Radiator Fan Motor Replacement Cost

Know what price you should pay to get your vehicle fixed.

Radiator Fan Motor Replacement
The average cost for a radiator fan motor replacement is between $634 and $789. Labor costs are estimated between $102 and $130 while parts are priced between $532 and $659. Estimate does not include taxes and fees.
Note about price: This service is typically done as part of a bigger, more expensive repair, so the estimate you see above may not represent your total cost. Some of these bigger related repairs are listed in the table below. Talk with a RepairPal Certified shop to learn which repairs may be right for you.

How does the radiator fan motor work?

The engine in a vehicle gets hot when it is running because of friction caused by its internal moving parts. While the engine oil helps to reduce the friction, the cooling system circulates coolant (also known as antifreeze) through the engine to manage the temperature. Once the coolant leaves the engine, it cycles through the radiator, where wafer-like ribbons, or “fins,” of aluminum absorb the heat and allow it to dissipate in the air that passes through the radiator. The engine’s cooling fan helps to draw a higher volume of air through the radiator, especially when the car is at a standstill, so that the coolant temperature decreases.

For the most part, electric cooling fans are controlled by the same computer that controls the engine. However, in some engines, the fans are turned on and off by a temperature-sensitive switch mounted in either the radiator or elsewhere in the cooling system.

What are the symptoms related to a bad radiator fan motor?

If the fan motor does not work, there will not be enough air movement through the radiator to dissipate the heat in the coolant. The symptom usually associated with a faulty fan motor is an overheated engine. Signs include a temperature warning gauge on the dashboard, steam coming from the engine compartment or from under the front of the car, or sluggish engine performance. A check engine light might come on if a cooling fan motor is inoperative. A blown fuse on the fan circuit could indicate a problem with the fan motor as well.

Can I drive with a radiator fan motor problem?

If the cooling fan motor does not work, airflow through the radiator will decrease, the temperature of the engine will increase to unacceptable levels, and the engine will overheat. Under most circumstances, there is not enough airflow through the radiator without the assistance of the cooling fan. A vehicle should not be driven if the fan motor is not working correctly and the engine is overheating. Serious damage to the engine can occur if it is allowed to overheat for an extended period of time. If the fan motor fails during driving, it may be possible to drive a short distance as air naturally passing through the radiator will help to cool the engine, but traffic stops will decrease this ability.

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How often do radiator fan motors need to be replaced?

There is no replacement schedule associated with an engine cooling fan motor. Many fan motors will last the lifetime of the vehicle. Fluid leaks in the engine compartment may shorten the life of the fan motor and should be fixed as soon as possible.

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