Category: Loose radiator fan

Loose radiator fan

Dan Ferrell writes about do-it-yourself car maintenance and repair. He has certifications in automation and control technology. Cooling fan problems can be hard to diagnose, depending on your vehicle model and the type of failure. Still, you can avoid much of the confusion using a troubleshooting plan. If your electric radiator fan isn't coming on after the engine reaches operating temperature—the key here is operating temperature more on this later —you can bet there's something wrong with the fan assembly itself, the circuit, or one of its components.

This guide walks you through some of the most common electric cooling fan problems to help you troubleshoot and identify the problem when the fan refuses to work, or works intermittently.

On older vehicle models, the fan circuit is simple, and you may not have trouble locating operating components or the fault itself. Modern vehicles use the electronic control module ECM-car computerpowertrain control module PCMor a dedicated fan control module or both to control the operation of the radiator fan, and can be little more complicated to troubleshoot sometimes.

So, with newer vehicle models, it's a good idea to have the vehicle repair manual for your particular make and model on hand, especially with fairly recent models. The manual explains the operation of the cooling system, how your cooling fan operates, and the sensors or switches your car computer reads from to operate the cooling fan. Besides, the manual can help you locate sensors, relays, switches and trace circuit wires as necessary.

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Haynes makes good aftermarket manuals. If your engine is overheating and you suspect problems with the cooling fan, this guide gives you important troubleshooting tips, and the steps to diagnose the most common cooling fan failures you are likely to encounter on your car. Before going into the necessary steps to troubleshoot the fan in your vehicle, though, a brief fan operation description follows.

If the cooling system in your vehicle uses an electric cooling fan, most likely you have a transversal sideways mounted engine. However, some longitudinal front to rear mounted engines use the electric fan as well, but they usually have an engine-powered cooling fan. The electric cooling fan uses a direct current DC electric motor with a thermo switch, module or computer control to turn it on or off, depending on coolant temperature or AC operating condition.

On older fan circuits, the thermostatic switch connects to battery power on one side, and to the fan motor on the other. However, on most '90s and newer models the control was passed to the car computer or a dedicated module.

For example, when coolant temperature changes, the thermo switch reports this change to the computer through a voltage signal, which the computer or module uses to activate the cooling fan through a fan relay s. An electric cooling fan not only helps save energy by running only when the system needs to remove excess heat away from the engine, but helps shield other sensitive circuits and electronic components from heat damage.

During the winter months, your radiator fan saves even more energy when enough cool air flows through the radiator on the highway. Even if your cooling fan doesn't have a complicated circuit, you still need to know where to look when your fan doesn't work as expected. Next are some fan circuit key points you need to check when diagnosing problems with your electric cooling fan.

If you think the cooling fan isn't working because your temperature gauge is indicating overheating, open the hood, start the engine, and let it idle for 15 to 20 minutes.

loose radiator fan

If the fan comes on, you may have a bad temperature sensor or gauge. A cooling fan temperature switch or sensor, in some vehicles can also get stuck, which may cause the fan to run continuously any time you turn the ignition key on or start the engine. Troubleshoot the switch. On some modern vehicles, an ambient air temperature sensor, vehicle speed sensor, and other sensors may provide input to the car computer to determine radiator fan operation.

Consult your vehicle repair manual to check the required sensors and switches. On a warm engine, the fan may come on even if the engine is not running. When working on a hot engine or an engine that is running, keep your hands and tools away from the fan blades and moving components. Troubleshooting a cooling fan that doesn't work can be a relatively straightforward task at times.My laptop has been making a rattling sound for a couple weeks.

I took the back panel off and cleaned it, but it still makes a noise. It comes and goes but is getting louder. The back up the laptop becomes very hot but it sits on a cooler. Is there anything I can do to fix this problem myself? I've not been brave enough to actually take apart the fan casing just poked the cotton buds between the fan blades on my two attempts to clean will pluck up the courage and watch the vids provided here.

If all goes well, I'll report back - If you dont here from me I will have probably destoryed my computer! This is a really great topic for discussion. Fans are extraordinarily complex systems, which, unfortunately, suffer from failures more frequently than comfortable.

The sound should be that of the bearing grinding up against some internal component in the fan assembly. Oiling will help considerably, but once the failure has occurred, the rattling sound may not go away. Your heating issue may not entirely go away either.

After disassembling your unit, you may notice that your fan has a sticker on its back. Here's a good idea of what you're looking for:. More or less, they have bearings that rotate the fan. The better lubricated these bearings are, the more efficiently the fan can spin, resulting in better cooling and longer system life. However, if the fan doesn't get proper oil, it will slow down over time, resulting in decreased system life.

I loosely group fan types into four categories, based on the type of bearing that they sport Plastic sleeve bearing - responds very well to oil. Cheapest and most common in my experience. Ball bearing - responds well but is sometimes hard to oil.

Type in video. Magnetically propelled fan bearing? These are also really easy to remove they just pop off. Internal reservoir oiled bearing - cannot be properly oiled in my experience. In my experience, this is a good option Susendeep Dutta's options are good too as they are non-conductive, very important. I found, however, that the lower viscosity lubes tended to last for shorter periods of time than higher viscosity stuff. Also, higher speed fans can cause something called "separation" which is when the oil starts to spin off the bearings.

