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FAN PROBLEM - POLL SYNOPSIS


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#31 Reflex TDI

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 05:25 PM

Good work by all of you, over and above the call of duty and probably the most worthwhile thing this forum has achieved in terms of helping the MkIV community from spending needlessly when out of warranty.

Also top dollar entertainment watching you get out of your tree Andy when people can't be ersed to read your threads. [Y]



#32 andymac

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 05:37 PM

Cheers, I have calmed a little now... I was at the time spending alll my time responding too fan posts..



I was getting sooo many PMS and emails it took the wee wee... even had
people asking if I could dome round and fix there fans or diagnose
them.. when all the info was here





#33 Kev 4motion

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 06:50 PM

Yeah , Cheers to Andymac , BigAl  &  RFsteel  , best post / information on the site as it effects so many people , and great of them to keep on giving out info after the post has been going for so long ... but it does help a lot of people  [H]  , and is very appreciated  ( by me anyway ) .


I bet this post goes on forever now ,  ie  Thanks Thanks Thanks from everyone , but it is deserved , credit where due .  Thanks , lads , well done !



#34 rtheme

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Posted 07 June 2006 - 02:26 AM

I'm waiting for VW customer services to ring to see if they are going to make a good-will gesture for the replacement of my fans.


Will let you know.



#35 mikem1

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Posted 07 June 2006 - 03:30 AM

If they don't sort you with some I've still got 3 Pairs of these fans Genuine VW Brand New for 160 delivered for a pair within Mainland UK.


Mike
OEM Parts
01603 722583



#36 MISSL

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 08:05 AM

I got told about there being a problem with the fans ages ago, and was told that VW's were being recalled in America to fix the problems with the fans (funny how they never offer a service like that over here). They offered me a buy one get one free , which makes no difference when they charge 70+VAT for labor. I told them no thanks.


Reading that many people have replaced them for them to burn out once again does not fill me with hope!!


So where abouts do these cowboys tie their horses up??????



#37 rawtor51

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 03:37 PM

so , i checked mine and they both seem to be working, although i think they have possibly been changed when the previous owner had it as the cable protector on the wire has not been put back on correctly.

#38 vartan

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 07:09 AM

A series resistor is a pretty sucky way to control the speed
of an electric motor! You would have expected better from
VW in the 21st century.


Using the figures from BIGAL, we have about 80 Watts of heat
dissipation in the resistors. That is 80 J/s.


Assuming a petrol energy content of 35 MJ/lt and a 20% overall
efficiency of converting that to electrical energy at the alternator
output, we have a wastage of about a litre of petrol for every
24 hours of engine running time.


If this doesn't sound much, just take a chronometer with you for
a week and keep it running for as long as the engine is running.
You might be suprised. The figure will be way above what you
might think.


The best way for VW to fix this would be to replace the
fan control unit with a unit that uses power electronics to
control the fan speed. These work with minimal heat dissipation,
are simple to make (your washing machine motor is probably a
DC motor whose speed is controlled like this) and could
be used to vary the fan speed in an infinitely continuous
manner rather than the three speeds of off/slow/fast.


Most importantly, it could still work on cars with
burnt-out fan resistors, because it would use the main
input, bypassing the resistor.


Do I see VW doing anything about it? Hahaha.


I'm sure I can come up with such a design, but it would
have to be externally mounted similarly to the external
resistors. Still, much more efficient.



#39 IanMK

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 07:58 AM

Had my second set of fans replaced last week under warranty so car is on its third set. Not even done 30K yet.


This set is the new revision but I see this is also prone to failure.


Has no-one started selling aftermarket resistor mods yet? I am just thinking of when my warranty expires.



#40 CoolHands

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 08:08 AM

Has no-one started selling aftermarket resistor mods yet? I am just thinking of when my warranty expires.

 


http://www.uk-mkivs....ead/553268.aspx


 


Two left.



#41 andymac

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 09:37 AM

A series resistor is a pretty sucky way to control the speed
of an electric motor! You would have expected better from
VW in the 21st century.

Using the figures from BIGAL, we have about 80 Watts of heat
dissipation in the resistors. That is 80 J/s.

