Keeping the engine cool isn't really that easy. There are times when the radiator would need help from the cooling fan to blow air into the unit when the engine just gets so hot. Once the engine hits the right operating temperature, the fan clutch will be mechanically disengaged, saving your vehicle some power. After some time, the clutch may wear out because of excessive heat and the severe conditions under the hood. A broken clutch can't go unnoticed for a long while as this can make the engine cooling system less efficient. To help you troubleshoot a bad clutch, here are some tips:
Diagnosing a bad fan clutch
To figure out if you have a bad clutch, you have to watch out for these symptoms:
Engine overheats frequently
When the engine overheats frequently, this may be caused by a lot of things.one of these is a bad clutch that makes the fan unable to operate as it should. When the cooling fan fails to engage or work properly, the engine will fail to operate at an acceptable temperature range. If this happens, check the fan clutch for damage or wear.
Bearings are already worn out
If you hear vibrations or noise from the fan while the vehicle is running, you have to check this. Turn off the engine and set it in park or neutral as you inspect the fan for play or looseness on both sides. The wobbling fan may have worn-out bearings and may need a new clutch.
Clutch is shot
A faulty fan clutch may be causing problems with the cooling system or the fan itself. To check, rotate the fan to gauge the resistance. If the fan spins more than a turn or one-and-half turn, you have a bad clutch. The damaged clutch will result in the fan not engaging successfully when the engine temperature is rising.
Clutch is locked
A lock-up in the clutch will affect engine power and mileage. The clutch will fail to disengage if the temperature-sensing unit that guides it is malfunctioning. If you hear some roar during high engine speeds, you may have to check the clutch to see if it's locked. Turn off the engine and rotate the fan. If it's stuck, then the clutch probably needs to be replaced.
Changing a bad fan clutch
Mechanically driven fans come in different types. One type of fan is secured with four bolts. The other type uses a large nut. With the right set of tools and instructions, you can change the faulty clutch in no time. Here are the steps:
Removing the fan
Mechanically driven fans with four bolts
Cooling fan with a large nut
Disconnecting the clutch from the fan
Installing the new fan clutch