How to slap on a new radiator fan motor
An engine that does combustion is imperiled by overheating, which results to mechanical failure. Likewise, when a car overheats, it will break down and damage some parts of the engine block like the head gasket. Therefore, temperature regulation is critical to the working order of an engine. The main component that regulates the temperature in the engine is the radiator. But what cools down the radiator? This is where the radiator fan comes in. Powered by the fan motor, the radiator fan blows air to the radiator so the coolants within it cool down faster. Coolants with lower temperatures can draw out more heat from the engine. Nonetheless, the fan motor will deteriorate in time and will need replacing. Here's how to slap on a new fan motor.
Required skill level: Intermediate
Needed tools and materials
- A set of screwdrivers
- A set of wrenches
- A new fan motor
Uncouple the battery cables
It's important to uncouple the cables from the battery to avoid electrocution.
Unplug the wire connection
The next step is to unplug the wire that powers the radiator fan motor. Some wires are securely connected with a screw so have your screwdriver ready.
Unbolt the radiator assembly
Unbolting the radiator assembly requires a number of wrenches. After this, just pull the assembly out carefully. You might need to move several wires, hoses or even remove other car parts.
Remove the fan blade
The fan motor is the bulge that is directly connected with the fan blade. To get to it, the fan blade must be unscrewed first from the motor. Pull the fan blade out of the drive rod. Check if the fan needs to be replaced also.
Detach the fan motor from the housing
Once the fan blades are out of the way, remove the nuts that hold the motor onto the housing. By then the old, defective motor can be easily taken off.
Install new fan motor
Install the new fan motor onto the fan housing. Make sure that it has a tight fit. Next, put the fan blade back to the motor drive rod.
Return the radiator assembly
With the motor and blades safely secured on to the housing, the radiator assembly could be placed back to the engine block. Remember to screw and bolt everything nice and tight so they won't inadvertently fall off. Don't forget to couple the wires and the battery cables so the motor can receive electricity. Start the engine and see if the fan is rotating.
Tips and Warnings
- Make sure that the car hasn't been used for a couple of hours because the radiator could get dangerously hot. Without proper protection, nasty burns might be sustained. Wearing protective gears such as safety mechanic gloves provide maximum grip, handling and protection during the installation.
- Don't mix all the nuts, bolts and screws together. Separate them in different containers so you won't get confused as to what goes where.
Which fan motor will blow you away: AC Delco or 4 Seasons?
Picture this: a car pulled over on the shoulder with an open hood and steam blowing up from the engine. Not too far is a man talking on the phone in one hand while the other is scratching the back of his head. Is this scene familiar to you? Or worse, did this already happen to you? Irregular and improper maintenance of the engine cooling system frequently results to overheating. And when the car overheats, you're going to be in a lot of trouble. The radiator is the first thing that comes to your mind when talking about engine cooling. However, the radiator needs to be cool also in order to cool down the engine. This is where the radiator fan comes to play. The fan motor rotates the blades to blow air from the outside, lowering the radiator temperature. Without the motor, your engine's going to be at risk. AC Delco and 4 Seasons both make good fan motors. But which should you choose between the two? Read on to find out.
AC Delco and 4 Seasons have an extensive roster of fan motors that can definitely fit any car make or model. Their factories, not just their products, passed stringent quality control to deliver excellent fan motors every time.
WINNER: AC Delco and 4 Seasons
The AC Delco fan motor is made to be an exact alternative to the factory fan motor. It has a low noise which is barely heard once inside the vehicle. Given its low profile, the motor is a space saver as well. Meanwhile, the 4 Seasons fan motor offers performance that is made to exceed OEM fan motors. It has a removable sleeve that can accommodate blades with ot without raised shoulder. It is also quiet and airflow is impressive.
WINNER: 4 Seasons
Warranty is a big deal especially to those who are attempting to always fish for more value. The 4 Seasons fan motor only comes with a 120-day limited warranty. On the other hand, an AC Delco fan motor is offered with 12 months or 12,000 miles limited warranty, whichever comes first. Since the AC Delco fan motor has a longer warranty, we will go for it.
