cooling fan relay - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-16-2009, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
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cooling fan relay

check engine light recently came on, and garage tells me that it's the cooling fan relay. they couldn't find the problem, though i don't think they spent a lot of time trying to find the issue. i assume the fans are working - the car is not overheating. any suggestions?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-17-2009, 08:00 AM
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So I'm guessing the OBDII code was one of these:

P0480 Cooling Fan Relay 1 Circuit Low Input (my vote)
P0483 Cooling Fan Function Problem

Turn on the A/C and make sure both fans come on. Could be fuse (just replace, look in owners manual for where it is). Did they change the relay? Also make sure the fans are connected and that there is no corrosion on the connector (will need to disconnect the connector at the fan and use a flashlight to see how it looks). There is a small tab on the connector that has to be moved to disconnect the connector.

Let us know what you find

Year and car model would help too
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-17-2009, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by miker104
So I'm guessing the OBDII code was one of these:

P0480 Cooling Fan Relay 1 Circuit Low Input (my vote)
P0483 Cooling Fan Function Problem

Turn on the A/C and make sure both fans come on. Could be fuse (just replace, look in owners manual for where it is). Did they change the relay? Also make sure the fans are connected and that there is no corrosion on the connector (will need to disconnect the connector at the fan and use a flashlight to see how it looks). There is a small tab on the connector that has to be moved to disconnect the connector.

Let us know what you find

Year and car model would help too

Yes - it was the P0480 code. The garage didn't touch anything, as far as I know. I've got a '98 OBW by the way.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-01-2010, 08:51 PM
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Relay

You could bypass the relay to check the main fan. If you short the rear two connectors (from the position of looking to the rear while opening up hood). There are four relays, front to back the first is main fan, second AC fan, third not sure but manual mentioned linked to one of the fans, 4th AC compressor clutch. The strange issue on this one is the shorting did not work for the AC fan, I had to splice into the positive lead on the fan itself (the ground is through the connector plug to the fan). Put cheap fuse blocks on the lines to prevent fires. Shorting works for the AC compressor clutch though. Not sure if this helps in terms of the ECU, but could help in finding bad relay.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-16-2015, 04:27 PM
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I've got a 2000 base outback.

So my CEL came in the other day so I stopped by the local parts store and checked it out, it came out as a P0483: cooling fan rationality check.

Pulled the relay right there and it turns out that they can't get their hands on one so I put it back in and went home.

I checked the fans when I got home and they are both functioning just fine it seems.

Any chance that I can just reset the CEL and not worry about it? Or should I go down this list?
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-16-2015, 06:17 PM
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The P0483 is detecting that, while idling, when the fans are turned on by the ECU, the coolant temperature doesn't drop down. That could be due to bad relays (there's two), blown fuse (also 2) or failing fan motor (one or both). As both fans seemed to be working later, it's possible that the relay connector blades (where it plugs into the fuse box) weren't making good contact, and by taking the relay out and replacing it, the contact was restored. But that's only one possibility. But it's not a bad idea to pull both relays, check/clean the contacts and replace, whether or not that's the original cause.

The fan motors can become intermittent, which could lead to the same symptom. If the CEL reappears, before doing anything, open the hood and check if both fans are running. (The CEL will come on after the fault is detected in two consecutive drive cycles.)

I've attached a wiring diagram to show what's involved.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-16-2015, 06:58 PM
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I had a hunch that taking out and putting the relay back in may have had some impact on the connection itself. I wish I would've had the wherewithal to check the fan before I removed it.

You're information should prove useful, thanks a bunch!
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-15-2015, 10:22 PM
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After removing and putting the relay back in, the temp gauge still went up. I went and got a new relay at the dealership and had them reset the cel and the gauge still went up.

I've since flushed and replaced the coolant and it's been two weeks since the gauge has risen on me and the cel hasn't lit.

I'm hoping this issue is resolved.
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