If you are an automotive enthusiast, you know the importance of a radiator cooling fan for your engine’s overall efficiency and health. The radiator cooling fans are the most critical component for the temperature management of your machine that prevents the engine from overheating, thus saving it from engine failure. In addition, by cutting emissions, the cooling fans increase the engine’s efficiency and boost overall performance. Here, we’ll look at some aspects of the radiator cooling fans before getting into the name of the best cooling fan brands you can replace your failed fan.
Functions Of The Radiator Cooling Fans
- The radiator cooling fans are designed to increase airflow through the radiator core when the car runs at lower speeds or is idle. This airflow sheds the heat from the coolant created by the car's engine using the radiator core as conductance. The radiator cooling fans are temperature controlled and only run when needed. All machines have an optimum operating temperature and get the required warmth for operating at peak efficiency. Anything above that temperature can cause overheating that may lead to the failure of different engine parts. The electric radiator fan that runs by a DC motor is attached to fame, including the radiator or bodywork with brackets, rubber mountings, or straps.
- In several cases, it seems that the fan motor activates only when the bi-metal switch meaning the radiator switch is closed. It happens when the temperature of the coolant of the circulating engine (which is in direct contact with the button) gets closed. It completes a circuit and feeds power to the radiator fan motor through a dedicated relay.
- Some of the designs come with the radiator fan with two switches that get switched off at different temperatures; when the low-temperature switch gets closed, the resistors limit the current of the fan motor, which leads the fan motor to run at a low speed.
- On the other side, when the high-temperature switch gets closed, the fan motor is fed with the total battery current, which makes it run at maximum design speed and maximizes the flowing air through the engine's radiator core. When the temperature of the coolant is under the threshold, the fan motor does not feed with any current hence no rotation occurs in the fan.
- Engine Control Unit (ECU) controls the fan motor for many other designs; this system uses input data received from one or more sensors of engine coolant temperature residing in the engine. They are suitable for precisely controlling the radiator fan speed or controlling the operation of two independent radiator cooling fans.
Signs Indicating A Bad Radiator Cooling Fan
Overheating Issues of The Engine
As we discussed earlier, whenever your car is running at a low speed or idle in some traffic jam, the radiator cooling fan motor is solely responsible for the temperature regulation of the engine. So, you can understand that if your radiator fan is not working, the consequences could be severe, like the insufficient airflow through the engine's radiator core that disallows the engine coolant to shed the heat. As a result, the engine will overheat and may sometimes fail.
Fans' speed will halt.
The speed and cycles of the radiator fans can be badly affected due to a damaged fan motor; in fact, more common issues that are seen influencing its rate are the sensor and wiring issues.
The engine may not reach the required temperature.
A failed fan motor can also influence the functions related to engine and fuel management. For example, if the fan's motor runs continuously without being in control due to malfunction, this will prevent the engine from reaching the optimum operating temperature. As a result, you will notice consequences such as fuel consumption will rise, the power of the machine will decrease, and even misfires may develop due to dysfunctional spark plugs.
Fans may sound noisier.
If the bearings or the bushings of the motor are damaged, they can cause unwanted free play leading to severe mechanical noise. The even worse thing can happen if the fan's blades come in contact with the radiators' softcore.
Replacing A Radiator Cooling Fan
After being aware of the facts leading to a faulty radiator cooling fan, you should know how to get it replaced with some of the best ones. But, first, let's discuss its replacement procedure in a detailed discussion.
Replacing radiator fans requires a simple procedure that the beginner DIY mechanic can do. Just remember to equip yourself with the necessary tools like a socket set, the different Flat & Phillips screwdriver types, and a set of simple wrenches. Another thing important for making the procedure sound simpler is that the motors come with an attached frame, which makes it easier to pull out. Below we have discussed the steps required in this replacement procedure in the general context, although it may slightly vary for specific make and model.
Before getting into any automotive job, ensure the engine is cold enough to get it started safely.
Then you need to observe the radiator hoses and the attachment points. Just remember that you should not remove the hose unless you are forced to do so to avoid the otherwise chance of losing coolant.
Try to locate all the associated electrical connectors, disconnect them, and remove the retaining bolts, screws, and clips with the sockets and screwdrivers. Now pull out the assembly of the fan and keep it aside.
Now you can fit the new fan assembly to replace the old one. Be aware of causing any damage to the radiator core. Then insert the kinds of stuff like retaining screws and bolts back and get them correctly tightened. Reconnect the electrical connectors.
If you had to remove the radiator hose, put it back and ensure all the loose joints are appropriately tightened during reassembly.
Now you can start your engine and then allow some time for it to get idle, and after that, measure its temperature with the gauge. Be alert to see if the fan kicks in near the midpoint on the scale - if it does not do so, then the electrical connectors need to be rechecked.
If everything is fine, then the fans should kick in at the correct time, and in that case,e make sure that the engine's temperature does not exceed the "NORMAL" mark on the gauge. If the radiator hoses detached, you need to wait for 8 hours to allow it to cool down and adjust the engine's coolant level if necessary.
Best Radiator Cooling Fan Brands
Dorman is one of the most prominent brands for radiator cooling fans. The Dorman fans meet the OEM standards and specifications, which make them highly reliable, durable, and efficient in preventing engine overheating. It is genuinely designed for direct fit replacements for all OEM equipment. Their extensive testing in the pre-package period ensures they are ready to be used straight out of the box. It has excellent user reviews, and we believe you will be delighted with its performance if you install one.
Spectra is another well-known brand for a radiator cooling fan. This fan assembly is a complete package for the direct fit replacement for all OEM applications. Additionally, these spectra fan assemblies consist of high-quality materials that have undergone extensive testing in the pre-packaged stage. Spectra is a great manufacturer of radiators, and its cooling fan is also a top-notch product. Once you install it in your vehicle, it will do justice to its value.
A radiator cooling fan helps the engine maintain a constant temperature regardless of running speed and status. It indeed is essential for the engines' overall health and performance. Through our discussion, we should have clarified the facts you need to know about the radiator cooling fans, mainly how it works, how you should find a faulty one, how to replace one, and finally, the best ones you should get replaced with. We hope we have made things easier for you in terms of cooling your vehicle and eventually cooling you down by providing peace of mind.