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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I bought a 2006 Honda Shadow Aero yesterday.During my ride home the engine temp indicator turned on. I rode it again for 20 minutes that night and it came on again after 15 mins. Keep in mind I live in Phoenix and it’s about 100 degrees outside lol

That being said, I knew I was going to have to flush the coolant as it hadn’t been done in two years. However, I idled it this morning to see if the radiator fan would kick on: it never did. The overflow tank did fill though, after the idle, showing that the lines aren’t super clogged or anything.

I plan on getting the bike to the shop next week for a coolant flush. Do you think this would solve the problem? Or will I need to replace the fan or thermostat on the radiatior?
 

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'83 VT750C
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1,363 Posts
The sensor usually has to be VERY hot, well beyond boiling, for the fan to trigger. Easy enough to test the fan by jumpering 12v to it and see if it runs. The switch is a bit tougher to test as the coolant needs draining, and then you dunk it in boiling water while testing the resistance across the contacts. The flush is as good as anything to try, seeing as you don’t know the history, it could be anything. Air in the system, bad water pump, slightly blown head gasket… These bikes can be notorious to ‘burp’ getting all the air out of the system, though.
 

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'97 Shadow Spirit 1100 - Chandler, AZ
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Teton - Welcome to the forum from nearby Chandler!

When I finish most any ride in these temperatures and pull into the driveway, the cooling fan on my '97 1100 almost always comes on if I idle any longer than half a minute or so. Ditto if sitting at a traffic light.

That said, she's never overheated in either city or highway riding, so this seems to be rather normal given our triple digit temperatures and lack of airflow when not moving. Kevin
 

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'97 Shadow Spirit 1100 - Chandler, AZ
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161 Posts
Thank you guys for the help! I will update once I get it flushed 😉
Seeing as your fan isn't kicking-on, I would think that's your main problem.
My bet in ascending order of likleyhood would be:
1) Blown fuse
2) Bad fan relay (if it uses one)
3) Bad temp sensor switch
4) Bad electric fan motor

With a functioning fan and if it still overheats, I would then suspect the coolant thermostat.

All pretty easy to check/troubleshoot, lots of posts here on how to do so.
Let us know how it turns out!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Seeing as your fan isn't kicking-on, I would think that's your main problem.
My bet in ascending order of likleyhood would be:
1) Blown fuse
2) Bad fan relay (if it uses one)
3) Bad temp sensor switch
4) Bad electric fan motor

With a functioning fan and if it still overheats, I would then suspect the coolant thermostat.

All pretty easy to check/troubleshoot, lots of posts here on how to do so.
Let us know how it turns out!
Thanks for the Tip on the fuse, I’ll monkey with that before I pay $150 to the shop for “diagnosis” lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Teton - Welcome to the forum from nearby Chandler!

When I finish most any ride in these temperatures and pull into the driveway, the cooling fan on my '97 1100 almost always comes on if I idle any longer than half a minute or so. Ditto if sitting at a traffic light.

That said, she's never overheated in either city or highway riding, so this seems to be rather normal given our triple digit temperatures and lack of airflow when not moving. Kevin
Thank you for the welcome fellow Arizonan! I’m actually thinking about moving east to chandler to get out of all the traffic and craziness lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well guys, I found the fuse to the fan was blown. Replaced it and let it idle. The fan kicked on twice while idling (around 7 minutes in) and the high temp light didn’t go on.

I of course went worst case scenario thinking it was a more complicated fix but of course it was the easiest one lol thank you KC and Kevin for your help! I look forward to sweating out and riding again in this AZ heat!
On another note, what may have caused the fuse to blow? Should I check the wiring to the radiator fan?
 

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'97 Shadow Spirit 1100 - Chandler, AZ
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Teton - So glad you found the problem and it resolved the issue! (y)

Motors draw a lot of current when first turning on. This will eventually take it's toll on the fuse from repeated heating cycles over time, causing it to fail. Fuses are designed to be the weak link in the circuit so its not too surprising when they sometimes fail. That's the likely case here, so just see how it does over time.

Longer term, as motors age, the bearings start to dry-out and don't spin as easily. This causes more current draw both at startup and while running and will also cause the fuse to blow prematurely. That's not likely to be the case here as your bike is just an '06, so I really doubt you're close to that yet. Mine is a '97 and it's still working fine.

Enjoy the cooler temps over the weekend as we'll be back in triple digits by Tuesday! :cool:

Kevin

PS: It's a good idea to carry a few 10A & 30A spares in your saddlebag just in case this happens when you're on the road.
 
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