A vehicle’s engine can get very hot, as it is burns fuel constantly. The cooling system transmits this heat from the engine to the atmosphere. A cooling fan is responsible for keeping the engine cool and prevents overheating. It is located between the engine and the radiator.
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Radiator fans regulate the temperature of the engine by pulling air through the radiator. Fans work in conjunction with other parts in the cooling system.
There are two types of radiators fans. They include electric and mechanical fans. A motor runs electric radiator cooling fans in the vehicles electrical system. On the other hand, a belt drives mechanic fans.
How it works
Basically, a radiator cooling fan works by pushing or pulling air through the radiator. Coolants in the radiators dissipate heat by convention. A radiator works more effectively when air passes through its core. When the car is moving forward the air is forced through the radiator. A cooling system that is in proper shape actually does not require a radiator fan when the car is in motion. However, when the car is stationary and under heavy load, the radiator cooling fan can provide the much-needed airflow to prevent the engine from overheating.
Mechanical radiator fans
Mechanical radiator cooling fans are belt driven. It is connected to a pulley in the crankshaft through a drive belt. The fan rotates as the crankshaft rotates. The fan pulls or pushes the fan through the radiator. Some radiators have the cooling fans bolted to a water pump pulley.
While some radiator fans constantly run when the engine is on some are designed to switch on and off depending on the engine temperature. The latter use fan clutches to switch on and off.
The two major fans clutch founding mechanical fans are viscous drive clutches and electric fan clutches. The viscous drive clutches have a sensor that allows the fan to engage once a specific temperature range is hit. Electric fan clutches can be switched on and off by a switch control hence allowing tight control.
Electric cooling fans
Electric cooling fans are powered by an electrical system. The fans can be switched on and off by coolant temperatures switch or by an engine control unit. They are usually located before the radiator.
Several reasons can contribute to a failure of radiator cooling fan. First mechanical fans can develop problems from the clutch. When the clutch locks, the fan will spin continuously making the engine too cool. The major cause in electric fan failure is a defective motor, switch or sensor.
Radiators fans are not necessarily responsible for much cooling by radiators. So fan failure may not lead to overheating. Before replacing the fan, it is prudent to check the sensors. Electric fans are easy to replace though quite expensive. You can always engage a mechanic if you feel the task is beyond your ability.
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