Temperature problem on Olds Alero

The temperature gauge on my 2001 Olds Alero stopped working yesterday. Actually, it only moves a tiny bit and stays right over the "COLD" level, no matter how long the car is running. However, the heat works
fine, and it didn't overheat, even though I was driving it for an hour before I noticed the problem. So, from that I don't think that the gauge is broken, or the thermostat is faulty. Both fans come on as soon as I start the car. Could that be cooling the engine so much, that the temperature stays at "COLD"? Could it be a switch probelem?
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The fans should not come on when cold unless the A/C is on, then, if the same as my GP, only one should come on. If the thermostat is working properly the engine should run at normal temperature even with the fans on.
One way to test the thermostat is to start when cold and feel the upper radiator hose to see if it gets warm slowly or gets hot quickly when the thermostat opens up.

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Had the exact same thing happen with my 2001 Malibu three times in the year and a half that I owned it. Dealer repaired it each time. One repair only lasted 10 days until it happened again. They never did explain why it was happening. When both of those rad fans are running all the time they sure suck a lot of power... gas mileage dropped significantly each time until I had it repaired. I got the impression that the fans come on as a fail-safe to prevent overheating, regardless of the engine temperature, when the computer senses no engine temperature signal.
Waldo
snipped-for-privacy@juno.com wrote:

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