The cooling/radiator fan motor is part of your vehicle’s cooling system. It transports heat away and dissipates it into the outside air. The fan motor is the part that actually powers the cooling fan. The cooling/radiator fan motor keeps the engine from overheating so your vehicle stays in good working condition.
The cooling/radiator fan motor is located either at the front or rear of the radiator in the engine compartment. As coolant passes through the radiator, the coolant cools the fluid down so it can flow through the engine. As the coolant is flowing through the engine, it absorbs the extra heat so the engine does not overheat. In addition, the cooling fan motor blows air from the outside and passes it over the radiator.
The cooling/radiator fan motor works in a high temperature environment, which means it has potential to fail over time. One major cause of this part failing is the engine will overheat. If this continues, the engine may blow, and your vehicle can become inoperable. This goes from a relatively straightforward repair to a much more extensive one. One way to tell if your fan is going bad is to listen for it actually working. Another way is to watch the temperature gauge, and if it constantly reads high, it may be time to have your cooling/radiator fan motor replaced.
To keep this part in good working condition, the coolant should be changed every 25,000 to 40,000 miles. While having the mechanic change the coolant, they can inspect for any leaks or imperfections that signal your fan motor will be going out soon.
Since the cooling/radiator fan motor can fail over time, you should be aware of the symptoms it gives off before it completely fails.
Signs you need to replace your cooling/radiator fan motor include:
- The Check Engine Light is on
- Your vehicle overheats on a regular basis
- The cooling fan fuse is blown
- The temperature gauge is reading high on a regular basis
- You do not hear the fan running when you listen for it
This part should be replaced as soon as possible to keep your vehicle in good working condition.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How Long Does a Cooling/Radiator Fan Motor Last? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.