Automotive Systems

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Engine Fan Test

Engine Fan Test

A faulty engine fan can cause overheating, overcooling, vibration, and water pump wear, or damage. Testing the fan ensures that it is operating properly.

To test a thermostatic fan clutch, start the engine. The fan should slip when cold; as the engine warms up, the clutch should engage. Air should begin to flow through the radiator and over the engine. You will be able to hear and feel the air when the fan clutch locks up.

If the fan clutch is locked all the time (cold or hot), it is defective and must be replaced. Excessive play or oil leakage also indicates fan clutch failure.

When testing an electric cooling fan, observe whether the fan turns ON when the engine is warm. Make sure the fan motor is spinning at normal speed and forcing enough air through the radiator.

If the fan does not function, check the fuse, electrical connections, and supply voltage to the motor.

If the fan motor fails to operate with voltage applied, replace it.

If the engine is warm and no voltage is supplied to the fan motor, check the action of the fan switch. Use either a voltmeter or test light. The switch should have almost zero resistance (pass current and voltage) when the engine is warm. Resistance should be infinite (stop current and voltage) when the engine is cold.

If these tests do not locate the trouble with the electric cooling fan, refer to the manufacturer’s service manual for instructions. There may be a defective relay, connection, or other problem.

Published by SweetHaven Publishing Services
Based upon a text provided by the U.S. Navy

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