However, higher viscosity lubes were tolerant of high RPMs. In summary, the cheap stuff is probably fine but just so you know, there's higher quality greases out there. If you have cleaned your laptop's fan then you must also try lubricating it.The most common problems a radiator falls prey to are clogging both internal and external and leaks. The average gasoline engine is only about 22 to 28 percent efficient.

Ironically, the hotter an engine runs the more efficient it becomes. The same goes for cast iron. Engineers have been tinkering with exotic ceramic materials and metallic-ceramic alloys in an attempt to build high-temperature, super efficient engines.

Piston-to-cylinder clearances are much tighter to reduce blowby for lower emissions. Valve stem-to-guide clearances also are closer to reduce oil consumption and emissions, too.

Plus, many engines today have aluminum heads with overhead cams. As a result, Anytime temperatures climb beyond the normal range, the engine is running in the danger zone.

If the engine overheats, the first thing that will happen is a gasoline engine will start to detonate. The engine will ping and start to lose power under load. Consequently, The combination of heat and pressure exceed the octane rating of the fuel. If the detonation problem persists, the hammer-like blows may damage the rings, pistons or rod bearings.

Overheating can also cause pre-ignition. Hot spots develop inside the combustion chamber that become a source of ignition for the fuel. The erratic combustion can cause detonation as well as engine run-on in older vehicles with carburetors. Hot spots can also be very damaging and burn holes right through the top of pistons.

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The resulting stress can distort the head and make it swell in areas that are hottest. Like those between exhaust valves in adjoining cylinders. Also areas that have restricted coolant flow like the narrow area that separates the cylinders. The typical aluminum head swells most in the middle, which can crush the head gasket.

This will cause a loss of torque in the gasket allowing coolant and combustion leaks to occur. If the coolant gets hot enough to boil, it may cause old hoses or an age-weakened radiator to burst. Pistons may swell up and scuff or seize in their bores, causing serious engine damage. Exhaust valve stems may stick or scuff in their guides. This, in turn, may cause valves to hang open which can damage pistons, valves and other valvetrain components.

And if coolant gets into the crankcaseyou can kiss the bearings and bottom end of the engine goodbye.

How to Repair a Radiator Fan

A HOT warning lamp should never be ignored. So advise your customers to stop driving at the first sign of overheating. Turn the engine off, let it cool down and try to find and fix the cause before risking further travel. Heat always flows from an area of higher temperature to an area of lesser temperature.

The only way to cool hot metal, therefore, is to keep it in constant contact with a cooler liquid. As soon as the circulation stops, temperatures begin to rise and the engine starts to overheat. The coolant also has to get rid of the heat it soaks up while passing through the block and head s. So, the radiator must be capable of doing its job, which requires the help of an efficient cooling fan. If the thermostat fails to open, it will effectively block the flow of coolant and the engine will overheat.

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Cooling/Radiator Fan Motor

Severe overheating can often damage a good thermostat. If the engine has overheated replace the thermostat. The hose should not feel uncomfortably hot until the engine has warmed-up and the thermostat opens.The fan clutch is a cooling system component that controls the operation of the engine cooling fans.

While many newer vehicles now use electric cooling fans to keep the engine cool, many older vehicles used a mechanical fan clutch to control the fans.

The fan clutch is a thermostatic device, which means it operates based off temperature, and is usually mounted on the water pump, or another belt driven pulley. The fan clutch will spin loosely until the temperature reaches a certain level, at which point the fan clutch will fully engage so that the fan can work at maximum efficiency.

As the fan clutch is a cooling system component, any issues with it can cause overheating and other issues. Usually a bad or failing fan clutch will produce a few symptoms that can alert the driver of a potential issue. One of the first symptoms that is commonly associated with a bad or failing fan clutch is an overheating engine.

Radiator Cooling Fan Bearing Repair

The fan clutch is responsible for controlling the operation of the cooling fans. A bad fan clutch may not engage properly or at all, and as a result, will disable the fans or prevent them from working at maximum efficiency. This may result in the engine overheating, which will lead to more serious issues if left unattended.

Another common symptom of a faulty fan clutch is excessively loud cooling fans. If the fan clutch gets stuck in the engaged position, which is not uncommon, it will cause the fans to fully engage even when it is not desirable for them to be on. This may result in an excessively loud engine from the fan blowing at full speed.

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The sound may be easily audible and present at all times when the engine is cold and hot. A decrease in performance is another symptom of a bad or failing fan clutch.

loose radiator fan

A faulty fan clutch that leaves the fan permanently engaged will not only cause a noisy engine, but can also cause a decrease in performance. A stuck fan clutch will cause excessive, unnecessary drag on the engine, which can cause a drop in poweraccelerationand fuel efficiencysometimes to a quite noticeable degree.

As the fan clutch is one of the main cooling system components, it is very important to the proper operation of the engine. When it fails, the engine can be put at risk of serious damage due to overheating.

