How to Repair a Radiator Fan

radiator fan laying on the ground
What You'll Need
A rag
Pipe cleaners
12-volt power supply

A radiator fan is very important when it comes to cooling your car. Your car engine must remain cool to avoid overheating and breaking down completely. The radiator fan is responsible for blowing or pulling air around the radiator to keep it cool. Most manufactured radiators come with an electric fan which is easy to replace or repair if needed.

Step 1 - Allow Your Car to Cool

If you have just discovered the problem and your engine has been running, it is very important to allow the engine and radiator to fully cool so that you do not burn your hands or cause any additional damage to the engine.

Turn off the ignition and let the car sit for 30 minutes to an hour. As long as there is no direct sun on the engine, you can open up the hood of your car to speed up the cooling process.

Step 2 - Remove the Fan

car with the hood open

Locate your radiator and find the cooling fan. The fan should be on the front or the back of the radiator, making it easier to access. You will need to remove any bolts holding it in with your ratchet. There are usually four bolts on most radiators: two on top of the fan and two below.

Once the bolts are removed, you should be able to pull it out. Make sure to be careful and pull it out slowly because it is connected to a wire at the bottom of the fan. Simply unhook the wire and disconnect the fan, taking it completely out of the radiator.

Step 3 - Clean the Fan

Once you set the fan down on your workspace, look at it to see if there is any grease, tar, or other substances stuck to the fan or the blades. If there is, you will need to clean it off. The easiest way to do this is to dip a rag into degreaser and clean off the bad areas.

Use pipe cleaners to clean out the small parts of the fan, gently rubbing it back and forth to remove any unwanted substances or materials.

A dirty fan could cause your radiator fan to not work, and with a little simple cleaning, you may be able to fix it completely. Check it with 12 volts of electricity to see if it works. If you do not have a way to test it easily, follow the next step as a precaution before replacing your fan.

Step 4 - Check Your Fuses

testing a fuse

Find where the fuses are kept in your fan and check them. With some fuses, you can tell if they are broken by holding them up to the light and seeing if a circuit is connected. You can also use a multimeter to check if there are any bad ones. Replace old fuses with new ones and test your fan again if possible.

Step 5 - Re-attach the Fan

Replace the fan into your radiator, remembering to plug it back into the wire. Bolt it into place with your ratchet and test it by starting your car.

Most of the time, following these steps will fix your radiator fan. If you continue to have problems, you will need to take it in to a professional and perhaps have it replaced.