Does the A/C condensor fan come on as a backup even if the a/c isnt running?

This is on a '97 Honda Accord.

The radiator fan and A/C condenser fan sit side by side behind the radiator. Both of my fans had stopped working. Yesterday, I replaced the radiator fan. The 3 bolts were very easy to access. The condenser fan is a bit trickier without either 1.) pulling the radiator, or 2.)getting the car on a lift and removing the plastic shroud on the bottom front of car. There is that 3rd bolt on bottom that you just cant get to.

Driving yesterday in 100+ temps with just the radiator fan running, the engine temp was still a little hotter than normal. Not even to the halfway point, but creeping in that direction. The radiator fan only covers the left half of the radiator, so in these temps, does the A/C fan still engage at a certain engine temp as a backup or additional cooling?

Also, how bad is it to run the A/C with just the radiator fan running? Not in traffic, but say going down the interstate where you’re getting lots of airflow over the entire radiator? Yesterday I did that and my car temp gauge got to the halfway point. A few people have told me i’m ok if it never goes past halfway, is that true?

I’m not gonna be keeping the car more than a few weeks at most. It’s a 355,000 mile rust bucket at this point. And I may even have another car by Monday (going to look at one tomorrow being sold privately). But I DO have a 45 minute commute (mostly interstate). I’m trying determine if I should pay for and go through the hassle of installing the condenser fan or if i’m probably OK without.

I’ll have to look up the wiring diagram to see if the condenser fan could engage with the A/C switched off. I’ll try to do that tomorrow.

At highway speeds there’s more than enough airflow through the radiator for the cooling system, and the fan doesn’t switch on. I’m pretty sure it’s plenty for the A/C condenser as well. At idle without a condenser fan, the A/C won’t cool very well. There should be a switch that would disengage the compressor if the internal pressure gets too high from insufficient airflow, to prevent any damage.

Roughly halfway on the temp gauge is normal. Some cars tend to run at a bit under halfway, some at a bit over, but if it’s stabilized at or near halfway that’s fine.

My repair info says the condenser fan runs under the same conditions as the radiator fan, plus up to two minutes after the car’s turned off. So it could be the weather and/or the condenser fan failure that has your car running a bit hotter than normal. If it was hotter than normal on the highway, it’s just the weather causing that.