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TV Tip, and Car Question (I adore alliteration) - Kurt's Life (or lack thereof) [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Kurt Onstad

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TV Tip, and Car Question (I adore alliteration) [Oct. 16th, 2003|02:29 am]
Kurt Onstad
[Current Mood |curiouscurious]
[Current Music |The Perfect Drug-Nine Inch Nails]

First off, if you're not doing so, watch Karen Sisco. I declare it the best new show of this season. Smart, funny, with the occasional burst of action. Oh, and you should also read or rent Out of Sight, if you haven't seen it already. It's the book/movie that the character came from, and is also excellent (not something you'll hear me say often about a movie starring Jennifer Lopez.
On a completely separate note, any car experts out there? I just took my car into the shop because it was leaking water like a colander...They replaced a hose that was very obviously leaking (that part was actually kind of funny. They attached an air pump to my radiator after filling the radiator back up with water, and pumped a few times. Water spurt out of this hose like Daffy Duck drinking after being shot...). The other thing they told me was that my fan was not running at all. They looked around and told me the fan switch wasn't working. The first option they gave me was to fix the fan switch, which I couldn't afford to do on this paycheck (at least, not if I also wanted to eat this month...). The second option after I explained this was to bypass the fan switch, and just have the fan come on all the time whenever the car is running. I went for that option. What I forgot to ask, though, is what the downside of this is. Does this drain the battery? Waste gas? Run down the fan belt more quickly? If I leave this as it is, how is it going to bite me in the ass? (Or, alternatively, did I get lied to about the "fan switch" and they tried to soak me for more than the $50 it cost to replace the hose?)

From: sencollins
2003-10-16 03:33 pm (UTC)

I'm no car expert either...

However, we had our fan switch go out recently (a month and a half ago). We also didn't have the money to fix it and so had to gerryrig a line that goes directly to the battery and must be connected anytime we want the fan to run. Where am I going with this?

Well, I've noticed it seems to take a slight toll on the "get up and go" of your car, which isn't that big of a deal, except that I keep pulling out in front of people assuming that my car will be up to speed by the time they get there and it no longer does... It also seems to have a minor drag on gas effeciency, but since it is just spinning a little, bitty peice of metal, it doesn't seem to drain it that much, and is significantly better for gas milage than overheating, which we were doing quite a bit... I'm not sure about the wear and tear on the fan belt, but those things last quite a while and that is how all cars used to work, the fan was on a manual crank that came on with the car... In total, it hasn't really hurt us, except lifting the hood on really hot days, but we should eventually get it fixed.

So, that long diatribe really meant this, you should be fine until you decide to fix it. Drive for a while, with peace of mind, but notice how your car reacts differently and make the judgement call based on that.
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[User Picture]From: cabinboy
2003-10-16 11:42 pm (UTC)

WARNING: Engineering Geekdom Follows...

Being that the switch is bad, you most likely have an electric fan, which would not be driven by a belt. The switch they speak of is a thermostat, turning the fan on when the coolant gets warm enough, and off when it gets cool.

In the long run, having the fan run constantly will effect gas mileage and performance since it takes electricity to run it. That electricity has to come from somewhere, i.e. your alternator, which puts an extra load on the engine. However, I doubt that the difference will be very noticeable, since it probably takes at most about 2-3 HP from the engine to run the fan (1 HP=746 Watts, figure the fan pulls about 1500 watts, plus efficiency losses).

Probably a good fix for the short term, but I would get the switch replaced when you can afford it. That'll save wear and tear on other parts, like the fan having to run constantly, not to mention performance.
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