Assuming a petrol energy content of 35 MJ/lt and a 20% overall
efficiency of converting that to electrical energy at the alternator
output, we have a wastage of about a litre of petrol for every
24 hours of engine running time.

If this doesn't sound much, just take a chronometer with you for
a week and keep it running for as long as the engine is running.
You might be suprised. The figure will be way above what you
might think.

The best way for VW to fix this would be to replace the
fan control unit with a unit that uses power electronics to
control the fan speed. These work with minimal heat dissipation,
are simple to make (your washing machine motor is probably a
DC motor whose speed is controlled like this) and could
be used to vary the fan speed in an infinitely continuous
manner rather than the three speeds of off/slow/fast.

Most importantly, it could still work on cars with
burnt-out fan resistors, because it would use the main
input, bypassing the resistor.

Do I see VW doing anything about it? Hahaha.

I'm sure I can come up with such a design, but it would
have to be externally mounted similarly to the external
resistors. Still, much more efficient.



Excelent response... I could not design the circuit but would be able to build and test it ... tell me what you need and lets see if we could move this along a bit....

There was a Swede who cam on here and he hacked the speed controller from an RS4 to control his fans though we nevere got part nos of him

Cheers


#42 vartan

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Posted 24 June 2006 - 07:20 AM

Well, work took me to South London last week and it so happens
there was a VW main dealer within walking distance. So I went and
asked to talk to the chief mechanic.


He looked at me a bit defensively at first but then he opened up.
He admitted that they had replaced 'a fair few' of the fan pairs.
I asked him whether the part had been revised and whether this would
happen again if I had it replaced.


He took me to the parts department and the parts guy said that
they had done a number of these and that the part had now been revised
so that the new part should not suffer this failure. He confirmed the
24-month warranty on genuine parts.


(Incidentally, he also said the rear screen wiper had also been revised and
the corrosion and twisting of the pipe would not happen with a new one.)


In the meantime I did some research and found a couple of DC motor
speed controller from RS.


The first one is simpler and needs an external potentiometer to set
the speed. It is small size and self-contained but still needs to be
mounted on a heatsink and be made weatherproof.


37
DCM-24 d.c motor controller module:
http://rswww.com/cgi...ll&Ntt=330-5364


The other one exists in 15A and 30A versions. It it larger in size, has more
features (including being able to set the ramp-up time to up to 10 seconds)
and needs a box (the components are exposed on a PCB). Again it needs a
heatsink and a weatherproof box.


85/102
Reversible motor controller,12Vdc 15A/30A:
http://rswww.com/cgi...ll&Ntt=363-9594


Now I am at dilemma. I'm going to South London again next week and this
dealer is ideally located. I can leave my car and can pick it up with
a (presumably) revised part which is inefficient, but carries a 24-month
warranty. Now that I know the problem I can keep checking and replacing
the parts under warranty before the 24 months are up. I'll be able to
use the climatronic and won't have to worry about engine overheating.
I won't have to modify the car and won't have to get under it or get
dirty. I won't have to worry about finding a suitable mounting space,
won't worry about whether the weatherproofing will hold etc etc.


The price for the above is just under a whopping 500 (the parts alone are
300 including VAT)


On the other side of the equation I may need two of the DC controllers
above, need to find and drill heatsinks, mount them and weatherproof them.
(and I don't have a garage so I'll have to lie on the ground outside)
I won't know how reliable they are, so will have to keep checking every
day, adjusting the speed etc.


All this will take time. And yesterday I couldn't believe how angry I was
at VW when I was stuck in traffic in Cambridge and saw the temp needle rise
above 90 for the first time ever. In a car that cost nearly the price of
THREE new Fiestas.


Maybe I should have bought three Fiestas instead...


 



#43 BigAl

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Posted 24 June 2006 - 12:30 PM

Well, work took me to South London last week and it so happens
there was a VW main dealer within walking distance. So I went and
asked to talk to the chief mechanic.

He looked at me a bit defensively at first but then he opened up.
He admitted that they had replaced 'a fair few' of the fan pairs.
I asked him whether the part had been revised and whether this would
happen again if I had it replaced.

