What is a cooling/radiator fan motor replacement?

During a cooling/radiator fan motor replacement service, a mechanic will assess the cooling/radiator fan motor to determine if a replacement is needed. The cooling fan is important for keeping your engine at operable temperatures.
The cooling fan motor powers the fan blade to dissipate the extra heat absorbed by the coolant passing through the entire engine. The fan can be found in the engine compartment, usually at the front or rear of the radiator. This prevents the engine from getting too hot when it is burning fuel.
A broken cooling fan motor will not lower the temperature of the engine, causing it to overheat. While there is no immediate danger, the engine can seize at extreme temperatures, as the piston can weld itself to the cylinder.

How to replace a cooling/radiator fan motor

Below are the general steps a mechanic will follow to change the cooling/radiator fan motor, which might vary depending on your car model:
  • Scan the computer system for diagnostic trouble codes
  • Test fuses and relays
  • Test power and ground wires going to the fan
  • Remove and replace the cooling fan motor
  • Check that the fan is operating properly
The cooling fan blade should also be inspected when the cooling fan motor is being replaced.

When do I need to repair my cooling/radiator fan motor?

If you notice that the temperature gauge on your dashboard is consistently high, you may need a cooling/radiator fan motor replacement.
Other common signs to look out for include:
  • You don’t hear the fans working
  • Your vehicle is overheating
  • Engine lights may turn on
  • Blown cooling fan fuse
Ask your mechanic to inspect the cooling fan motor when any maintenance is done on the cooling system. This will allow you to catch any potential overheating issues. The coolant should also be changed every 25,000 to 40,000 miles, or according to the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule.

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