Today, virtually all late model vehicles have radiator cooling fans in conjunction with electric motors designed to keep the engine cool. These cooling fans are mounted to the radiator, and they serve a very important purpose: keeping the engine cool.
How Radiator Cooling Fans Work
Radiator cooling fans work by pulling air through the radiator and over the engine. The air from the outside is pulled through the fan, and as it rushes over the engine it cools the engine especially during low speeds. As your engine operates, the coolant temperature starts to increase and if no air moves through your radiator to cool it down, the engine will start to overheat. That is why the cooling fan is such a critical component; without it, the coolant can't do its job.
The electric motors found on cooling fans don't operate much differently than regular electric motors, and as such can often be serviced or replaced regardless of which part of the cooling fan assembly is malfunctioning. That said, there are many different components required to properly rotate the fan blades and create the necessary air flow. As a result, any issue that arises with any part of your fan motor will quickly parlay into a multitude of other problems.
A bad or failing cooling fan motor will bring with it different symptoms that should alert you of the potential problem, though an overheating engine is often the first clue. If you bring your vehicle into one of our locations, we can locate the damaged component and replace it before the problem compounds.
Symptoms of Failure
The first symptom or sign that something has gone wrong is that your cooling fan doesn't come on at all. This is the most common symptom of a faulty cooling fan motor, but it may not be one you notice while driving your vehicle. If the motor burned out or starts to fail in any way, the cooling fans are disabled. If the motor fails, these blades won't spin at all and they won't generate any air flow.
Another symptom is that your vehicle overheats. It doesn't matter what type of car you drive, the cooling fans are thermostatic, meaning they come on as soon as a certain temperature has been reached. If the cooling fan motor fails, the blades don't spin and they don't generate air flow. At that point, the engine temperature continues to climb until your engine overheats. Once your engine overheats, you get other warning lights to come on indicating the problem. Of course, the engine overheating on its own could be caused by other problems which is why it is important to have your vehicle diagnosed if this symptom occurs.
A blown circuit fuse is another possible cause for a cooling fan motor failure. If your motor surges or fails, it could blow a fuse the same way that you might blow a fuse when you turn on too many outlets at once in your home. In each of these situations, a blown fuse happens to protect the rest of the system from any damage that might come from an electrical surge. If this happens, the fuse have to be replaced in order to get the fan up and running once more.
Getting a Diagnosis
Your cooling fan motor is a very important part of the cooling fan assembly, and it is imperative when it comes to keeping your car operating at a safe temperature at low and idle speeds. For this reason, if you see any of these symptoms and you suspect that you might have a problem with your cooling fan motor, it is important to have your vehicle looked over by one of our expert mechanics.
Our professional service technicians at Fast Lane European, convenient to San Jose, CA, are all trained across many makes and models, and are intimately familiar with issues just like these. If you need help with your car, don't trust just anyone — trust the experts in European vehicles. Seemingly small issues like these can be problematic and worsen if left unaddressed, so let us help you diagnose and repair the problem quickly so you can get back out on the road were you want to be.