You probably don't give much thought to your car's radiator, but it's one of the vehicle's most important parts. Working with the water pump and thermostat, it forms part of a heat exchange process to keep your car cool. If the radiator doesn't work, the high operating temperature of your engine will start to affect important components and dramatically lower the engine's life.
With that in mind, you'll want to know when something is wrong so you can seek out professional help as soon as possible, and the fans are one potential cause of problems. They sit just in front of the radiator and serve to keep air flowing through it even when you're sitting at a standstill.
Here are just three common signs something is wrong with your car's radiator fans.
You've probably already worked out that a problem with your car's radiator fans can lead to overheating. After all, cooling fans are designed to prevent this from happening. Once a certain temperature is met, they switch on to help keep the engine cool. If something is wrong and they stop turning on, your engine will start overheating. A good way to test this is by starting your car and watching the temperature gauge as you let it run. If the temperature keeps climbing up towards the red zone, there's something wrong. Turn the engine off before the car actually gets to the red zone if you want to avoid damage.
2. Persistent Fan Noises
If you're driving an older vehicle, your radiator fans are probably controlled via a mechanical clutch. It uses a simple belt system to keep the fans spinning, but it can wear out over time. When this happens, the fans will keep spinning even when they aren't needed, so you'll hear a loud spinning noise coming from under the hood whenever the engine is running. In some cases, constant use will create wear; when this happens, the fans will start sounding laboured and unhealthy.
3. Decrease in Performance
The fan clutch is a part of your cooling system that is responsible for controlling the operation of radiator cooling fans. If there's any fault, the fans will be permanently engaged, and that creates more than engine noise. A constantly spinning fan will actually create an unexpected drag on the engine. You could start to notice a significant drop in acceleration and overall power while noting a spike in fuel consumption.
For more information, contact your local car radiator repair service today.