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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2009 Smart Passion. For the past couple of days when I shut off the car there has been a noise in the front like a fan spooling down. Tonight it has turned into a grinding / rubbing noise ONLY when the A/C is turned on. It sounds like the fan is trying to cycle on and off about every 10 - 15 seconds and making a grinding or rubbing noise. No noise when the A/C is turned off.
Any ideas? It is getting hot in Texas.
Thanks.
Brad
 

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You would not be the first to have to replace that FAN... Vary important to get that problem solved SOON... You want to keep that engine Cool, and not just your Head...<:))
 

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Discussion Starter #3
What I don't understand is why it only makes noise when the AC is turned on. The blower runs fine at all speeds.
 

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When The AC is on, the radiator cooling fan is on high and it is easily damaged by curbs, rocks, ice, car lifts, etc. Mine, the mount was broken and it made all sorts of noise when the AC was turned on. usually the fan does not come on when the AC is not running until temps get much higher.
I did replace mine (sort of) by mounting an aux fan on the front o the radiator and it pushes air through the radiator. 2 years now with mo trouble, cost was less than $70. Replacing the fan/mount requires the front end to be removed including the AC coil, and radiator, which is mighty expensive, and the same thing could happen again. my way puts the fan up farther and out of harms way.

http://www.smartcarofamerica.com/forums/f25/noise-front-end-ac-43949/

Thread with pictures of install...
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I have been looking at responses and I see cooling fan mentioned and also heater fan mentioned. Before further reflection and my edit of this post I asked if we are talking about 2 different fans. Of course we are and the one making grumble noises is behind the radiator. One question answered.
Now how do I get to the cooling fan? I'm guessing remove the front end but where are there any instructions to accomplish this feat?
And do I seem to have a problem with both fans? After it runs for awhile the blower fan seems to speed up and slow down like it is cycling or something even when the AC is off.
Yesterday everything worked fine with the air on and I went to work and no noise. When I came out and started the engine the grumble started right up until I turned off the AC.
Thanks.
Brad
 

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The BLOWER fan is inside the car and runs the AC and heater. The cooling fan draws air through the radiator and is behind the radiator between the radiator and the firewall of the car. Impossible to see unless you drop the plastic pan under the car.

To pull the BLOWER fan, it is located inside the car above the gas pedal. to pull the cooling fan, the front clip and front end needs to come off as it is mounted in the radiator mount.
Also need to drain coolant, and AC refrigerant. Bring a big checkbook...

With the AC on, the COOLING fan will start up outside. Switch to heat and it will go off.

I noticed my AC wasn't working, the cooling fan never came on and warm air out the vents. I added a can of refrigerant and it works much better now. Guess after 5 years it tends to leak out (wasn't working too good last summer either)
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I pulled the belly pan so I could see the cooling fan. That is definitely the problem. When I had it up on my loading ramps so I could get under it I ran the air and found the noise. The cooling fan is coming on and off and the plastic fan is wobbling. Looks like replacement. However, sometimes when it is level it works just fine.
I would tackle a fix myself but we are full time RVers and have no place to work or the tools to pull that much car apart. Any suggestions besides the Smart dealer in San Juan, Tx?
Anyone near Port Isabel, TX want a project?
I'll bet Jimvw57 is still in Minn. and that is a long ways off. I do like the solution you came up with.

Brad
 

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I had mine replaced last week... Thankfully under warranty. They had to disassemble the whole front end: radiator, AC condenser, etc. At least I got a free coolant change out of the deal.
 

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I did my 'fix' with a cordless drill, torx bits, a few screws and a soldering iron. all in my neighbor's driveway (since I don't have one) It could be done in a campground...
 

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AC problem.

I know I've seen my problem posted here before, but can't seem to find it... so I'll stick it in here if nobody minds.
My AC works fine, cold air, as long as I'm rolling steady, anything over 30 mph but in stop & go & mostly stop or at a long light it blows warm air. Sitting still, the air shuts off, then back on & off again. I thought it might be the compressor, but after reading this thread I'm thinking maybe it's the cooling fan... Logically, if the fan comes on, it would mean the fan itself is ok, but what makes it go off & on? Is there a relay or would it just be low on coolant? Again, driving down the road it blows cold just fine.
 

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sounds like it may be low on refrigerant. When it runs, it draws all the refrigerant and the low pressure cutout shuts it off.

Just refilled mine the other day.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well I bit the bullet and scheduled an appointment at the Smart dealer in San Juan, Tx for the replacement. Of course they do not have the part but they will have it Friday and a loaner car for us. Thanks for everyone help.
Brad
 

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This is the noise my smart was making before I replaced the fan.


I used a camera for looking into walls and such I borrowed from a buddy and this is what I saw (hard to see) a clear crack in the mounting brace next to the fan motor.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well the sound is close but mine is more of a grumble and your sounds like it is actually hitting something. I can see the fan wobble on mine when the noise starts.


Brad
 

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Mine probably started that way and I didn't notice it (??) or it could have gotten snow/ice stuck in there, or maybe it was bad from the factory...I don't know.but since I fixed it, I have not had any problems with overheating or heard any noise.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well the Smart is home again and all fixed. The bearing went out of the cooling fan. The parts were not all that awful but the labor is a killer because so much has to be removed. Well at least I have new coolant and a fresh charge on the AC. Hopefully no more problems are around the corner.
Thanks for you help.
Brad
 

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When The AC is on, the radiator cooling fan is on high and it is easily damaged by curbs, rocks, ice, car lifts, etc. Mine, the mount was broken and it made all sorts of noise when the AC was turned on. usually the fan does not come on when the AC is not running until temps get much higher.
I did replace mine (sort of) by mounting an aux fan on the front o the radiator and it pushes air through the radiator. 2 years now with mo trouble, cost was less than $70. Replacing the fan/mount requires the front end to be removed including the AC coil, and radiator, which is mighty expensive, and the same thing could happen again. my way puts the fan up farther and out of harms way.

http://www.smartcarofamerica.com/forums/f25/noise-front-end-ac-43949/

Thread with pictures of install...
Have you seen any videos that shows anyone doing what you did here? Or any videos at all that could help the person who never worked on Smarts before with something like this? A picture of what your looks like with the new fan? A link to the fan that you purchased? Did you use the wiring that came off the old fan?
 

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Evilution has some basic info on removing the radiator: https://www.evilution.co.uk/index.php?menu=engine&mod=1160

If you haven't subscribed yet, it's worth every penny. :)
No I mean how you did yours with a different aux fan so you didn't have to remove the radiator.

Have you seen any videos that shows anyone doing what you did here? Or any videos at all that could help the person who never worked on Smarts before with something like this? A picture of what your looks like with the new fan? A link to the fan that you purchased? Did you use the wiring that came off the old fan?
 
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