The Average Cost for a Radiator Fan Replacement Is Between $161 and $855, Depending on if You Go to the Mechanic or DIY.
This price range is based on national averages for all vehicles and does not factor in taxes, fees, or your particular make and model. Related repairs or maintenance, such as replacing the water pump, changing the coolant, or replacing the radiator hose, may also be needed. For a more accurate estimate based on your make, model, and location, use the RepairPal Fair Price Estimator.
Cost at the Mechanic: $261-$855
Parts: $100 and $652
Labor: $161 and $203
Depending on the specific vehicle, the radiator cooling fan can either be a mechanical fan attached to the front of the engine or it can be an electrical fan. Either way, this cooling fan is always located close to the radiator inside the engine compartment, and it’s usually pretty easy to access and replace.
It can take an experienced mechanic about two to three hours to replace it, depending on the type of vehicle and assembly. In most cases, the radiator fan only needs to be replaced if it starts failing, but if it does start to fail, it is an essential repair.
Cost to DIY:
- Difficulty Level: Intermediate
- Parts Needed:
If you have some knowledge about cars, you can significantly reduce labor costs and save money by replacing the radiator fan yourself. You’ll need some basic automotive tools to get the job done, but replacing the radiator fan does not require any specialized tools. It’s important to check the cooling fan relay and the fuse to make sure they are working correctly before replacing the fan, and never work on the cooling system while the engine is hot.
Keep in mind: There are many different types of radiator fans, and not all fans fit all vehicles. If you plan to replace the radiator fan yourself, be sure to choose the right parts to fit your vehicle. When in doubt, always refer to your owner’s manual.
What Is the Radiator Fan?
The radiator fan is part of your car’s cooling system. It draws air through the radiator, taking the heat out of the hot coolant as it circulates through the radiator. Most modern vehicles have an electric cooling fan mounted right on the radiator, while some older vehicles have a mechanical cooling fan. The modern electric systems have an electric motor that automatically starts when the temperature sensor indicates that the cooling system is getting hot. A mechanical radiator fan uses a temperature-sensing clutch that will engage and disengage the fan as needed.
What Does a Radiator Fan Replacement Include?
To replace the radiator fan, the cooling fan shroud needs to come off. If you have an electric fan, the electrical connector needs to be disconnected, and then the fan assembly can be unfastened from the radiator. If it is a mechanical fan, you’ll need a clutch tool to hold the fan in place while you unbolt the assembly. Once you have the new cooling fan attached, the fan shroud can be reattached.
In some cases, the entire radiator fan assembly needs replacing, or it might be the motor that is keeping the fan from working correctly. In other cases, it might just be the fan.
If the fan is easy to access, this job will only take an hour or two to complete.
What Happens If You Don’t Replace the Radiator Fan?
It is important to get the radiator fan replaced if it’s not working correctly. Without a functioning fan, the engine will likely overheat while you’re driving and can cause damage to the engine or the cooling system. If you keep driving a car with a broken radiator fan, it will most likely break down and could leave you stranded and with expensive engine repairs.
How Often to Replace the Radiator Fan?
Most radiator fans will last for the lifetime of your vehicle, and most car owners will never have to have it replaced. If you have a car that’s over eight years old, the radiator fan might start seeing signs of wear and tear. The other common reason for a radiator fan not working properly is because of an accident or if your vehicle overheats because of some other issue with the cooling system. If you keep up with the regularly scheduled maintenance, the radiator fan should last a long time.
Always make sure to check your owner’s manual for your specific vehicle’s maintenance schedule.
Common Symptoms You Need to Replace the Radiator Fan
If you notice any of the following symptoms, make sure to have the radiator fan checked:
- Engine overheating: The fan keeps the coolant at the right temperature. If the fan is not working, the engine temperature will start to rise.
- Noisy fan: If you hear a whirring or clicking noise coming from the radiator fan, it could be because the motor is failing or it could be a damaged fan blade.
- Fan not coming on: If the radiator fan doesn’t come on at all, you should have it looked at.
Related Maintenance Services
The following services are commonly performed with a radiator fan replacement:
- Radiator fan motor (electrical)
- Radiator fan clutch (mechanical)
- Coolant temperature sensors
- Water pump replacement
- Control module
- Thermostat replacement
- Radiator hoses
- Serpentine belt replacement
- Coolant change
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