He took me to the parts department and the parts guy said that
they had done a number of these and that the part had now been revised
so that the new part should not suffer this failure. He confirmed the
24-month warranty on genuine parts.

(Incidentally, he also said the rear screen wiper had also been revised and
the corrosion and twisting of the pipe would not happen with a new one.)

In the meantime I did some research and found a couple of DC motor
speed controller from RS.

The first one is simpler and needs an external potentiometer to set
the speed. It is small size and self-contained but still needs to be
mounted on a heatsink and be made weatherproof.

37
DCM-24 d.c motor controller module:
http://rswww.com/cgi...ll&Ntt=330-5364

The other one exists in 15A and 30A versions. It it larger in size, has more
features (including being able to set the ramp-up time to up to 10 seconds)
and needs a box (the components are exposed on a PCB). Again it needs a
heatsink and a weatherproof box.

85/102
Reversible motor controller,12Vdc 15A/30A:
http://rswww.com/cgi...ll&Ntt=363-9594

Now I am at dilemma. I'm going to South London again next week and this
dealer is ideally located. I can leave my car and can pick it up with
a (presumably) revised part which is inefficient, but carries a 24-month
warranty. Now that I know the problem I can keep checking and replacing
the parts under warranty before the 24 months are up. I'll be able to
use the climatronic and won't have to worry about engine overheating.
I won't have to modify the car and won't have to get under it or get
dirty. I won't have to worry about finding a suitable mounting space,
won't worry about whether the weatherproofing will hold etc etc.

The price for the above is just under a whopping 500 (the parts alone are
300 including VAT)

On the other side of the equation I may need two of the DC controllers
above, need to find and drill heatsinks, mount them and weatherproof them.
(and I don't have a garage so I'll have to lie on the ground outside)
I won't know how reliable they are, so will have to keep checking every
day, adjusting the speed etc.

All this will take time. And yesterday I couldn't believe how angry I was
at VW when I was stuck in traffic in Cambridge and saw the temp needle rise
above 90 for the first time ever. In a car that cost nearly the price of
THREE new Fiestas.

Maybe I should have bought three Fiestas instead...

 


If you do decide to use a switched mode controller then there are a couple of other issues to consider.

First there is the very real possibility of RFI  (radio frequency interference) interfering with other engine sensors (or even the airbag controller). Switching supplies are notorious for generating this kind of interference. Of course with careful design this problem can be overcome but it is extra hassle.
The other issue is whether these particular fans are suitable for controlling in this manner, from Andymac's photos it can be seen that there are suppression components fitted inside the fans. Those components could cause fatal current spiking in the controller MOSFET output transistor.

I personally wouldn't worry about the inefficiency of the resistors since they only represent about 2.5% of the total power "wasted" in the aircon drive system.
If you want to drastically improve effficiency then turn the aircon off.



#44 golfnutter

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 07:22 AM

All good stuff guys.


I have just bought my GTTDI 150 and am having Air Con probs similar to how you discribe.


(ie not working at slow speed and standstill but working on the motaway at speed)


Things got a little hot this weekend with outside temp registering above 30 degrees!


Just had the aircon serviced and deorderised by VW Wakefield (JCT600) so was convinced that the system did not need re-gasing.  When I noticed that it seemed to work again once on the motoway, got me thinking that it must be the fans. - Then I found this thread and am almost convinced.


I have therefore performed the simple checklist as posted by ANDYMAC: 


1. turn engine on,
2. turn aircon on,
3. make sure ECON is "OFF"
4. Check fans are running constantly IE for more than 1-2 minutes
5. if the fans do nothing then run very fast, then stop after a minute or 2 or even 3 then you have faulty fans


I found that my fans did nothing..........left enging running for 10 mins, still nothing and engine temp around 90degrees, still no fans. - (not cool inside either)


Have checked the fuses above battery, all bell out fine and no signs of corrosion.


Am keen to attempt the resister mod, thought I would run this past you guys first in case it could be anything else - ideas anyone?


- *** UPDATE ***


Checked my fuses again and found that the 40A fuse HAD in fact blown.


