On a 1997 Ford Thunderbird LX 4.6, what would cause the cooling fans to run when you first turn the key to the "on" position?

Asked by Dec 14, 2013 at 04:07 PM about the 1997 Ford Thunderbird LX

Question type: General

This car will not start untill the cooling fans shut off and the Service Engine Soon light blinks. This happens every time I start the car. The length of time I have to wait gets longer the colder it is outside. My boyfriend's 95 does not have this problem. Otherwise everything is fine.

2 Answers

23,135

Usually, the module controlling the fan(s) will turn them on when there is a malfunction. It's engineered to do that to prevent engine overheat when the module can't operate the fans properly. The control module, PCM, ECT or wiring has a problem. It will reqiure a scan tool that can read PIDs to see what has failed.

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The issue turned out to be the PCM. It, for whatever reason, was not booting up and able to perform engine control functions. The PCM has to send the CCRM a signal to turn OFF the fan. There also was no communication to the PCM by way of the OBDII connector with a code scanner until the MIL blinked. See the other post under 1997 Thunderbird that would crank but not start until the fan stopped running.

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