What does the radiator fan clutch do?
Car engines are cooled via the circulation of coolant through the engine block. The coolant reduces engine temperature by absorbing heat. It is then sent through an engine cooling system radiator where it loses heat to the atmosphere so that it can be resent to the engine. The radiator fan is used to remove heat from the coolant at an accelerated rate. It is only activated when the engine is warm and is controlled by the fan clutch.
When the engine temperature is cool, the fan clutch disengages fan operation, preventing low engine temperatures from spinning the radiator fan (which consumes engine power, makes fan noise and would over cool the engine). When the engine temperature increases, it will re-engage the fan to prevent overheating. If the fan clutch fails, your car can be more prone to overheating, especially when the engine is under heavy load. This is because your radiator fan may not spin and the engine is not able to reduce the temperature of the coolant at a quick enough rate. For this reason, it is important to get the fan clutch replaced before your engine suffers damage due to overheating.
Symptoms of a bad fan clutch:
A malfunctioning radiator fan clutch can lead to various symptoms indicating that it requires attention or replacement. Here are some common signs of a bad radiator fan clutch:
- Overheating: One of the primary functions of the radiator fan clutch is to cool the radiator and the engine by pulling air through the radiator fins. If the fan clutch is not engaging or operating properly, it can result in inadequate cooling and lead to engine overheating. If you notice your engine temperature rising above normal levels, it could indicate a faulty fan clutch.
- Excessive Fan Noise: A failing fan clutch may produce excessive or loud fan noise. You might hear roaring or constant fan noise even when the engine is at normal operating temperatures. This noise can occur due to a lack of proper engagement or a loss of control over fan speed.
- Insufficient Cooling at Idle or Low Speeds: When the vehicle is idling or moving at slow speeds, the engine relies heavily on the radiator fan to provide sufficient airflow for cooling. If the fan clutch is not functioning correctly, you may notice that the engine temperature rises or remains high when the vehicle is stationary or moving slowly.
- Poor Air Conditioning Performance: The radiator fan also assists in cooling the air conditioning condenser. A faulty fan clutch can result in reduced airflow through the condenser, leading to diminished performance of the air conditioning system. You may notice less effective cooling when using the AC or warmer air coming from the vents.
- Frequent Engine Overheating in Traffic: If your vehicle tends to overheat frequently when driving in heavy traffic or during prolonged periods of idling, it could be a sign of a faulty radiator fan clutch. In these situations, the engine relies heavily on the radiator fan to maintain proper cooling, and a malfunctioning fan clutch can lead to inadequate airflow.
Avoiding expensive engine damage
If your radiator fan clutch is not working correctly, it can cause the engine to overheat. When this happens, extreme levels of stress are put on various engine components. This can lead to serious and irreversible engine damage.
To avoid this, we recommend that you pull over to the side of the road as soon as possible. From there, you should have your car towed to the nearest mechanic. Although towing costs aren’t cheap, it is still a much cheaper cost than a potential engine replacement.
Radiator Fan Clutch Replacement in Hamilton
Is your car in need of a new radiator fan clutch? If so, we can help! At Grimmer Motors, our team of skilled mechanics can service, diagnose and fix all sorts of problems in your cooling system. If we find that the radiator fan clutch is causing your car to overheat or over cool, we can remove it and replace it with a new one.
For fan clutch replacement services in Hamilton, contact Grimmer Motors today!