A faulty cooling system is one of the major causes of engine failure. That’s because your engine can frequently overheat when one or more components of your cooling system go bad. One of the most crucial parts of your engine’s cooling system is the radiator fan.
If your vehicle’s radiator fan is faulty, don’t think twice about replacing it. Read on to find out how much a radiator fan replacement costs, how much its labor cost can amount to, and more.
How Much Is a Radiator Fan?
You can usually get a radiator fan or cooling fan assembly for around $50 to $500. Some assemblies are priced higher depending on their inclusions. The fans’ design type and recommended use (OE or performance replacement) can also affect their pricing.
Labor costs for this type of replacement will usually range anywhere between $100 and $400. The exact cost will depend on factors, such as the type of vehicle you have and the rates applied in your area. You’ll also have to consider taxes and the cost of other related repairs.
What Is a Radiator Fan?
The radiator fan keeps air flowing through the radiator when the vehicle is stationary or traveling at low speeds. The vehicle’s computer or powertrain control module (PCM) controls electric radiator fans, which are usually mounted behind the radiator.
The engine’s temperature sensor gathers data regarding the engine’s temperature and transmits the information to the PCM. The PCM will then activate the fan and actuate the fan relay in case the radiator needs additional airflow.
How Does the Engine’s Cooling System Work?
To fully understand the function of a radiator fan, let’s discuss how a cooling system works.
The cooling system lets engine coolant flow through the engine block and heads. The coolant absorbs the heat coming from the engine as it passes through these passages.
After that, the heated coolant makes its way to the radiator through a hose. It cools down when it passes through the radiator tubes, thanks to the wind that the radiator fan pulls into the engine compartment. Once the coolant loses its heat, it returns to the engine to absorb more heat and repeat the process.
Single vs. Dual Radiator Fans
When shopping for a radiator fan, you might encounter two radiator fan types (single and dual). Let’s discuss how these two radiator fan types differ from each other.
Single Radiator Fan
A single radiator fan has only one fan that pulls air into the radiator. Most vehicles use this type of radiator fan because it’s enough to cool their engine.
Dual Radiator Fan
A single cooling fan isn’t enough for some large modified engines. They need dual radiator fans to avoid engine overheating. The two fans operate together to move air to the radiator core, providing a more efficient cooling effect.
Symptoms of a Bad Radiator Fan
Here are some of the telltale signs that it’s time to replace your cooling fan assembly.
Your Fan Doesn’t Turn On
This is one of the most obvious symptoms that your radiator fan is faulty. Aside from a bad radiator fan, a bad coolant temperature sensor or wiring faults can also cause this problem. It’s best to let a mechanic check your vehicle to determine the root cause of the failure.
Blown Radiator Fan Fuse
If there’s a sudden electric surge due to a faulty cooling fan assembly, the fuse will blow to keep the rest of the system safe. If that happens, you’ll have to have the blown fuse replaced to get the fan working again. You will also need to fix the problem that caused the fuse to blow in the first place.
Illuminated Temperature Warning Light or Climbing Temperature Gauge
An illuminated temperature warning light or a temperature gauge that’s reading higher than normal means that your engine is overheating. Engine overheating can quickly lead to internal damage. If this happens, you’ll want to pull over, shut off the engine, and have your vehicle towed to your location of choice for repair.
The radiator fan also pulls air through the condenser, which removes the heat from the refrigerant inside. So if you have a faulty radiator fan, it will affect your AC’s performance.
Loud Whirring Noise
You might also notice a loud clicking noise when you accelerate or speed up. This can mean your radiator fan blades are coming into contact with other components. A whirring noise can also mean that the fan clutch is failing.
Keeping Your Radiator Fan in Good Shape
If you’re planning to go on a road trip, make sure that your cooling system is in good condition to avoid getting stuck on the road. Experts recommend having your ride’s cooling system inspected at least once a year. Always remember to take good care of your vehicle and drive safely!