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Your vehicle's fan clutch mechanically engages your radiator's cooling fan. Each time your engine gets too hot, this clutch fully engages your fan. This allows the fan to blow the right amount of air onto your radiator for maximum cooling. Once the operating temperature of the engine goes down or once the engine starts operating at a normal temperature, this clutch partially disengages your fan to save more power. While this clutch may not be the heart of your engine cooling assembly, it does play a crucial role in keeping your engine temperature stable. Fan clutches may be generally reliable, but they do fail because of the heat they are subjected to. If it breaks, the operation of your cooling assembly becomes compromised, and your engine becomes prone to overheating. Your air-conditioning system's performance may also suffer. That's why you need to replace a broken clutch immediately. When buying a new clutch, look for one that's fully compatible with your vehicle. Check the product's specs to find out if it fits your engine assembly. Your owner's manual should give you the part number of the clutch that will work best with your car. Next, check the product's shaft speed. That way, you'll know if your replacement clutch can engage or disengage the fan at the right temperature. Lastly, go for a fan clutch manufactured using durable materials. By doing so, you save yourself from having to buy a new clutch every few months. So, make the wise choice by purchasing a high-quality clutch from Auto Parts Warehouse today.
Fan Clutch: Know Your Options
The fan clutch is basically the part of your vehicle's cooling system that powers up the fan blades. It has a sensor that detects temperature around the engine and if it becomes too hot, the clutch engages the fan in motion to produce air that cools down the heat. In essence, the clutch's task is to tell the fan when to turn and when to stop. A damaged fan clutch cannot do its job. There is a higher possibility for your car's engine to overheat if the fan clutch is not working well. To prevent this from happening, replace or fix a broken clutch as soon as possible. If you intend to get a replacement, you have two options to choose from: the non thermal and thermal.
Non-thermal fan clutch
This type of fan clutch is engaged with the water pump shaft. When the water pump shaft is spinning, the clutch also spins the fan.
- This type costs less than the standard thermal clutch. If you are on a tight budget, you can opt for this one.
- It performs well. A non-thermal clutch spins at around 30-60% of the water pump speed.
- It is less durable. You have to replace more often because it tends to wear out faster.
- It doesn't save on fuel. Since this clutch is always engaged to the engine, it uses up more energy.
Thermal fan clutch
This type works using a different mechanism. The clutch has a bi-metal thermostatic coil that measures the temperature around the engine. If the temperature is low, it disengages the fan from the water pump shaft so it won't turn. When the temperature is hot, it connects the fan to the water pump and lets the fan spin to cool the engine down.
- It controls the fan efficiently. It lets the fan spin only when needed.
- It provides better cooling application. When the engine is very hot, it lets the fan rotate really fast to take the heat away from the engine faster.
- It is more expensive. It is definitely a part you have to invest in.
- There is a possibility that it won't work that well without warm up. You have to make sure to rev up your car for about ten to fifteen minutes.
Replacing a Fan Clutch
It's highly recommended that you check your car's fan clutch before your trip. Although it's not the main part of your car's engine cooling system, it can very much affect it's overall operation if it becomes damaged. So, if you found that it is already damaged, you need to replace it immediately. Don't worry! This task is easy and it's not going to take so much of your time. Just follow these simple steps.
Difficulty level: Easy
You need these tools:
- Set of wrenches
- Set of 3/8-inch sockets
- 3/8-inch ratchet
- Lockdown tool
- New fan clutch
Step1: Determine the type of your fan clutch. There are two types of fan clutches; one is a fan that is held by four bolts and the other one is held in place by a large nut. Inspect the fan clutch in your car so you would know what type to buy for replacement.
Step 2: Remove the fan. If you have the bolted fan clutch, use your 3/8-inch socket and ratchet to unscrew the bolts. Detach the fan from the pump pulley using the wrench. Slowly, pull the fan forward to release it. If it's a little difficult, do not force it for you might damage the other parts.
If the fan is held by a large nut, use the lockdown tool and place it around the bolts of the pulley to keep it steady. Use the appropriate size of the wrench to loosen the nut. Turn the wrench in counter-clockwise direction. Once it already loosen up, use your bare hand to remove it.
Step 3: Replace the fan clutch. This time, disconnect the clutch from the fan. Use the socket and the ratchet to unscrew the bolts that connects the fan to the clutch. Once it's out, place the new clutch and tighten the bolts again to keep the clutch in place. Put back the fan and the bolts. See to it that everything is back to its original position.