How To Tell If Fan Clutch Is Bad?

Have you ever faced issues related to the fan clutch in the car? We know it is pretty difficult to know but what if know the major symptoms which indicate the faulty fan clutch in the car. So, in this article, we will discuss the essential points related to the fan clutch. We will also discuss how to tell if fan clutch is bad. Its fixation costs, and certain frequently asked questions. So, let’s begin with the topic.

What Is Fan Clutch In Vehicles?

A fan clutch is a thermostatic engine cooling fan that can rotate at low temperatures when cooling is not required. It allows the engine to warm up faster, and relieve all the unnecessary load on the engine. As the temperature in the vehicle increases, the clutch engages so that the fan is driven by engine power and moves air to cool the engine. There are generally two basic types of fan clutch, including thermal and non-thermal clutches. There is also one more type i.e., the electronic ones. Thermal models work in corresponding to the under-hood temperature whereas the non-thermal model operates on the shaft speed of the water pump. The electronic models are almost similar to thermal ones but they have an ECM/PCM signal that operates the level of engagement of the clutch

The optimum temperature for the operation or engagement of the fan clutch takes place when the air temperature goes around 170 Fahrenheit. It means the engine temperature is around 180-190 Fahrenheit.

How To Tell If Fan Clutch Is Bad?

The fan clutch is a cool system component that controls the operation of the engine cooling fans. However, nowadays electric cooling fans are available in vehicles with newer models. The fan clutch is a thermostat device, which means it operates based on the temperature and is usually mounted on the water pump, or another belt-driven pulley.

There are conditions when the fan clutch fails to fulfill the desired needs due to malfunctioning in certain parts of it or any other issue related to it. Thus, in such cases, majorly overheating is seen along with few other symptoms in the vehicle. These signs usually alert the driver of the potential issue and prevent any huge damage.

1. Vehicle Overheating

It is regarded as one of the common symptoms and is majorly seen in vehicles with issues related to fan clutch. Whatsoever is the reason for failing or bad fan clutch, overheating is the prime most response generated in your car.

A fan clutch is responsible for controlling and maintaining the operation of the cooling fans. Thus, a faulty fan clutch may not engage properly or at all, as a result of this, it may disable the fan or prevent them from working at maximum efficiency.

All this would cause overheating of the engine which would in the end generate serious issues if left untreated.

2. Excessively Loud Cooling Fans

Here is another sign for faulty or damaged fan clutch i.e., excessively loud cooling fans in the vehicle. If the fan clutch gets stuck in the engaged position, which is pretty rare, it may lead to a fully engaged condition even when it is not desired for them to be on.

As a result of this, extremely loud noise is experienced from the engine’s fan blowing at full speed. The sound is audible as it is felt all the time whenever the engine is cold or hot.

3. Decrease In Power, Acceleration, And Fuel Efficiency

Another common signal that something is wrong is the lack or drop of the overall performance of the vehicle. When there is a problem related to the clutch, it results in a permanently engaged fan which causes excessive drag on the engine.

The decrease in the power, acceleration and fuel efficiency in the engine may cause severe problems if not treated in time. Therefore, the proper maintenance and regular servicing of the vehicle are necessary for long life.

4. Air Conditioning Problems

It is not that must particular issue indicating or determining the faulty fan clutch but it is somewhat helpful. Thus, air conditioning systems also suffer in such situations or cases.

As a result, the defective fan can cause numerous problems from burning smell and lukewarm air to overheating when left idle.

Can You Drive With A Bad Fan Clutch?

Driving with a faulty fan clutch depends on the condition of damage or how bad is the clutch at the particular moment. If your fan clutch is frozen on full lock then we could say that you can drive it for some time. However, if the condition is opposite to it i.e., the clutch wasn’t locking up anymore then the fan would not cool properly hence, driving can’t be continued as previously.

Therefore, it is better to search for the garage nearby or visit a professional for fixing the issue before it may lead to some severe damage.

How Long Does It Take To Repair A Fan Clutch?

Faulty or failing fan clutch replacement or repair is a pretty easy process without any extreme complications. In most vehicles, the average time to repair the issue is approximately less than an hour. However, you are required to supply the vehicle year, make and model with the engine size to get more accurate labor for this job.

How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Fan Clutch?

The average cost of fixing the fan clutch may range between $330 to $360. And the labor costs are estimated between $80 to $100. However, the prices may differ from place to place and also depends on the make and model of the vehicle.


We hope the information mentioned above help and guides all the readers in finding a solution to their problems. However, we also expect that by the end of the topic you know how to tell if fan clutch is bad and various other issues with the fan clutch.

If doubts or queries regarding the content persist, comment below in the comment section. And we will surely make an effort to answer all the questions as quickly as possible.