Radiator Fan: The Ultimate Guide

Chapter 1: Radiator Fan: What is it, how does it work?

a typical car radiator fan

The radiator fan in your car is a critical component. Together with other components, it helps to keep your engine running safely and efficiently. How does it do that? If you’re looking to understand the car cooling fan, read on. This first section will help you learn the following; radiator fan definition, the types of car radiator fans, their working, and the cost to buy a new fan, among other things.

Starting with the definition, let us see what the fan in car cooling systems means and where to find it.

What is a Radiator Fan?

The radiator fan is the cooling fan for car or truck engines. It’s usually used in vehicles with water-cooled engines and mounted between in front or behind the radiator. The car fan then pushes (or pulls) air through the radiator core, helping to cool the fluid circulating in the radiators tiny tubes.

Radiator cooling fans help to regulate engine temperature during specific situations. These include times when your car is moving slowly (below 25 mph) or when the engine is idling. The fans are, therefore, classified among the parts that make the engine cooling system.

Car radiator fans differ in many ways such as material, construction, and capability. The material can be metal or plastic. Molded plastic radiator fans are common, with the fan assembly being a one-piece plastic. Some, like the flex types, feature a steel frame and flexible plastic vanes or blades.

In terms of design, the cooling fan for car engines is identified by the number of blades, their length or pitch, and the type of hub. Fan capability, on the other hand, depends on the construction and size, among other factors. One of the most important abilities is the amount of air that a fan can move or CFM rating. The higher the CFM, the more powerful the fan.

To help you understand the radiator fan assembly better, here is a look at the parts that make it.

Radiator Fan Parts

The car cooling fan is a simple device with only a few parts. Although designs vary, the typical fan for car and truck engines is a hub and blade assembly. Here are the parts explained.

  • Central hub– this is the part that contains the fan’s drive components and, in some types of the fan, the clutch assembly
  • Fan blades– these are the arms that project from the hub. They are specially engineered to move air in the most efficient way possible
  • Support bracket– the bracket supports the fan assembly. It also allows for its mounting
  • Clutch– found in older versions of the car engine fan, the clutch helps to engage and disengage the fan depending on the engine cooling demands. It can be thermally or electronically operated. Most are thermal
  • Motor– this part is only found in an electric radiator cooling fan. Its function is to power the fan. The cooling fan motor is usually rated 12V and the Direct Current type
  • Shroud– some radiator cooling fans contain a shroud or housing around the blades and drive assembly. The housing helps to direct air for a more efficient cooling action

Now that you know what is a cooling fan in a car, let’s have a look at the different types of the fan and how they work, including the advantages of each.

dual fan for radiator

Types of Cooling Fans

There are several different types of cooling fan for cars. The fans can be mechanical or electrical and single or dual. There are also the universal radiator fans which are obtainable under that name. The type of fan that your car uses depends on the car type, model and year of make if a stock model. If it’s an upgrade fan, the type will depend on your car engine cooling demands. Let’ us now see how each works.

