Fans are necessary to keep the components under your car’s hood from overheating. Excessive heat can cause warping, melting, and other damage, not to mention the additional energy suck.
The radiator is one of the hottest parts in the engine compartment, as its sole purpose is to circulate hot coolant and dissipate the heat in order to send cooled liquid back to the engine.
Previously, cooling fans used to be all mechanically-run - meaning the engine powered them. The problem with this type of fan is that if the engine is running at a slow speed, so is the fan. And the power required to keep the fan going means that horsepower and performance are diverted away from the engine.
Electric radiator fans change all of that. They’re powered by their own motor so that they can keep cooling no matter how fast (or slow) the engine is running. But like most of the components in your vehicle, these fan motors can burn out, necessitating replacement. You want to look for a reputable brand with a track record of enduring parts, because the fan motor is going to see a lot of use.
How to make sure you’re getting a good quality radiator fan motor:
Choose a puller style if the fan is the only source of cooling for the radiator. Pullers mount behind the radiator and pull the air away from the engine. Pushers make good auxiliary fans, and are mounted in front of the radiator, pushing the air away.
Choose the correct CFM (cubic feet per minute) rating: in general, a 4-cylinder should have at least 1250 CFM, a 6-cylinder 2000 CFM, and an 8-cylinder 2500 CFM.
Make sure that the fan on the motor has a minimum of four blades. The more blades, the more efficient the cooling.
Check the warranty. Many manufacturers offer at least a one-year warranty on radiator fan motors.
YourMechanic supplies top-quality cooling/radiator fan motors to our certified mobile technicians. We can also install a cooling fan motor that you've purchased. Click here to get a quote for a cooling/radiator fan motor replacement.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Buy a Good Quality Cooling/Radiator Fan Motor and was authored by Valerie Johnston.