Therefore, only option was to fit the mod as recommended. Called a couple of local fabricators and faxed over the drawing (credit to BIGAL). Had one in my hands within a few hours. Fitted yesterday afternoon/last night and all is now well.


Tip for anyone fitting to a TDI150, there is a pipe in the way, making it difficult to access the fan wires. (you have to take off the front bumper and under-tray to access these).  After scratching my head for a while, I came up with a simpler solution - simply pulled out the connector plugs and wired spade connectors diretly into them - no wire cutting!



#45 sk4tec

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 08:13 AM

Fixed fans have a green dot on the fan blade. However, it has been reported that 'fixed' ones aren't so fixed after all. So who knows.


#46 ScarfaceV6

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 08:22 AM

All good stuff guys.


I have just bought my GTTDI 150 and am having Air Con probs similar to how you discribe.


(ie not working at slow speed and standstill but working on the motaway at speed)


Things got a little hot this weekend with outside temp registering above 30 degrees!


Just had the aircon serviced and deorderised by VW Wakefield (JCT600) so was convinced that the system did not need re-gasing.  When I noticed that it seemed to work again once on the motoway, got me thinking that it must be the fans. - Then I found this thread and am almost convinced.


I have therefore performed the simple checklist as posted by ANDYMAC: 


1. turn engine on,
2. turn aircon on,
3. make sure ECON is "OFF"
4. Check fans are running constantly IE for more than 1-2 minutes
5. if the fans do nothing then run very fast, then stop after a minute or 2 or even 3 then you have faulty fans


I found that my fans did nothing..........left enging running for 10 mins, still nothing and engine temp around 90degrees, still no fans. - (not cool inside either)


Have checked the fuses above battery, all bell out fine and no signs of corrosion.


Am keen to attempt the resister mod, thought I would run this past you guys first in case it could be anything else - ideas anyone?



I had the same problem. neither of my fans were kicking in. Had no help from vw as all they wanted to do was sell me a new set of fans. Coolhands fitted the resistor mod for me (at a great price too). Whilst fitting it he found that it must be my fan switch that had gone also for both fans to not be working. Although with the mod my fans now work at mid speed when i have the climate control on auto. Havent got round to fixing the switch, might not bother as the climate is always on anyway! I highly reccomend Coolhands, top bloke - very professional!



#47 thechief

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 11:20 AM

Does this problem exist with manual air con cars?

#48 ScarfaceV6

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 11:27 AM

not that i have ever heard of, do a search on this forum and check though.

#49 thechief

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 01:33 PM

Left the car on a while and the fans did eventually come on at the slow speed, phew [:P]



#50 vartan

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 03:54 PM

Well I wouldn't worry too much about RFI when you can operate
a mobile phone anywhere near the engine or airbag without adverse
effects -- remember a GSM handheld can use up to 2W transmit
power.


Whether the fans are suitable for controlling in this manner is
another question.


But the biggest problem for me is that I have to use my car
for work and the temperatures down south have been pretty
high lately. I don't have a garage to do it myself and the house
is pretty small too.


So I asked the dealer for a discount and he was happy to give me
20% on labour and 10% on parts. The total coming to just under
421.


I kept the old parts and will be doing a post-mortem when I get
some space and time -- at the moment they're at the self-storage!


So the car is good again, except for the rear washer (another common
fault). But I'm slightly intoxicated off at the factory, who refused a goodwill gesture.
I will be writing to them this week.


I've driven Mk2, Mk3 and Mk4 Golfs and I've had two Mk4 Golfs
from new since 1998. My experience is the Mk4 has the most problems.
I've just about had enough. Anyone got experience of the BMW 330d ?
Let me know what you think...


 



#51 vartan

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 02:56 AM

By the way, 'slightly intoxicated off' is not the same as 'slightly intoxicated'. While
'slightly intoxicated' might translated as 'intoxicated', 'slightly intoxicated off' is a different
thing entirely.


Whatever software or whoever edits the posts, please take note.