  • Mechanical Radiator Fan- Mechanical fans are engine-driven and normally mounted on the water pump pulley. The mechanical radiator fan is available in two major versions; clutch-based and flex. The clutch type uses a thermostatic clutch to engage and flywheel. The flex type, on the other hand, uses flexible blades that flatten at higher engine speeds or rpm to vary the amount of air blowing through the radiator.
  • Mechanical fans are normally found on older vehicles. They take up a lot of space and do not suit compact cars with limited space in the engine bay. The mechanical fan is easy to service though, seeing that it contains no electrical parts. The fan is also usually powerful enough to move large amounts of air, thereby achieving a better cooling effect.
  • Electric Radiator Fan- An electric radiator fan uses a dc motor and does not directly rely on the engine to run. To control the electric cooler fan motor, several components are necessary. They are relay, fuse, ECU, and sensors. The radiator fan relay switches on the power circuit. On the other hand, the radiator fan fuse protects the fan from power surges, while the ECM (or separate fan ECU) uses sensor data to control the motor operation.
  • The electric radiator cooling fan does not take up a lot of space since it uses no pulleys or belts. It’s also does not produce a drag on the engine as it runs on electricity. But the main advantage of electric fans for radiator cooling is their controllability. They can turn on and off at any time, even when the engine isn’t running. This allows for a more efficient and effective cooling fan system.
  • Single Radiator Fan- a single fan uses a one-fan setup to push air through the radiator. Most vehicles use single radiator cooling fans. This configuration is usually sufficient for the cooling needs of most engines. A single cooling fan may not be adequate for some large or modified engines, though, and may lead to overheating problems.
  • Dual Radiator Fan- dual fans are assembled in two’s. They operate together to move air through the radiator core, providing a more effecting cooling effect. Dual radiator configurations are suitable for large engines that need a higher CFM rating. They are also used when the engine has been modified or when there are overheating issues.
  • Universal Radiator Fan- universal radiator fans are built to fit universally, that’s, different vehicle types and models. With these kinds of fans, it doesn’t matter if your car has the cooling fan mounted in front or behind the radiator. Universal cooling fans are popular as aftermarket types and with motorists looking to upgrade their engine systems.

Mechanical vs. Electric Radiator Fan

Mechanical cooling fans run off the engine’s crankshaft and the electrical type off a 12V DC motor. The electric cooling fan is better in many ways. It can be set to rotate at any time and at the required speed, unlike the mechanical type.

Because electric car cooling fans do not spin with the engine, they produce a more consistent airflow and do not affect engine horsepower. Another advantage of electric radiator cooling fan types is their compactness. They can be installed in tight places, and even allow dual fan setups.

In conclusion, the best fans for cars today are electrical. They are more controllable, easy on the engine, and do not cause wear to the water pump. They’re more expensive, though. If your stock cooling fan is mechanical, you could consider upgrading, although that would mean expensive modifications.

Single vs. Dual Radiator Fan

Radiator cooling fans can be a single or dual configuration. Dual radiator fans move more air when compared to the single types. In most cases, though, a single fan is just enough. These include small engine applications where the engine does not generate a lot of heat.

In some situations, a single fan may not be enough, leading to engine overheating problems. These include large, high rpm or modified engines. If you have a turbo charger or supercharger, for example, a dual fan setup would suit the engine cooling requirements best.

a radiator fan supports the car cooling system

How does a Radiator Fan Work?

The radiator fan function is to remove heat from the coolant circulating inside the radiator. It must do so in the most efficient way, which is why a lot engineering goes into designing the blades and other parts such as the shrouds.

The importance of the radiator fan cannot be underestimated. Without it, your car engine would overheat, leading to many engine problems, among other issues. The fan supports the engine cooling system. It also turn on when you switch on the AC in your car, helping to regulator the temperature in the cabin.

Let’s now see the fan cooling system works.

  • When your car engine is running, the reactions when fuel burns and the moving parts generate a lot of heat. The heat must be removed, or the engine will seize and get damaged or even blow up.
  • To remove the heat, different methods are used. The most common is circulating coolant. The heated coolant then goes to a component known as radiator where it loses heat.
  • The radiator contains narrow tubes that provide a large surface area for heat to escape. It also sits near the grille.
  • When your car is moving at speeds higher than 25mph, air enters through the grille, passing through the radiator core and helping the coolant in the tubes to lose heat.
  • When the speed drops below 25mph, such as when in traffic, there’s not much air getting into the radiator. This is where the radiator fan comes in.
  • The radiator fan purpose during such situations is to ensure a constant airflow that helps to remove heat from the coolant before it goes back to the engine.

The amount of air a particular radiator fan can move is based on its size, blades, and design. The fans are usually rated by the cubic feet of air moved per minute, or what’s called CFM rating. For the electric types, CFM also depends on amp draw. High CFM radiator fans operate on high ampere ratings.

For the fan to only run when it’s needed, several mechanisms are used. Most mechanical radiator fans use a temperature sensing clutch to engage and disengage the fan. The clutch consists of a bi-metallic spring. On being heated by the rising heat, it expands and engages the fan. When the temperature lowers, the opposite happens and the fan stops rotating.

