The radiator fan does a very vital job; it cools the radiator to prevent the car from overheating. If you have issues with the radiator fan, you need to take care of them immediately or you could cause serious damage to your vehicle. There are a number of common issues with radiator fans, and if your car has one of them, fixing it is relatively quick and cheap to carry out.


It can be easy to be fooled into thinking that the fan isn’t working, so carry out a visual check to be absolutely sure. Do this by lifting the hood and listening carefully. The fan might be on but newer engines can be very quiet, so you don’t hear them when you’re sitting inside your car.


Whenever something electrical stops to work, the first thing to check is the fuse. If you don’t know where the fuses are in your car consult your owner’s manual to see which fuse controls the cooling system. Be sure the fuse for the radiator fan is intact. If it is not, change it immediately, and this should take care of the problem.


If your engine is heating but the fan isn’t kicking in, check the fan wires. Start by unplugging the wires. There will be two wires of positive and negative feed. They should be giving out around 12 volts of direct current. Use a voltmeter to check that there is current available. If there is not, you want to check both the wires and the fan relay to see if change is required.

The fan relay will be under the hood. If there’s voltage running from the relay to the fan, the issue is that your fan is faulty and needs to be changed. If you do need to change the fan, make sure that the replacement has the right CFM rating for your car.


The temperature sensor determines when the radiator fan starts by reading the cooling system temperature. If the sensor isn’t functioning, your fan won’t come on because it won’t know that the temperature is hot enough to require activation, which can frequently lead to overheating.

The sensor is usually found in the car thermostat cover. To check it, disconnect the wires from the sensor and touch them together. If this starts the fan, the sensor is faulty and will need to be changed. Check your service manual to make sure exactly where the temperature sensor is found on your car.


Inspect the coolant level in your engine. The simplest way to do this is to look at the reservoir in the engine. It will be marked with maximum and minimum levels. Always make ensure that the coolant level is up near the maximum level to avoid possible overheating.


The fan clutch is the assembly that keeps the radiator fan to the engine and makes it turn. If this burns out or fails, you’ll have to change it. There are springs within the fan clutch that can wear out or corrode over the years. If everything else seems to be fine, the fan clutch is the most likely cause of radiator fan failure.