 



#52 vartan

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 01:39 PM

Well as I said I wrote to VW customer services in Milton Keynes telling them about the fan problem, as well as the other common faults my MK4s have suffered and expressing my dissatisfaction at their refusal for a goodwill contribution.


The response arrived this week and says that they are sorry I was and unhappy for not being offered any goodwill. They say that all new VWs come with a 3 year/60k warranty that should be enough for any manufacturing defects to be apparent and that they have no obligation to offer any contributions outside of this period.


However, they say they do like to help their loyal customers and they are offering me a further 25% discount towards parts and labour on this repair.


What perhaps is more interesting is that they "promise" me that "Golf engine cooling fans failing is not a known problem that Volkwagen is aware of" and that any part revisions are an ongoing improvement process that is not related to any known faults.


Finally they apologise unreservedly if I feel I have been taken for granted.


Now. Since VW don't know about this problem: How about you guys who have had fans fail let them know what your experiences are? Their address:



Customer Service Centre
Volkswagen UK
Blakelands
MILTON KEYNES
MK14 5AN


Come on, get writing!


 



#53 soteaseme

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 03:19 PM

Hi All!!  Just done the mod an looks to be working well, but i cant find my rad temp sensor.............. can someone give me a monkey a-b-c guide coz i iz dull!!  Thinks i found  it on the r/h of the engine where the water pipe comes out of the block but i have a strange 3 pronged assy not a small switch an connector as shown in the haynes, would upload a pic but not sure how.............


thanks for the help soteaseme


 



#54 pincher

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Posted 16 August 2006 - 03:05 PM

Had my out-of-warranty R32 (with green dotted modified fans) replaced
yesterday. Stealer was excellent when I first called up a couple of
weeks ago, as they immediately mentioned some sort of goodwill gesture.



Picked it up this morning and not only did I get 60% off, the Stealer
cocked up the labour as they charged for less than an hour!



Cost me under 150 and I've now got a 24 month parts & labour warranty on the new ones,



A bit of a result in my book, all in all.





#55 captainbp

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Posted 20 September 2006 - 03:42 PM

Hey guys i'm new here & how glad am i that i came and had a read, i'm the proud owner of bora V5 AQN just recently purchased. I'd like to say a big thanks to Big al & everyone involved with the electric fan repair. I've been out to RS & bought my resistors & Heatsink, Even gave up my saturday arvo to do the repair, now the fans are as good as new.  Trust me you may just see a little more of me as time goes by.!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Who knows i may even be of some use to someone???  

#56 TAF

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Posted 20 September 2006 - 03:48 PM

are the fan problems restricted to golfs/boras or passats with climate control aswell????  i know the cars with ac dont have the problem

#57 scarum

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Posted 22 September 2006 - 08:58 AM

It's sickening that VW don't achnowledge this as a problem with some Golfs.

If there was a problem with a brake system or other safety aspect they would be on the case pronto but something like this, "hidden and silent", they ignore.



#58 stupot555

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Posted 08 October 2006 - 12:40 PM

Thanks to everyone involved in preparing this post. I have just done the resistor mod and my fans now work perfectly. Probably for the first time in a long while. Anyone thinking its looks quite difficult, trust me it isnt if you read the instructions carefully, and do exactly as they say.

thanks again

 Stuart



#59 golf4motion

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 02:47 PM

having my ali heatsink plate made up this week, then will be fixing the fans using the resistor mod

 

thanks andymac and bigal, top mod/fix i wonder just how money u guys have saved everyone....thanks alot



#60 reido

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Posted 01 November 2006 - 07:50 AM

On my V6 4motion the fans were replaced under warranty 2 years and 2 months ago. 

So they were 2 months out of warranty and they were suppsedly the revised fan !!  They failed again last week!!!!!!!

After much help from the dealer ( Lindivale Colchester) VW customer care gave me a 15% discount on the parts and the dealer sold them to me at the warranty price minus the 15%.  (Could have been better but still half the price)

so i got them for £160 altogether and i get another 2 years warranty on the parts.

The fans that failed were apparently the revised parts so i will be checking before i replace them.

The revised fans were introduced 3years ago according to a copy of the email i got from VW customer care.






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