This tutorial will help you to test the cooling fan motors and cooling fan motor relays on your Ford Escape or Mazda Tribute in a comprehensive step-by-step way.
You won't need any expensive or exotic tools to do it, since all you'll only need to use is a multimeter and a jumper wire.
And if you're a serious DIY'er, I've made some tool recommendations that you'll want to have in your tool box for such an occasion (as testing any other cooling fan motor).
Puedes encontrar este tutorial en Español aquí: Probando Los Ventiladores Del Radiador (3.0L V6 Ford Escape - Mazda Tribute) (en: autotecnico-online.com).
APPLIES TO: This tutorial applies to the following vehicles:
- 3.0L Ford Escape: 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004.
- 3.0L Mazda Tribute: 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004.
Important Tips And Suggestions
TIP 1: This article focuses on testing the 2-wire cooling fan motors and the cooling fan motor relays of the 3.0L equipped Ford Escape and Mazda Tribute.
The fan motors on the 2.0L Escape and Tribute are 3-wire type fan motors and testing them requires a slightly different but significant approach not covered by this article (yet).
The only test in the article that applies to the 2.0L equipped Escape is TEST 4: Testing The Fan Relay.
What Tools Do I Need To Test The Fan Motor And Fan Relay?
As mentioned at the beginning of the article, you don't need anything fancy. This is the basic list of tools you'll need to diagnose and troubleshoot the cooling fan motors and cooling fan relays:
- A digital or analog multimeter will work.
- If you need to buy one or are looking to upgrade, check out my recommendations here: Buying A Digital Multimeter For Automotive Diagnostic Testing.
- Jumper Wires
- You'll need two of them with alligator clips on both ends (you can make these yourself).
- You'll need to more with male spade terminals on both ends (you can also make these yourself).
- Wire Piercing Probes
- To see what this tool looks like: Wire Piercing Probe.
A scan tool comes in handy, but it's not a must have tool to take advantage of this article.
Ford Escape Electric Fan System Basics
The core function of the cooling fan motor is to maintain the engine within a certain temperature range and to prevent overheating.
If the temperature exceeds 225° F, the engine starts to overheat and this can result in serious engine damage (like a blown head gasket, cracked cylinder heads and engine block).
It's within a temperature range of 195° F and 225° F that the engine will work at its most optimal state and keep pollution down, get the best gas mileage and all this good stuff.
The electric cooling fan system uses the following core components:
- Two electric cooling fan motor assemlies
- Fan motor 1 (located on the driver side of the radiator).
- Fan motor 2 (located on the passenger side of the radiator).
- Four cooling fan relays. These are:
- The Low Speed Fan Control Relay.
- Identified by the number 3.
- The High Speed Fan Control Relay 1.
- Identified by the number 1.
- The High Speed Fan Control Relay 2.
- Identified by the number 2.
- The Medium Speed Fan Control Relay.
- Identified by the number 4.
- The 3.0L equipped Ford Escape (Mazda Tribute) is the only one that uses the Medium Speed Relay.
- The Low Speed Fan Control Relay.
Ford's cooling fan motor control system may seem like a bit of overkill with its 4 fan relays...
...But, it looks and reads more complicated that it really is. In this article, we'll test the most common failures, which usually means that one of the following has failed:
- One of the two (or both) fans.
- One of the several cooling fan motor relays.
- One of the several cooling fan motor fuses.
With the help of this article, you'll be able to easily test either (or both) of the cooling fan motors, the fan relays and of course the fuses.
Let's turn the page and get testing.