One of the most important parts within the cooling system of your vehicle is the fan clutch. It’s not a part that comes up often, as it’s usually pretty consistent. However, if this part should stop working the entire cooling system in your car is affected. To get specific the fan clutch is responsible for determining the speed at which the cooling fan spins against the vehicle's radiator. Depending on what's wrong with your fan clutch, it may stop spinning all together or it may just not spin at the right speed. What this means is that the engine won't properly be cooled.
There is no set mileage that this part will last, rather it’s important to watch for early warning signs that it may be giving out. While there are times you can repair the fan clutch, in most instances it's best to replace it. At the same time it's wise to take a look at your cooling fan and radiator to be sure they are both working properly. You can have a professional mechanic take a closer look to determine what needs to be done.
Here are some typical symptoms of a fan clutch that is nearing or has reached the end of its lifespan:
If you start to hear noises coming from the engine compartment of your vehicle, this is definitely a sign you shouldn't ignore. To be more specific it may sound like clicking or scraping.
If you start to notice vibrating or rattling coming from the engine compartment, this is another warning sign that you'll want to take seriously.
Your engine may have a hard time cooling down (overheating) or heating up since the fan clutch isn’t working. The longer you wait to have the problem diagnosed, and repaired, the more it affects the efficiency of your engine.
The fan clutch ensures that your engine is cooled when it needs to be, and prevents it from overheating. While this fan doesn’t have a set lifespan, it’s important to be aware of the warning signs should it start to fail. This is a part you’ll need to fix/replace as soon as possible once it gives out. If you’re experiencing any of the above mentioned symptoms and suspect your fan clutch is in need of replacement, get a diagnostic or book a fan clutch replacement service with a certified mechanic.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How Long Does a Fan Clutch Last? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.