An electric cooling fan does not need a thermal clutch. Because it uses an electric motor, it can be set to only run when needed using an ECU and temperature sensors. Electric cooling fans for automotive applications can also operate as pusher or puller types. Puller types mount between the engine and radiator, while pusher fans are situated between the grille and the radiator. Puller radiator fans are the most effective.

new electric fans for radiator cooling

Radiator Fan Price: how much is a radiator fan?

The car radiator fan price depends on the type of fan, size, and other specific features. Powerful fans, such as those used in heavy-duty engine applications are more costly than those used in compact cars.

Radiator fan cost also varies based on the type of car, year of manufacture, and model. Most fans fall in the price range of between $100 lowest to as high as $500.

You may also find OEM cooling fans more expensive that aftermarket types. Comparing mechanical and electric radiator fan types, electric fans are generally pricier than, mostly because they come with a motor.

Individual parts are also available for people looking for components to fix a failing fan. If looking to calculate your car cooling fan repair cost, information regarding their prices can be helpful. Here is a list of these parts and their prices.

Electric fan motor price- between $40 and $100

Electric fan fuse, relay, and connector price- around $20 each

Radiator fan shroud price $30-$40

Mechanical radiator fan clutch price- $100 average

When looking for a new fan, there are other essential factors to consider besides price. One of them, and among the most important, is the CFM rating. It’s recommended to choose 1250 CFM for a 4-cylinder engine, 2000 CFM for a 6-cylinder engine and 2500 CFM for an 8-cylinder engine.

The number and shape of blades also matter. Select a fan that’ has at least 4 blades. For blade shape, make a choice based on your engine cooling requirements. Straight blades move more air and suit demanding engines better than curved blades.


The car radiator fan performs an important function. As such, you want it working every time you’re out on the road driving. And if it breaks down, the right replacement for your car’s cooling needs. With the topics discussed in this chapter, you can ensure a functional fan. You will also be able to find the right fan type when looking to replace an older one. Next, we will discuss car cooling fan issues, both mechanical and electrical.

Chapter 2: Radiator Fan not working: What causes radiator fan problems?

diagnosing “radiator fan not working” problem

Driving with the radiator fan not working or working intermittently can be bad news. Apart from affecting engine performance, the resulting heat could cause moving parts of the engine to seize or even get damaged. To keep the engine safe, it’s essential that you understand the causes of radiator fan problems. Also, what to do for each problem. That’s what we will be discussing in a moment but first the reasons for the car radiator fan not working.

What Causes a Radiator Fan not to Work?

The cooling fan system is composed of several parts. If you have a mechanical radiator fan, the parts include blades, clutch, temperature switch, and drive belt. For an electric radiator fan, parts that get damaged are fuse, relay, wiring and the motor, among others. When any one of them breaks down, the fan may shows the signs of failing. Reasons for the radiator fan not working include the following.

Blown Radiator Fan Fuse or Tripping Breaker

The fuse protects the fan’s electrical system from power surges. As such, it’s prone to blowing when current exceeds the specified amps. When you have a bad radiator fan, the fuse should be the first part to check. A blown fuse cuts off power to the motor, causing the following signs.

To diagnose a broken fuse, the wiring at the fuse is tested for voltage and replaced if blown or damaged. It’s also recommended that you follow up with the wiring so you can find and fix the source of current overload.

Bad Radiator Fan Relay

The radiator fan relay acts as a switch for the power intensive fan motor. Just like the fuse, the relay can get damaged due to overheating or age. Relay failure is also caused by a faulty control module or electrical problems. Bad cooling fan relay symptoms include.

  • Radiator fan not working
  • Radiator fan running continuously
  • Engine running too hot or too cold
  • Check engine light coming on

You can easily replace a faulty fan relay, usually after testing to confirm damage. The relay is also an inexpensive part to replace; only costing a few dollars.

Bad Radiator Fan Wiring

A radiator with electric fan cooling system also has cables and connectors to convey voltage and electronic signals. These wires can go bad over time, causing your electric cooling fan to show these symptoms.