If your vehicle is displaying any of the symptoms above, or you suspect that your fan clutch may be having an issue, have the vehicle inspected by a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic, to determine if the car will need a fan clutch replacement.

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Vehicle Engine Cooling Inspection. Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2, U. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair. Schedule Vehicle Engine Cooling Inspection. Service Area. Average rating fromcustomers who received a Vehicle Engine Cooling Inspection.Virtually all late model vehicles and the vast majority of road going vehicles use radiator cooling fans with electric motors to keep the engine cool.

The cooling fans are mounted on the radiator and work to pull air through the radiator fans to keep the engine cool, especially during idle and low speeds, where air flow through the radiator is significantly less than at road speeds.

As the engine operates the coolant temperature will continue to rise, and if there is no air moving through the radiator to cool it, it will begin to overheat. It is the job of the cooling fans to provide that air flow, and they do so using electric motors.

The electric motors found on many cooling fans are not much different than regular industrial use electric motors, and are often a serviceable or replaceable component of the cooling fan assembly. As they are the component that rotates the fan blades and creates the air flow, any issues that eventually arise with the fan motors can quickly develop into other problems. Usually a bad or failing cooling fan motor will display a few symptoms that can alert the driver of a potential problem that should be serviced.

The most common symptom of a faulty cooling fan motor are cooling fans that do not come on. If the cooling fan motors burn out or fail, the cooling fans will be disabled.

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The cooling fan motors work together with the cooling fan blades to pull air through the radiator. If the motor fails the blades will not be able to spin or generate air flow. Another symptom of a possible problem with the cooling or radiator fan motors is the vehicle overheating.

The cooling fans are thermostatic and are designed to come on once a certain temperature is reached, or certain conditions are met. If the cooling fan motors fail, and disable the fans, the engine temperature will continue to climb until the engine overheats.

Engine overheating, however, can also be caused by a wide variety of other problems, so having the vehicle properly diagnosed is highly recommended. A blown cooling fan circuit fuse is another symptom of a potential problem with the cooling fan motors. If the motors fail or surge, they may cause the fuse to blow in order to protect the rest of the system from any sort of damage due to electrical surges. The fuse will have to be replaced to restore possible functionality to the fans.

The cooling fan motors are an important component to any cooling fan assembly, and play a key role in keeping the car at safe temperatures during idle and low speeds. For this reason, if you suspect that your cooling fan motors may be having an issue, have the vehicle inspected by a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic.

They will be able to look over your vehicle and replace your cooling fan motor. The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Vehicle Engine Cooling Inspection. Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2, U. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair. Schedule Vehicle Engine Cooling Inspection.

loose radiator fan

Service Area. Average rating fromcustomers who received a Vehicle Engine Cooling Inspection. Cooling fans do not come on The most common symptom of a faulty cooling fan motor are cooling fans that do not come on. Vehicle overheating Another symptom of a possible problem with the cooling or radiator fan motors is the vehicle overheating.

Blown fuse A blown cooling fan circuit fuse is another symptom of a potential problem with the cooling fan motors. Cooling System.

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Fan Clutch

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June in Chevrolet. When you press on the gas it spins even more out of whack and hits the plastic protection covering the fan. What causes this out of balance spinning and what would the fix cost me? Thanks Rick. June Look for nicks or bends on the fan blades.

They will cause imbalance and that will lead to premature possibly catastrophic failure. I have had two replaced. I called g.Modifying the radiator fan to turn on manually is usually done because something in the system is not working properly, and the vehicle owner does not want to replace a part, usually due to the expense. Operating the fan manually is just as effective, and in some cases, moreso, since it won't be forgotten.

If the fan is not turned on when the vehicle is at rest or moving slowly, the vehicle will overheat. The fan is not necessary as long as the vehicle is moving, and air is passing through the radiator. Cut the power and ground wire at the fan harness, leaving 6 inches or more to connect new wires.

Tape the harness ends of the wire cut, using the electrical tape. Install the four-terminal relay to a solid mounting location as close to the radiator as possible. Mount the switch on or under the dash panel where accessible. Attach a spade-end crimp to one end of a gauge wire. Attach it with the crimping tool and connect it to the negative terminal on the relay.

Run enough wire to go through an access in the firewall to the switch and return to a good grounding location on the frame or engine. Cut the wire at the switch and attach two spade terminals to the wire. Attach them to the back of the switch. Attach the appropriate terminal to the loose end of the wire, and attach it to the frame or engine.

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Connect a gauge wire from the positive terminal of the relay shown on the relay diagram to go to component to the positive wire on the fan. Use a spade terminal on the relay end and a butt connector on the fan side.

Crimp the terminals with the crimping tool. Connect a gauge wire from the negative wire at the fan to a good ground. Use a butt connector at the fan side and an appropriate terminal for the ground side. Disconnect the negative terminal on the battery. Connect a gauge wire to the battery positive terminal using the appropriate terminal. Run the wire over to the relay and cut the wire allowing a small amount of slack. Cut two, 3-inch pieces of wire off the roll of wire, and strip the insulation off both ends of both wires.

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