How to Clean Your Car Cooling Fan

Lead Image
  • 2-4 hours
  • Beginner
  • 10-20
What You'll Need
Pipe cleaners

Your car cooling fan performs a very important job. It circulates air around the radiator and helps to keep the engine cool. Without it, the engine would overheat and seize up. The fan, which is electric, is actually quite easy to clean and performing maintenance on the car cooling fan will help it to do its job properly.

Step 1 - Removing the Fan

To clean the car cooling fan properly, you need to remove it from the engine compartment so you can work on it without hindrance. First all it, make sure the engine is completely cool. It should have been sitting for at least a couple of hours after its last use.

The fan will either be in front of or behind the radiator. Access should be easy; you won’t need to remove any other components to reach it. The fan is held in place by bolts. On most car cooling fans, there will be a total of four of these bolts with two underneath the fan and two above it.

Using your ratchets and sockets, remove all four of the bolts. With the bolts all gone, it should be simple to work the fan loose. However, be sure remove it very carefully to avoid breakages. You will also see a wire on the bottom on the fan and you do not want to break this. Gently pull off the wire connector. You’ll now be able to pull the fan from the engine compartment of your vehicle.

Step 2 - Cleaning the Fan

Even if your car is fairly new, your car cooling fan will become dirty very quickly. The older the car, the more grime and grease there will be on it. To start, dip an old rag into some degreaser and begin rubbing the blades clean. You have to be careful, however, since metal blades can easily be bent if you use too much force. When bent, they won’t do their job as they should.

Keep using degreaser until you’ve removed all the major dirt from the fan blades and also from the fan housing. There will still be places you can’t easily reach. For these awkward areas, dip pipe cleaners into the degreaser and clean out small areas with these.

Be aware that this will be a slow job since there are many tiny areas on the fan. Keep going until you’ve cleaned them all. By cleaning the car cooling fan, you’re helping to extend its life and ensure that your car keeps running smoothly.

Step 3 - Replacing the Fan

Once the fan is as clean as you can get it, you need to replace it in the vehicle. To do this, reconnect the electrical wire to the fan. When that connection is secure, slide the fan into its housing. Put in each of the four bolts by hand, tightening each as far as you can. After that, use the ratchet and sockets to fully tighten each of the bolts. Check the fan by hand to make sure it’s secure.

Start the engine and look to be certain the fan is straight and not wobbling as it moves.