Need car parts? Select your vehicle
Reading Time: 3 minutes
  • An air conditioner (A/C) fan or A/C condenser fan is usually under the hood in front of the vehicle to effectively pull in air from the outside.
  • The A/C condenser fan cools the high-pressure refrigerant in the A/C system. If it fails, the refrigerant will stay hot and affect your A/C system’s operation.
  • To access your vehicle’s A/C fan, remove the shroud covering it and disconnect the electrical connections leading to the fan.

Q: Where Is the A/C Fan Typically Located?

A: An A/C fan or A/C condenser fan is always mounted between the condenser and the engine compartment and draws air through the condenser to remove the heat from the refrigerant that was absorbed by the refrigerant in the evaporator.

On older cars, the same belt-driven fan was used to draw air through the condenser and the radiator, but on newer cars, there will typically be two fans wired so that they can run separately, in parallel, or in series depending on demand.

See also  Main Components of Your Cooling System

The A/C condenser fan typically runs whenever the A/C is in operation but may operate at a slower speed or not at all when the vehicle is in the wind (road speed).

The PCM either operates the condenser and radiator fans or commands another module to engage the condenser fan. Since the PCM knows how fast the vehicle is going, it may or may not shut the fan off when the vehicle reaches a certain speed.

image of a broken condenser fan motor
The condenser fan motor in the photo has destroyed itself to the point that it smokes when it tries to run and blows the fuse. Other ways condenser fans can fail is to have just one segment of the fan motor go “dark” so that when the fan stops at that point, the motor won’t run even with power being delivered to the motor. Either way, the fan will need replacing. | Image Source: Richard McCuistian
, Where Is the A/C Fan Located?

Pro Tips are nuggets of information direct from ASE-certified automobile technicians working with, which may include unique, personal insights based on their years of experience working in the automotive industry. These can help you make more informed decisions about your car.

Again, if you have an inoperative or intermittent A/C fan, your engine might overheat when idle because there’s no airflow to cool the motor once your vehicle isn’t moving.

Tips on How to Access the A/C Fan

Before doing anything under the hood, make sure your vehicle is parked on a flat surface. The exact location of your A/C condenser fan can vary depending on the vehicle. Consult your owner’s manual to get an idea of where it is in your ride.

Once you’ve found the condenser fan, remove the shroud or cover to access the fan. Disconnect the electrical connections leading to the fan. Then, remove the mounting hardware that holds the fan in place to remove it.

About The Authors
Written By Automotive and Tech Writers

The Research Team is composed of experienced automotive and tech writers working with (ASE)-certified automobile technicians and automotive journalists to bring up-to-date, helpful information to car owners in the US. Guided by's thorough editorial process, our team strives to produce guides and resources DIYers and casual car owners can trust.

Reviewed By Technical Reviewer at

Richard McCuistian has worked for nearly 50 years in the automotive field as a professional technician, an instructor, and a freelance automotive writer for Motor Age, ACtion magazine, Power Stroke Registry, and others. Richard is ASE certified for more than 30 years in 10 categories, including L1 Advanced Engine Performance and Light Vehicle Diesel.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

write a review sweepstakes
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

View all Questions & Answers

In the garage logo Newsletter Answers BE PART OF OUR COMMUNITY: Share your knowledge & help fellow drivers Join Now
Copyright ©2023, Inc. All Rights Reserved.