  • Radiator fan not spinning or not picking up speed
  • Radiator fan working intermittently
  • Engine running hot
  • Check engine light

You can easily pick out broken, burned, or worn wires through a visual inspection. And for a more accurate diagnosis, by testing the wires for voltage. The voltage should read 12V. If not, consider re-installing or replacing the bad cables and connectors.

Bad Temperature Switch, Control Module, or Sensors

Radiator fans are equipped with a temperature switch or electronic sensors to detect engine temperature and other data. If these components are not working, a cooling fan will not work correctly. Common symptoms include:

  • Radiator cooling fan not working or one radiator fan not working if using a dual fan set up
  • Radiator fan not turning on automatically
  • Radiator fan working intermittently

Broken sensors or faulty control module are diagnosed using a diagnostic tool. The tool reads error codes to pinpoint the problem. All three parts are replaceable. Sometimes, a sensor only needs to be cleaned.

Broken Radiator Fan Clutch or Belt

If you have a mechanical fan, a broken drive belt or bad clutch can cause problems. The clutch engages the fan to make it spin and disengages to allow freewheeling. Problems include a clutch that won’t engage or a clutch that will not release. A broken belt, on the other hand, will not rotate the fan. When that happens, you get these symptoms.

  • Radiator fan loose and wobbly
  • Noisy radiator fan
  • Fan running even after engine shut off
  • Engine overheating or overcooling
  • Fluid leaking from clutch

If faulty, a radiator clutch is replaceable, usually after checking it for the above symptoms. A broken belt can also be replaced. Any other fault can also be fixed, whether looseness or slipping.

Bad Radiator Fan Motor

A faulty motor can also result in the car fan not working even when the wiring is in good condition. The motor may have burnt out, or some parts worn due to friction. You can tell a faulty cooling fan motor by these symptoms.

  • Radiator fan not working
  • Radiator fan making whining noise
  • Engine overheating
  • Engine light coming on

The cooling fan motor is available as a separate component, which makes it easy to replace if faulty. Some car owners also fix the motor by rebuilding it or changing the bad parts. The motor is usually first tested for damage as we will see next.

locating the cooling fan fuse and relay

How to Test a Radiator Fan

Testing radiator fan assemblies helps to locate the source of failure. Most of the time, a replaceable part is the reason for a bad cooling fan. You do not want to spend several hundred dollars on a new fan when you only have a bad fuse or relay, for example. Here, we explain the different radiator fan test methods.

How to test radiator fan with car battery

This method involves connecting the fan directly to the battery. By using jumper cables to bypass the wiring system and other components, you can tell if the motor is causing the fan to fail.

  • Locate the radiator fan. It’s usually mounted on the radiator if electric and on the water pump pulley if mechanical. Caution: stay clear of the fan blades as the fan can come on unexpectedly
  • Find the fan connector and unplug it. Using your car manual, identify which terminal has power and which is ground
  • Next, use jumper wires to the battery negative to the fan’s ground and the battery positive to the power side. If the fan in your car uses multiple wires, the manual will also help you identify the pairs of terminals to test
  • The fan should run if not faulty. If it spins at a very low speed or noisily, it’s still damaged. The connectors could also be corroded or worn. Examine them for damage. The clutch could also be faulty

How to test radiator fan with multimeter

Besides the battery radiator fan test, you can also test the connector voltage. Here is how to tell if radiator fan is working using a digital multimeter.

  • Unplug the fan connector and identify the terminals using your car manual
  • Set the multimeter to measure voltage
  • Next, test the connector pins for voltage by connecting one probe to the positive and the other ground.
  • You should get the full voltage that the fan should be receiving, which is usually around 12 volts. The radiator fan motor is broken if it’s receiving power but not working. If there’s less or no power, it’s likely a wiring problem, a bad relay, or blown fuse.

proper maintenance of car cooling system helps prevent radiator fan problems

Radiator Fan Maintenance Tips

Your car cooling fan can last longer if you take good care of it. Follow these tips to prolong the fan’s lifespan and reduce repair or replacement costs.

