The 5 Signs of a Bad Radiator Fan and the Replacement Cost

Modern vehicles have a radiator fan that removes heat from coolant. A bad radiator fan can result in many issues. 

Here are the symptoms and purpose of a bad radiator fan. It is important to determine the price of replacing your radiator fan before you decide whether it should be fixed. Let’s take a quick look at the common signs to look for:

An overheated car engine is the most obvious sign of a bad radiator fan. The engine bay may make a whirring sound and your A/C performance might be worse than normal.

Below is a list that explains the symptoms most commonly associated with a bad radiator fan.

Índice de Contenido
  1. Bad Radiator Fan Causes
    1. 1. Fan Doesn’t Come On
    2. 2. Fan Fuse for Blown Radiator
    3. 3. Overheating of vehicles
    4. 4. Poor A/C Performance 
    5. 5. Whirring Noises
  2. Radiator fan location
  3. Radiator Fan Function
  4. Radiator Fan Repair Cost

Bad Radiator Fan Causes

1. Fan Doesn’t Come On

Radiator Fans

If the fan stops working, it is usually a sign that it has failed. Sometimes, the motor will fail or burn up. The relay may also stop working at times. 

If the fan stops working, it means that there is an issue. This condition can lead to more serious problems, which you will see.

2. Fan Fuse for Blown Radiator

Relay Fuse Box

A fuse blowing can cause the fan to stop functioning. Radiator fans will blow out fuse because the fuse is too weak and generating excessive amperage. 

The fuses are blown to protect the system from excessive power when the motor is running. A defective fan can cause the fuse to trip. 

3. Overheating of vehicles

Overheating Engine On Road

It is the fan that keeps the coolant at the correct temperature. Engine temperatures can rise if the fan fails. While the fan should turn on as soon as the temperature reaches a certain point, it won’t.

Many times, drivers aren’t aware that the engine is overheating until the temperature light goes on the dashboard. You must immediately shut the car down and allow the engine to cool. This will prevent irreversible damage. 

RELATED: 9 Common Causes for an Overheating Car Motor

4. Poor A/C Performance 

You might experience problems with your air conditioner if the radiator fan suddenly stops functioning. Radiator fans are supposed to draw air through condensers and heat out of the refrigerant. It creates twice the air volume of the condenser fan. 

With a defective radiator fan, it isn’t just the engine getting hotter, but also the cabin of the vehicle. You might think that the air conditioner is faulty, but it could also be an issue with your radiator fan. 

5. Whirring Noises

You should immediately report any unusual sounds. If the motor of the radiator cooling fan begins to fail it will make a loud clicking sound and whirling noise. 

If one fan blade is damaged or touches other parts, these sounds may also be heard. You should be able to hear the fan working if you can. However, it’s best to have this repaired before it leads to further problems. 

RELATED: 7 Reasons Your Radiator Fan Doesn't Come On

Radiator fan location

Radiator Fan

Mounted directly on the radiator, is the radiator cooling fans. The radiator cooling fan is standard on late models. 

There may be more than one radiator cooling fans attached to a radiator in some cars. It’s possible to have one fail while the other continues operation. 

Radiator Fan Function

Radiator fan is a device that pulls cool air through the radiator. It’s used heavily during lower speeds and idling when air isn’t naturally being pushed through the system. The engine heats up when coolant temperatures are high. The engine will overheat if there isn't enough air moving through the radiator. This operation is powered by the fan’s electric motors.

As with most industrial motors, the electric fan’s motor works the same. The motor is replaceable and can be serviced. It is susceptible to wear and failure due to its moving parts. Sometimes, a defective radiator fan isn’t caused by the fan itself but more often by the motor that powers it. To determine what caused the problem, a thorough inspection is required. 

Radiator Fan Repair Cost

Radiator fan replacement costs typically range between $550 to $650. Radiator fans can run from around $400 to $450 in many cases. Labor costs add $150 to $200. Some vehicles are more costly, however, depending on how they were designed.

Many cars come with the radiator fan directly mounted to the radiator. This makes it easy for you to replace. The radiator fan can be replaced if you're skilled at basic automotive tools. 

You should avoid driving with a faulty radiator fan. The fan that fails to cool the engine can cause serious damage as the motor heats up. You will have to pay a lot more for a new engine than you would for repairing faulty radiator fans. 

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