2003 Trailblazer EXT LT overheating P1481 - Chevy TrailBlazer, TrailBlazer SS and GMC Envoy Forum



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Go Back   Chevy TrailBlazer, TrailBlazer SS and GMC Envoy Forum > 2002 - 2009 TrailBlazer/Envoy Tech > 02-09 Vortec 4.2L I-6 Engine and Drivetrain > OEM Issues

OEM Issues Original Equipment Repairs and/or Problems

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  #1  
Old 08-04-2011, 07:19 PM
geomaster geomaster is offline
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2003 Chevy TrailBlazer LT EXT
Indigo Blue Metallic 4.2L I6 4X4
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CT
Posts: 3
2003 Trailblazer EXT LT overheating P1481

Hey guys. I have an issue with a 2003 Trailblazer EXT LT that is overheating.
It appears to overheat when the car is idling after heavy use. When driving the temperature gauge indicates that the temperature is okay around 210degrees.

However once the car is idling after being driven around for a while, the temp gauge increases quickly. A few times it was at max and Check gauges light turned on.
At this point I could hear the coolant in the second reservoir tank boiling and the fan was barely spinning. I then shut off the engine to let it cool.

I intermittently see the Check engine light turn on and off. When on it reports code p1481 which indicates an issue with the fan clutch I believe.

Occasionally when the car is first turned on (cold start), it will have the very loud 'crop duster' sound in which the fan spins at maximum. However this stops after a minute at which the fan then idles.

Does this mean there's an issue with the fan clutch? Or is this a bigger problem? Would the water pump be causing this issue?

How else can I troubleshoot this issue (without just replacing the fan clutch)?

How do I even examine the wiring harness to the fan clutch? Do I need to remove the fan? Can I remove this without having to move the radiator?

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 08-04-2011, 10:14 PM
bromanjr's Avatar
bromanjr bromanjr is offline
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2004 GMC Envoy SLT XUV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geomaster View Post
Hey guys. I have an issue with a 2003 Trailblazer EXT LT that is overheating.
It appears to overheat when the car is idling after heavy use. When driving the temperature gauge indicates that the temperature is okay around 210degrees.

However once the car is idling after being driven around for a while, the temp gauge increases quickly. A few times it was at max and Check gauges light turned on.
At this point I could hear the coolant in the second reservoir tank boiling and the fan was barely spinning. I then shut off the engine to let it cool.

I intermittently see the Check engine light turn on and off. When on it reports code p1481 which indicates an issue with the fan clutch I believe.

Occasionally when the car is first turned on (cold start), it will have the very loud 'crop duster' sound in which the fan spins at maximum. However this stops after a minute at which the fan then idles.

Does this mean there's an issue with the fan clutch? Or is this a bigger problem? Would the water pump be causing this issue?

How else can I troubleshoot this issue (without just replacing the fan clutch)?

How do I even examine the wiring harness to the fan clutch? Do I need to remove the fan? Can I remove this without having to move the radiator?

Thanks.
If it does not overheat on the hi-way, overheats when driving slow or not moving and you have a fan clutch code, I'd say you need a fan clutch or your wiring is suspect.

EDIT: You can remove the connector at the fan shroud an physically look at each connection.
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  #3  
Old 08-05-2011, 01:36 AM
geomaster geomaster is offline
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2003 Chevy TrailBlazer LT EXT
Indigo Blue Metallic 4.2L I6 4X4
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CT
Posts: 3
I forgot to mention that I tried unplugging and reinserting the harness at the top of the radiator shroud. This temporarily clear the check engine light but after more significant driving it has since turned on intermittently.

Are you saying that one of the pins may be damaged?
How do I confirm and fix this?
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  #4  
Old 08-15-2011, 12:28 AM
geomaster geomaster is offline
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2003 Chevy TrailBlazer LT EXT
Indigo Blue Metallic 4.2L I6 4X4
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CT
Posts: 3
So I resolved the issue by replacing the fan clutch. Most annoying part was removing the old clutch as it was really stuck on tight


Need fan clutch removal tool from Auto Advance parts (not autozone)
Only use the 58 mm Powerbuilt wrench. All other tools are not useful (wrenches for fan clutch nut do not fit)

Need slightly smaller 1-1/2in wrench (used a crescent wrench) to use on the fan clutch nut

Unscrewed the 4 bolts on the water pump to create 1.5 inches of clearance between water pump pulley and bolt heads. Then you can use the wrench, inserting it on the 4 bolt shafts. Use this to hold the water pump still while using crescent wrench to turn fan clutch bolt counter clockwise. Will need extenders to increase torque as the fan clutch will be jammed on

Disconnect the radiator fan hose that is blocking the fan shroud.
Now the radiator fan shroud with fan and fan clutch can be shimmied out.

Remove 4 bolts attaching fan clutch to fan. (Fan may be stuck to clutch. Leave one of the bolt partially unscrewed while removing all other bolts. Hit bolt with hammer to loosen clutch from fan)

Then install new fan clutch reversing the above steps. Don't forget to connect EV clutch signal cable.

DTC p1481 will disappear running the car for a while if fan clutch was properly replaced.
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