1. Always ensure the correct coolant level. If too low, the radiator fan works too hard and wears out too soon

2. Observe the temperature gauge keenly. That way, you can easily tell when you have the radiator fan broken and respond early enough

3. Regularly check for leaks in the cooling system. If you have a mechanical fan, a leaking clutch needs to be caught early or you may shorten the life of both the engine and fan

4. Quickly replace faulty parts. If you have a now fuse, bad relay or any other parts, replace them as soon as you notice damage

5. Avoid tampering with the fan wiring system. It could lead to shorting or current overload and a damaged or blown motor


There are many reasons for a broken car cooling fan such as bad motor, clutch, fuse, relay, and more. If left unattended, these faults lead to symptoms such as the radiator fan not working or working abnormally. Eventually, you may end up with a damaged engine and costs to repair or replace it. That’s why, as a car owner, you need to understand the tell signs of radiator fan problems as explained in this section. But that’s not enough; you also need to know what to do if your car radiator fan breaks down. In the next chapter, we discuss how to repair the fan.

Chapter 3: Radiator Fan Repair and Repair Cost

radiator fan repair: troubleshooting a car cooling fan

Radiator fan repair saves you unnecessary expenses. But how do you tell if a bad cooling fan needs repair and not replacing and what are the repair costs? This chapter answers those questions. Learn about radiator fan problems that can be fixed, how to go about fixing them, and the benefits of repair. Find out also the estimated cost to repair radiator fan assemblies, including the parts involved in their working such as fuses and relays or sensors.

Before we can look at how to fix a radiator fan, about the symptoms of failure that are fixable. Cooling fan repair is possible if you notice the following. (Note that you still need to confirm the problems by checking or testing the fan, as we will see later).

  • Radiator fan not spinning due to lack of power caused by a bad relay, fuse, wires and connectors. It could also be a faulty control module or sensors
  • Loose a radiator fan as a result of worn or damaged clutch
  • Loud radiator fan caused by a bad clutch or worn bearing
  • Radiator a fan not working because the motor is burnt out
  • Radiator fan broken due to a snapped drive belt

Radiator Fan Repair: How to Fix Cooling Fan Problems

Now that you know when to car radiator fan repair can be done, let’s go straight to the process. First, the things you will need.

Tools and Materials

Racket and Socket set

Pliers and screwdrivers

Jumper wires

Digital Multimeter


Piece of cloth

Radiator fan repair helps to protect the engine

Radiator Fan Repair Steps

Here is how to fix a radiator fan in simple steps using. Caution: remember to stay away from the fan throughout the process. Cooling fans can start spinning at any time.

Step 1 Preparations

  • If the engine has been running, allow it to cool before attempting to work under the hood. Radiator fan repair involves touching parts of the engine or radiator, which can be too hot and lead to injury. To hasten the cooling, you may open the hood. Turn off the ignition too, and let the engine sit for at least half an hour.

Step 2 Check the Motor

  • A bad radiator fan motor can cause the entire assembly to fail. Start the repair process by testing it. Use jumper wires connect the battery to the motor directly. Cooling fans are DC motors, so it doesn’t matter what wire connects to what terminal. If the motor does not run, the best option is to replace it. You can also choose to fix it by changing worn parts such as brushes (we will be seeing how to do that later).

Step 2 Check the Fuse

  • Using your car manual, locate the radiator fan fuse. The fuse may have blown due to the motor drawing too much current. Inspect it for continuity or check for current on both sides of the wiring using a multimeter. If the fuse is not working, replace it. If in good condition, move to the next step.

Step 3 Check the Temperature Switch or Sensors

  • The radiator fan repair process cannot be complete without testing the condition of the temperature switch or sensors. Simply unplug the switch or sensor and use jumper wires to connect the battery to the fan. This will bypass the component under test. If the fan comes on, replace the temperature switch or sensor.

