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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just bought a 2012 Smart Car, is the cooling fan suppose to come on when the AC is running? The AC air starts out cold and then the compressor starts cycling on and off and the air gets warm at idle. When driving it appears to cool okay, I don't think the radiator cooling fan is coming on which causes the ac condenser to not be cooled along with the engine coolant also not being cooled. I am probably going to get under the car and see if I can reach the wires for the fan and see if it's getting voltage unless someone has a better idea. I am waiting on a service manual but want to tackle this now. Any ideas from you Smart Guys ;-)
Budd
 

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Welcome to the forum. You AC is suppose to cycle on and off. If it didn’t your AC evaporator would freeze over. The electric radiator cooling fan. hasn’t anything in to with the AC function of your car. Probably nothing wrong wrong with you vehicle. Does you AC cool?
 

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It turns out the radiator cooling fan was bad. The radiator fan is suppose to come on any time the AC is on. If the fan does not cool the AC condenser that causes the ac head pressure to go up and then shuts down the ac clutch. The cycling is suppose to happen but not every 10-15 seconds. In checking the AC pressures when it kicks off it's due to high pressure from the condenser not being cooled. To prove this I put a big fan in front of the condenser and it doesn't recycle. You MUST have air flowing across a condenser for the AC to work correctly, when you are driving it is being forced air from normal pressures of air in front of your car. That will help when moving, but not in traffic or at a stop... I have worked air conditioning for over 30 years.. If you don't believe me block the fan on your house outside unit - no don't really do that because it could cause many problems. But it proves my point.
 

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It turns out the radiator cooling fan was bad. The radiator fan is suppose to come on any time the AC is on. If the fan does not cool the AC condenser that causes the ac head pressure to go up and then shuts down the ac clutch. The cycling is suppose to happen but not every 10-15 seconds. In checking the AC pressures when it kicks off it's due to high pressure from the condenser not being cooled. To prove this I put a big fan in front of the condenser and it doesn't recycle. You MUST have air flowing across a condenser for the AC to work correctly, when you are driving it is being forced air from normal pressures of air in front of your car. That will help when moving, but not in traffic or at a stop... I have worked air conditioning for over 30 years.. If you don't believe me block the fan on your house outside unit - no don't really do that because it could cause many problems. But it proves my point.
It turns out the radiator cooling fan was bad. The radiator fan is suppose to come on any time the AC is on. If the fan does not cool the AC condenser that causes the ac head pressure to go up and then shuts down the ac clutch. The cycling is suppose to happen but not every 10-15 seconds. In checking the AC pressures when it kicks off it's due to high pressure from the condenser not being cooled. To prove this I put a big fan in front of the condenser and it doesn't recycle. You MUST have air flowing across a condenser for the AC to work correctly, when you are driving it is being forced air from normal pressures of air in front of your car. That will help when moving, but not in traffic or at a stop... I have worked air conditioning for over 30 years.. If you don't believe me block the fan on your house outside unit - no don't really do that because it could cause many problems. But it proves my point.

My cooling fan went bad too, making noise and wobbling, it appears to be a common failure. Very difficult to change due to AC & radiator, so I installed a new fan from the front, the biggest fan I could find that fit on the front of the radiator. I removed the whole front of the car and reached for the cable, did not cut the connector but spliced new cables to connect the new fan, make sure the air goes in by testing the connection of the cables, problem solved. The old fan remained in place so I put a plastic cable tie on to prevent it from moving idle. I may have a photo or two somewhere.
 

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the fan is a Flex-a-lite 104360 - Flex-A-Lite Syclone S-Blade Electric Fan and here is a picture of how i installed it:

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the mounting straps are something i picked up at Lowes and bent to shape. i don't believe in attaching the fan by tiewraps through the condenser/radiator....

you need to reach around behind the radiator and unplug the power wires from the old fan and then connect wires from the new fan to the plug of the old fan wires (you could cut the plug off and just splice the wires, but i didn't want to...) making sure that you get the polarity (+ & -) correct so that the fan pushes air rather than pulls air, and then you have to reverse the fan blade on the motor shaft so that the fan leading edge is oriented correctly for use as a pusher (the fan instructions tell you how to do this)

if you have wired the new fan to the old wires correctly then the fan will work (turn on/turn off cycle) just as the OEM fan did.

any further questions, please ask

Bill

PS: if you are ever going to use the car as a towed vehicle behind, say, a motor home; then the fan i used may be too large in diameter and may prevent you from mounting a base bracket (i learned this the hard way... my solution was to buy another Smart to mount my tow stuff on....)

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