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So, I have an 01 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GS. When I got the car about 6 months ago, the fan was wired to a toggle switch, and the car would overheat almost instantly if I didn't toggle the fan on. Well, I had someone attempt to fix the issue by getting the fan to just simply kick on when the car did... well, hotwiring it to the ABS was their bright idea. So, my fuse box started burning out the fuse and my car was still overheating because the fan was once again not working. I got another toggle switch and put the fan on it again and that works pretty fine... my question is: when the car is running and it has no radiator issues, is either one of the fans supposed to kick on when the car starts?? Or just when you reach a certain speed?? Or just when you run the A/C? Or when the engine gets to a certain temp??? This has been a consistent problem since I got the car. I'm attempting to resolve the issue. HELP
 

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From my understanding the radiator fans do not start immediately when you turn the car on, I believe it turns on and off periodically when the temperature of the engine coolant reaches around 200 degrees F. It's not surprising that your car is overheating if you have to manually toggle it active. Not sure why the previous owners would do something like that, but you can try to install a temperature gauge and toggle it on when it reaches a certain temp.
 

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2001 Spyder GT
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I thought I would mention with previous issues that it take a lot longer for the fans to kick in if it`s just idling..
 

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The fan on the driver's side is the radiator fan and is controlled by the engine coolant temp. The coolant temp sensor sends a signal to your ECM/PCM, which then turns on/off the fan controller mounted on the fan. There's also a fan control relay and a fusible link. We know the fan is good, but any one of the other parts could be the problem, or the connecting wiring. The troubleshooting steps are at tearstone.com Section 14 if you want to narrow down the problem. I recommend against throwing parts at it because (1) it's pricey, (2) it's not uncommon to break something while installing a new part, (3) the old OEM parts are often better quality than new aftermarket, and (4) it could be your wiring.

The passenger side fan is the AC condenser fan. I know it runs when the AC runs, but not sure whether it also runs in response to high coolant temp (i.e., when the radiator fan runs).

It's also possible that you have more than one problem here. The car should take several minutes to get up to operating temperature when idling, and a couple minutes when driving. If yours is heating very quickly, you may have an overheating problem in addition to the fan not working correctly. It's possible the fans stopped working for the PO and that led to some engine damage before he jury-rigged the fan switch. Just keep that in mind as you're trying to understand symptoms.
 
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