WINNER: AC Delco
The price is almost always the tipping point for any comparison. Between the two, the prices of the fan motors belong in the middle of $30 and $200. The price depends on which car is to be fitted. Therefore, they are both competitively priced and they don't have much of a difference.
WINNER: AC Delco and 4 Seasons
Both products have shown their strong and weak points. However, when it comes down to what's really important (which is performance), they are almost inseparable. The two are good choices as a replacement of your fan motor.
Finding the Right Fan Motor for Your Vehicle
Excessive heat can strike a death blow to your vehicle. If you've ever encountered this problem, you will know the grave repercussions it could do to your engine's metal parts. Radiators are sometimes not enough to counter extreme engine temperature, so most vehicles today are built with cooling fans that help bring the heat down several notches. At the core of these fans is a motor that enables the fan blades to spin rapidly so that more air can be delivered to the radiator. A fan motor is switched on when the radiator's coolant temperature has risen to about 195 to 210 degrees. The engine will malfunction at this heat level, so the fan motor activates the blades and keeps them turning to help lower the temperature.
Types of fan motors
As fan motors greatly aid in engine cooling, it is then important to find the right type for your vehicle. Usually, these motors differ in phases and starting capacities. There are three major classifications of fan motors:
This type of motor is commonly used for smaller fans with alternating current (AC) power. It is both energy- and cost-efficient, as it only needs minimal electricity to operate. Single-phase motors are highly durable and can be used for a long period of time, helping you save money on replacements. In addition to that, you can also convert these easily into different phases. However, single-phase motors can't operate on larger fans. Converting them will only cost you more money, so it's much better to buy a larger motor.
Also called as double-phase motors, this type is used on bigger fans and heavy-duty applications. Of course, this means more power will be delivered to your fan, but slit-phase motors require a greater amount of electricity to operate, making them less cost-efficient than single-phase ones. The upside is they're built with an automatic shut-off to prevent them from burning out even under the increased strain of heavy loads. As the motor is less likely to malfunction, replacing it every so often is not really necessary. This means more savings for you.
Capacitator-start is the most cost-efficient motor among all three, as it delivers higher torque while using lesser electricity than slit-phase. With more power, this type of motor can handle greater workload and increased strain. It also has a safety shut-off feature that closes down the unit upon reaching 75% of its load capacity, preventing it from burning out and giving you additional expense for replacement.
Fan motor replacement cost
You can get a standard fan motor for as low as $50. Price can go up to $250, depending on the brand and materials used. To get more savings, purchase a complete fan motor assembly instead of buying the part individually. This way, you can install the part yourself and ensure that all components will work well together. Fan motor assemblies are priced at $100 and up.
Beat the Heat: Fan Motor Replacement
A fan motor draws in more air to the radiator to prevent your engine from overheating. Excessive engine temperature may cause some of the metal parts in your vehicle to break down, and this can lead to costly repair charges. Replace a faulty fan motor right away before it causes engine failure.
Here are the tools you need and the steps to follow in replacing a damaged fan motor:
Difficulty level: Moderate
Tools that you'll need:
- Socket wrench
- Flat-head screwdriver
Step 1: Remove the air intake box, the radiator housing, and other parts that prevent you from reaching the fan motor assembly.
Step 2: Disengage the lead wire linked to the fan motor. Locate the connecter at the end and use a flat-head screwdriver to disconnect it.
Step 3: Remove the bolts holding the fan motor assembly in place using a socket wrench. Once you have the bolts taken out, carefully extract the fan motor assembly and housing from the engine bay. Move wires and hoses out of the way so that you can detach it more easily.
Step 4: Take off the nuts and pins securing the fan blade and detach it from the drive rod. Next, remove fan motor from the housing. Use a socket wrench to remove the nuts securing the fan motor.
Step 5: Position the new fan motor into the assembly and bolt it in place. Put back the fan blade on the drive rod and reattach the nuts you removed earlier to secure the part.
Step 6: Reconnect the fan motor assembly back into the engine using bolts and snaps. Make sure everything is in place and tightly secured first to prevent looseness. Lastly, connect the motor's wire to the fan body and run the engine to test the new fan motor.
Disconnect the car's battery first and let the engine cool for about half an hour before doing the replacement.