you look at the radiator as much as you can see, is there any signs of spillage, leakage, stains etc. Similar for the water pump although that is hard to see.

    The fact the fan is actually running pretty much as it should from what you describe as is the thermostat.

    I wonder is there an outside chance the aircon pulley is seizing/tight and putting a drain on the rest of the system. Your comment that putting the aircon on seems to affect the situation does warrant further investigation I think.
    KB


  9. #9
    1000+ Posts Fordman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yybean View Post
    Thanks for your detail information. The temp gauge was acting exactly as what you said until two months ago. Now, the gauge goes up, but doesn't go back to the middle even the fan starts working. One interesting thing we found just recently was when the aircon was switched on, the gauge seldom went up the high as before: actually it stayed even a little lower then the middle.

    I don't think the two things are relevant, but it lookes happening in this way. A little strange...
    On the contrary, I would think this is very relevant. If it runs cooler with the air cond on, then it may be because the cooling fan on the radiator is being turned on by the air cond automatically (I think even when the engine is not hot). But the fan is not being turned on correctly when the air cond is not operating. This may be because of the coolant temp sensor which tells the ECU when to turn the fan on, or it may be the fan is only working on low speed - there are 2 relays, one for low speed and one for high speed.

    And if the engine consistently keeps cooler with the air cond operating, then it probably rules out any real problem with the cooling system, other than the fan operation.
    2004 Scenic I 2.0 auto (Hers)
    2016 Ford Territory (His)
    2004 WRX (Sunday car)

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by renault8&10 View Post
    With the age of the car, it would be worthwhile getting a few things...
    Quote Originally Posted by Fordman View Post
    On the contrary, I would think this is very relevant...
    I am just back from the holiday. Thanks for the reply from you guys.

    En, last time the timingbelt and water pump was replaced at 2008, after then, the car run roughly about 15km. Apart from the problem, we can feel the engine shaking more and more heavily time by time. It's time to get the things checked out.

  11. #11
    Fellow Frogger! Alastair Browne's Avatar
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    If it's shaking more than usual, it might be time to look at the engine mounts as well.

    Alastair

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