If you are an automotive enthusiast then you surely know the importance of a radiator cooling fan for the overall efficiency and health of your cars’ engine. The radiator cooling fans are the most important component for the temperature management of your engine that prevents the engine from overheating, thus saving it from engine failure. By cutting down on emissions the cooling fans ensure to increase the efficiency of the engine and boost overall performance. Here, we’ll be looking at some aspects related to the radiator cooling fans before actually getting into the name of the best cooling fan brands that you can replace your failed fan with.
Functions Of The Radiator Cooling Fans
- The radiator cooling fans are designed to increase airflow through the radiator core when the car is running at lower speeds or idle. This airflow shed the heat from the coolant created by the cars’ engine using the radiator core as a mean of conductance. The radiator cooling fans are temperature controlled and only run when it is needed. All engines have an optimum temperature for operation and getting 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 DC motor is attached to fame that includes the radiator or the bodywork attached to it with brackets, rubber mountings, or straps.
- In a number of cases, it is seen 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 switch) gets closed. This eventually closes a circuit and finally feeds power 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 distinct 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 full battery current that makes it run at maximum design speed and also maximized the flowing air through the engine’s radiator core. When the temperature of the coolant is under the threshold the fan motor is not fed with any current hence no rotation occurs in the fan.
- Engine Control Unit (ECU) controls the fan motor for a lot of other designs, this system uses input data received from one or more sensors of engine coolant temperature resided in the engine. They are good for the precise control of the radiator fan speed or for 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 at some kind of traffic jam, then the radiator cooling fan motor is solely responsible for the temperature regulation of the engine. So, you can understand the fact that if you find your radiator fan not working then the consequences could be very serious, 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 fail in some cases.
Fans Speed will be halted
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 speed 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. If the motor of the fan runs continuously without being in control due to any malfunction, then this will affect the engine to reach for the optimum operating temperature. As a result, you will notice consequences such as fuel consumption will rise, the power of the engine will decrease, 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 serious mechanical noise. The even worse thing can happen if the blades of the fan 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. First, let’s discuss its replacement procedure with some detailed discussion.
Replacing radiator fans requires a simple procedure that can even be done by the beginner DIY mechanic. Just remember to equip yourself with the necessary tools like a socket set, the different types of Flat & Phillips screwdrivers, and additionally 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 general context although it may slightly vary for specific make and model.
Like always, before getting into any automotive job first make sure that the engine is cold enough to get it started safely.
Then you need to make an observation of the radiator hoses and the attachment points. Just remember that you should not remove the hose unless you are forced to do so in order to avoid the otherwise chance of losing coolant.
Try to locate all the associated electrical connectors and disconnect them, and also remove the retaining bolts, screws, and clips with the sockets and screwdrivers. Now simply 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 properly tightened. Reconnect the electrical connectors.
In case if you had to remove the radiator hose, put it back and make sure all the detached joints are properly tightened while 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 make sure that the temperature of the engine does not exceed the “NORMAL” mark on the gauge. In case the radiator hoses were detached you need to wait for 8 hours to allows it to cool down and adjust the coolant level of the engine 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 extremely reliable, durable, and efficient in preventing engine overheating. They are truly designed for direct fit replacements for all the OEM equipment. Their extensive testing in the prepackage period ensures the fact that they are ready to be used straight out of the box. It has great user reviews and we believe you will be very satisfied with its performance if you install one.
Spectra is another well-known brand for a radiator cooling fan. This fan assembly comes in a complete package for the direct fit replacement for all OEM applications. Additionally, these spectra fan assemblies consist of high-quality materials that have gone through extensive testing in the pre-packaged stage. Spectra is a great manufacturer of radiators and its cooling fan is also a top-notch product. It will surely do justice to its value once you get it installed in your vehicle.
A radiator cooling fan helps the engine maintain a constant temperature regardless of its running speed and status. It indeed is very important 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 especially, how it works, how you should find a faulty one, how to replace one, and finally, the best ones you should get it replaced with. We hope we have been able to make things easier for you in terms of cooling your vehicle down and eventually cooling you down by providing peace of mind.