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2006 Subaru Outback 2.5i non-turbo.
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I see a lot of people with 05-07 outbacks are having cooing fan problems around 70k. Does anyone know of something OTHER THAN the fuses, relays and fans themselves that could cause this?

I have an 06 Outback with 72k. While idling in the driveway the car started to overheat, the "check engine" light came on and cruise control started flashing. Codes read cooling fan malfunction and pending cooling fan malfunction. Neither fan would run.

Checked all fuses and relays with continuity tester and friend who is an electrical engineer. Everything checked out. Both fans appeared to be dead.

Checked both fans to a separate power source. Both would not run. Each fan was receiving voltage from its wiring harness with the engine running. So I conclude BOTH fans are dead. Odd. Ordered replacement fans from NAPA.

Replaced both fans, reset OBD computer. Everything seemed fine and fixed, or so I thought.

Now one of the fans, the "A/C Compressor" or Passenger side fan, has died again, less than two weeks later, again while idling in the driveway. It worked fine with the heat on full blast while I flushed my radiator, and then 20 minutes later it was dead. NAPA will honor the warranty on the part but I don't want to just put a new fan in and have it die again. Any ideas?

Is there some sort of voltage regulator or sensor that could be failing? Does anyone know of another thread that addresses this issue?
 

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Fuses and relays won't normally cause a fan motor to fail (unless the fuse or relay itself fails causing the motor to stop).

I believe the fans in the 2006 are wired (as is my 07) so that both are on at the same time, either running at a slower speed, or at full speed. In the former case, relays are switched by the engine control module to connect the two motors in series. In the high speed case, the two fan motors are connected in parallel. In the slow speed case, if one motor fails, for example, due to a brush losing contact with the rotor commutator, that motor will be open circuit, and will therefore prevent both from running. In the high speed case, the same situation will affect only the faulty fan. The ECM starts with the low speed setting, and if this doesn't bring the temperature under control, it switches to the high speed. (The selection depends on vehicle speed, coolant temperature, and if the AC is running or not. For example, with the engine started but not warmed up, and the car idling, if the AC is turned on, both fans should come on at the lower speed.)

A bad relay could cause fan operation problems, such as neither running in the slow speed setting, or only one running in the high speed. But this would not normally cause a fan motor itself to fail. Nevertheless, if you want to eliminate this as a possible cause the fan relays (there's three) could also be replaced.

I would imagine that NAPA will take the old motor back so there's no chance to find out why it failed. But it can happen and fortunately it did early on.

Some related threads:

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/66-problems-maintenance/26683-no-main-fan-ac-fan.html

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/66-problems-maintenance/27424-cooling-fans-failed-one-after-other.html
 
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