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Nissan x trail 2003 radiator fans/AC

Hi there,

I’ve just bought a Nissan X trail to travel around Australia in. After driving it for around a week I noticed the engine gets very hot. I took it too a mechanic who recommended an electrical garage look at it. I’ve just got back from there and they’ve charged me nearly $500 for the repairs, straight away when I drove home I checked the engine, the fans aren’t on, the engine is hot, I’ve left the car in idle with bonnet up for 20 minutes and the fans have come on 4 times for a Max of 10 seconds each time. The A/C now works which it didn’t before but when the A/C is on the none of the fans come on. I just want to know this is normal. I feel like the problem hasn’t been fixed, I’m worried about my engine overheating and not too fussed about the air con because I drive with windows down anyway. I have noticed a possible leak, underneath about where the handbrake is on the car, I’m unsure if this is from the air con or could be related. I would appreciate any advice before I take it back to the mechanic and make a t*t of myself if this is normal.

I’ve tried to add some photos of the liquid I’m finding, they may not be the best quality but the video was too large to upload, and I’m only allowed to add one image

No, it’s not normal and it’s not fixed. When a vehicle has an electric fan it’s supposed to come on in response to engine temperature. The temperature sending unit might be bad but that’s just a guess.

Those fans MUST work with the A/C on Otherwise, the head pressure on the compressor will go way up and cause overheating and eventually damage to the A/C system. I am not familiar with the X trail but fan operation is usually through 2 systems although they may be tied together indirectly. One controls the fan through engine temperature and the other through input from A/C pressure switches.

Considering the age of the vehicle I would suggest going over ALL of the fuses. It’s possible that age is causing the current draw of the fan motors to be much higher than normal and it may have popped a fuse or fusible link. An ammeter could be used to check current draw on the motors. Again, I have no idea what the current draw is on those fans but if it’s 20 to 30 amps I would say the motors are dragging. A blown fuse or fusible link is a sign of that. Hope that helps.

Thanks for both your replies, a little update, when the AC is on, both fans do come on, although when the air con is not on the fans aren’t coming on, on they are for a maximum of 10 seconds! I’ve spoken to the mechanic and they say this is normal but the engine is far hotter then anything I’ve experience before …

How do you know it’s hot ?
Could just be a faulty gauge.

I’d get a mechanical gauge and hook it up just to see.

What about the thermostat? It it has the original thermostat in it then it’s a miracle it has lasted this long.

I replaced the thermostat in my LIncoln Mark about 3 years ago. The car is currently sitting outside waiting for a new thermostat as the 3 year old one caused the temperature to spike when it stuck shut. I’ve got a new Fail Safe thermostat; just not enough enthusiasm at this point to change it as it is a royal PITA.