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Car Radiator Fan Not Working? (Causes & Fixes)

The car radiator fan plays a crucial role in the cooling system of your vehicle. It helps to dissipate the heat generated by the engine and prevents it from overheating.


The most common cause of a car radiator fan not working is due to a blown fuse or low coolant levels. However, there are various other causes that should be investigated. If a car radiator fan isn't working it could cause the engine to overheat.


In this article, we will discuss the various causes of a car radiator fan not working, how to check if it is working, and the cost and time involved in fixing it.

 

Table of Contents:


a car radiator fan up close

What Does the Car Radiator Fan Do?

The radiator fan is a mechanical or electric fan that helps to cool the radiator, which in turn cools the engine.


The fan is located in front of the radiator and is sometimes driven by a belt connected to the engine, in most cases it is controlled electronically.


When the engine is running, the fan helps to circulate air through the radiator, which helps to dissipate the heat generated by the engine.


The coolant, which is a mixture of water and antifreeze, flows through the engine and absorbs the heat. It is then circulated through the radiator, where it is cooled by the fan and the ambient air.


Why Is My Car Radiator Fan Not Working?

There are several reasons why your car radiator fan may not be working. Some of the most common causes of a car radiator fan to not spin include the following.


  • Blown fuse: If the fuse that powers the radiator fan is blown, it will not turn on. You can check the fuse by looking at the fuse box, which is usually located under the hood or in the dashboard.

  • Faulty radiator fan wiring: If the wiring that powers the radiator fan is corroded, damaged, or frayed, it may not work. This can be due to age, wear and tear, or exposure to the elements.

  • Malfunctioning radiator fan clutch: The radiator fan clutch is a device that connects the fan to the engine. If it is not working properly, the fan will not turn on.

  • Low coolant levels: If the coolant levels are low, the engine may not be cooled properly, which can cause the fan to stop working.

  • Faulty coolant temperature sensor: The coolant temperature sensor helps to regulate the temperature of the engine. If it is not working properly, it may not trigger the radiator fan to turn on.

  • Faulty radiator fan motor: The radiator fan motor powers the fan. If it is not working, the fan will not turn on.


How Do I Check if My Radiator Fan Is Working?

There are a couple of ways to check if your radiator fan is working.


  • Check by hearing for the fan to turn on: If the engine coolant is hot and up to temperature, the fan should turn on. You can listen for the fan to start running when the engine is hot. The fan will only turn on if the coolant is above its target temperature (such as on a hot day, stuck in traffic, or after hard driving).

  • Turn on the AC: In some vehicles, the radiator fan turns on by default when the AC is switched on. If the fan does not turn on when you turn on the AC, it may be malfunctioning.


How Much Does It Cost to Fix a Radiator Fan?

The cost of fixing a radiator fan depends on the cause of the problem and the parts that need to be replaced. Below are some estimates of the cost of common repairs.


  • $80-$250 (£58-£178) for a new radiator fan

  • $80-$150 (£58-£107) for a new radiator fan motor

  • $80-$120 in US and £25-£60 in UK for labour costs per hour


Keep in mind that these are just estimates, and the actual cost may vary depending on your location, the make and model of your vehicle, and the severity of the problem.


How Long Does It Take To Fix a Radiator Fan?

The time it takes to fix a radiator fan depends on the cause of the problem and the complexity of the repair.


In most cases, it should take about 1-2 hours to replace a faulty radiator fan or radiator fan motor. However, if the problem is more complex, it may take longer to diagnose and fix.


Conclusion

If your car radiator fan is not working, it is important to address the problem as soon as possible. A faulty radiator fan can cause the engine to overheat, which can lead to serious damage.


There are several possible causes of a radiator fan not working, including a blown fuse, faulty wiring, a malfunctioning radiator fan clutch, low coolant levels, a faulty coolant temperature sensor, and a faulty radiator fan motor.


To fix the problem, you may need to replace the radiator fan, radiator fan motor, or other components. The cost and time involved in fixing a radiator fan depend on the cause of the problem and the complexity of the repair.