I finally completed the installation of my new head unit. It wasn’t hard, I just kept putting it off in favor of working out this engine bay cooling fan (a.k.a. “vent fan”) issue.
I decided to just crimp connections to the previous owner’s existing crimps. It’s bad I know, but it’ll have to do for now until I have time and money to remove the entire dash and re-wire everything the way it should be done. I’ll use a reverse harness at that point and make sure that all connections are soldered.
I did some more research on the vent fan recently and found out that the engine bay cooling fan is only really necessary if you have a super charger or turbo — as the N/A (naturally aspirated) model doesn’t typically get so hot in the engine bay that it affects anything (other than the intake temperature). So I can actually drive my car without worrying that it’s going to explode.
More good news is that I was able to find a used replacement vent fan for only $20 on eBay (everywhere else wanted like $160 – $240).
Just to cover all the bases that I could, here is everything I ordered to tackle this issue:
- Engine Bay Cooling Fan Motor (P/N 16363-150900)
- Engine Bay Cooling Fan Computer/Relay (P/N 85927-17011)
- Engine Bay Cooling Relay for R/B No. 2 (P/N 90987-03001)
While I wait for these parts I tried to see if I could follow the BGB’s advise of pulling the engine bay cooling fan sensor to active the fan (which should happen if the motor isn’t bad).
Unfortunately every time I tried to find the sensor I gave up in disappointment. I just couldn’t find the dang thing.
Frustrated with being unable to figure out where it was, I spent several hours pouring over parts catalogs, forum posts, image searches, etc. to try to find this thing. Eventually I knew exactly where it was… or rather, where it should be.
Comparing everything from other AW11s to my car, I found out that my car is missing not only the engine bay cooling fan temperature sensor, but the mounting bracket and it sits on as well.
So this means that I will need to find the wires coming from the engine bay cooling fan relay (some call it an engine bay cooling fan computer) for the temperature sensor, connect it to a new sensor, and mount the sensor on a new bracket in the engine bay.
I tried to find the cooling fan relay in the trunk and it eluded me until I found that it was tucked behind the actual ECU. So now I can try to follow those wires through the firewall, remove all of the previous owner’s bs electric tape wire management, and then re-wire just about everything in the engine bay.
It’s going to be a pain in the ass, and take a long time (a couple of days I’m thinking), but it should make me feel a lot better to know that the electrical system is in a good condition.
I got lucky and was able to find a temperature sensor bracket and the sensor from the same guy on eBay. Total cost for the bracket with the sensor was $20, but I ordered a second sensor for $22 just in case.