Step 4 Check the Relay

  • If every other component is working, the problem could be the relay. Again, use the manual to locate it. In many vehicles, the fuse relay is mounted in the fuse box. Test it for voltage using the multimeter. If you find it broken, install a new one. You can also avoid testing the relay by swapping it with a working one. The fan should come on. If it doesn’t, the relay is not the reason for fan failure.
  • If using a mechanical radiator fan, check the clutch for wear or breakage. You may also need to wiggle the fan to feel for looseness or tightness. A loose radiator fan is one of the signs of clutch damage. An overly tight fan, too. Check it for fluid leak, which indicates a bad clutch. Replace it if broken. Radiator fan clutch repair involves replacing the entire clutch.

Step 5 Check the Wiring

  • Inspect the fan wires for breakage, fraying, and connector corrosion or any other form of damage. Bad wires or connectors could be causing the motor to receive inadequate power and the reason for some of the “radiator fan not working” symptoms. Bad wiring could also cause the fan to rotate slower than normal.

worn radiator cooling fan motor brushes

Radiator Fan Motor Repair

It’s recommended to replace a bad cooling fan motor. However, car owners often want to tear down such motors and fix them. If you’re a DIY person and do not mind getting the motor apart, we got you covered. Here is how to repair radiator motor components starting with fan removal.

  • Disconnect the battery.
  • Locate the cooling fan, which is usually either in front or behind the radiator
  • Remove any parts obstructing access to the fan. These depend on your type of car
  • Unplug the fan’s electric connector
  • Loosen and remove the fan’s mounting hardware
  • Carefully pull out the fan assembly and disconnect the wire harness
  • Clean the radiator fan assembly using a piece of cloth dipped in degreaser
  • Next, separate the motor from the fan blade assembly by removing the retaining nut or clip.
  • Detach the motor from the fan support frame
  • Disassemble the motor by removing the end plate, which also contains the brushes

disassembled radiator fan motor

  • Remove the armature
  • Check and clean the inside of the motor housing including the various parts. Inspect the brushes for wear and replace them if worn. Check, too, the commutator for burnt out surfaces and clean it using emery cloth.
  • If the motor’s coil winding is burnt out, replace the motor. If intact, reassemble the motor and reinstall after changing the worn part.

Radiator Fan Repair Cost: how much to fix a radiator fan?

When looking to fix a bad cooling fan in your car, you can decide to do it yourself or visit a repair shop. The amount to pay generally depends on the labor charges in your area, your type of car, and nature of fault.

Generally, the radiator cooling fan repair cost varies between $50 and $200 for most cases. That’s excluding the cost of the faulty part. However, most of the components that need replacing during radiator fan repair are inexpensive except the motor and clutch.

Car radiator fan motor repair cost ranges from $150 upwards. A cooling fan fuse or relay, on the other hand, goes for less than $50. Others include the fan control module, connectors, and sensors.

Instead of taking your car to a radiator fan repair shop, you could choose to do everything yourself using the steps explained here. Most problems are easy to fix, especially if using an electric radiator fan.

Radiator Fan Repair Tips

Radiator fan repair lowers the costs to maintain your car’s engine fan cooling system. However, that only happens if you take the necessary precautions during repair. Also, if you make the right repair decisions. Use these tips to ensure a smooth and safe repair process.

1. Avoid working with the engine hot. If you just switched off the engine, allow it time to cool.

2. Do not forget to disconnect the battery when you need to remove the cooling fan itself for repair.

3. Always use quality parts when fixing a bad radiator fan. Inferior components could lead to a worse situation with the cooling system.

4. Avoid the urge to bypass a faulty part such as sensor or temperature switch. The resulting lack of temperature monitoring could lead to engine damage

5. After repair, check and replace coolant. Low coolant levels can wear down the cooling fan motor


Knowing how to repair car radiator fan can save you hundreds of dollars in costs. In most cases, cooling fan problems are caused by faulty components in the fan’s wiring system. These are parts that you can replace yourself. However, repair isn’t the only choice. A failing cooling fan presents two options: repair and replacement. Now that you learnt how to fix the fan, what about replacing it? That’s what you will be learning next.

