Cooling Fan Clutch

A cooling fan clutch is an integral part of any vehicle that uses a combustion engine. The purpose of the cooling fan clutch is simply to signal more ambient air into the radiator area to lower to temperature to ensure that the vehicle does not overheat. One of the issues that may occur in any vehicle regardless of how well it is taken care of is a failure of the cooling fan clutch which in turn would cause the engine to overheat and cause loss of efficiency and even more extensive problems in the future if left untreated or repaired.

There are two main types of cooling fan clutch that are used in modern vehicles. The thermal type works with a special coil spring loaded system that activates once the engine gets to a certain temperature. This mechanism will cause the coil to expand and allows a special valve to function to reduce clutch slippage. This in turn activates the cooling function of the radiator fan to lower the temperature of the engine, effectively shutting off the cooling fan clutch once the temperature is back down to an acceptable level. There is also a non-thermal type called a torque limiting clutch that simply activates the radiator fan differently through mechanical overload queues to cool the engine.

Troubleshooting a cooling fan clutch to find the problem is done by paying close attention to the nature of the problem. The most common fan clutch problems are due to the fact that the parts slip, fluid deteriorates within the part, looseness in the clutch via wobbling and binding of the clutch. Many people will be able to tell while the engine is off that the cooling fan clutch is halted or slipping. This is called a cooling fan clutch test that will be able to help you determine whether or not it needs replacement.

Testing of the cooling fan clutch is possible by watching the resistance that the fan has when the engine is off. Make sure that the fan has resistance to know that the cooling fan clutch is in good working order. A fan that spins more than one to one and one half turns means that the cooling fan clutch is slipping too much and must be replaced. The opposite of this behavior in the cooling fan clutch, such as a fan bind means that the cooling fan clutch also needs to be replaced for sure.

Replacing the cooling fan clutch is important when either the cooling fan clutch or the water pump in the radiator has failed. It is generally a good idea to replace both of these when needed because they age at the same time in terms of part replacement schedules. Taking the time to look into the best options available for replacement is required. You can generally upgrade from a non-thermal cooling fan clutch to a more efficient thermal cooling fan clutch, but never the other way around. You always need to use the same type of cooling fan clutch unless you are upgrading.

Finding parts dealers which offer cooling fan clutch replacement parts for you to use is an important part of replacing the part you need. Many people will have to look online to find the perfect replacement for their vehicle as the different manufacturers of vehicles will require different cooling fan clutch parts in their vehicles. Looking for these parts does not have to be difficult when you know of a high quality dealer of such parts, especially the ones that are compatible with the vehicle you wish to use.

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