Chapter 4: Radiator Fan Replacement: how to replace radiator fan and cost

old and new replacement radiator fan

When your car engine starts to overheat, radiator fan replacement can help fix the problem. That’s because a slow or non-working fan causes the radiator to lose its cooling ability. Coolant fluid then returns to the engine while still hot, risking the engine. How do you replace radiator fan assemblies? Find out how to here. We will be seeing the steps to remove and install a new fan, which will help you replace yours and save on mechanic charges. We will also be looking at the cost to replace cooling fan components, among other things.

First things first; why and when should you consider radiator fan replacement? It’s recommended to change the cooling fan if;

  • The cooler fan motor is burnt due to an electric surge or high amp draw
  • The cooling fan motor is excessively worn due to age
  • The cooling fan blades are broken or bent and the motor not working properly
  • Looking to upgrade the cooling fan due to engine overheating problems or after engine modifications

How to Replace a Radiator Fan

Things you will need

Ratchet and socket set



Here is the radiator fan replacement process in simple steps. Before commencing the replacement, ensure that you have taken all the necessary steps such as switching off the engine, allowing it to cool, and having your car on a level ground. Also keep your hands and tools away from the fan blades to avoid injury. The fan could start spinning unexpectedly.

Step 1 Removal: How to Remove a Radiator Fan

  • Start by disconnecting the battery cables (negative cable first) and secure them by wrapping tape around the ends
  • Depending on your type of car, there may be hoses, brackets and other things obstructing the way to the fan assembly. Remove them
  • Disconnect and unplug the fan connector and remove any dirt and debris that may be covering it
  • Remove the fan assembly by taking out the mounting bolts
  • Asses the fan for damage

Step 2 Installation: How to Install Radiator Fan

After you have removed the old and damaged radiator fan, it’s now time to replace it. Compare the old and new fan to confirm the right model. The similarities to look for include shaft and blade size, connector type, and position of mounting holes.

Next are steps on how to install radiator fan assembly.

  • Insert the radiator fan assembly in the right place ready for mounting
  • Replace the mounting bolts and other hardware
  • Reinstall the components you had removed earlier if any such as ducts, hoses and brackets
  • Reconnect the battery cables (positive terminal first)
  • Switch on the engine to test the radiator fan. Listen for any unusual noises. Check to see that the fan comes on at the right time (when the engine strata to heat up). Switch on the AC to see if the fan will also turn on. It should come on too.
  • After the cooling fan assembly replacement process, ensure they you check the coolant level. Refill it if necessary. A too low level can lead to symptoms of fan failure.

engine fan replacement requires no special tools

Radiator Fan Replacement Cost

How much is the car cooling fan replacement cost? Labor costs depend on your type of car, and the number of parts that you need to remove so you can access the fan. The cost also depends on the charges in your locality. When it comes to replacing individual parts such as fan motor, fuse, relay, clutch and sensors, prices also vary widely depending on the vehicle type.

At most auto repair shops, the cooling fan replacement cost varies between $100 and $200 for labor. The fan itself costs around $100 to $500 or more. So depending on your type of car, you can expect the cost to amount to between $200 and $700. If you have a luxury model, engine fan replacement cost may be as high as a thousand dollars.

But you do not need to undergo all these expenses. If you have some knowledge about how to replace radiator fan assemblies, you can save yourself a trip to the repair shop. Cooling fans are straightforward parts to remove and install, at least for most cars.

Sometimes, you do not need a complete radiator fan replacement, only one or two parts. The prices to change these parts vary. Radiator fan motor replacement, for example, costs around $100 to $150 inclusive of labor and purchase costs. Others such as the fuse, relay, and others even cost less.


The radiator cooling fan serves a big role to help with engine temperature regulation. In light of that, it must be operational at all times. If you have a fan that’ has stopped working, replacing it will save your engine from damage. And while you can seek the help of a mechanic, there’s also the option of doing everything yourself. Radiator fan replacement need not scare you. You only need one or two tools and the procedure to carry out replacement.

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