Cooling System Fan

Truck Cooling System Fan

A truck cooling system fan is a critical part of your cooling system. When your truck is moving, air is being forced through the radiator, enabling engine heat to be dissipated. This process works great while going 55 miles an hour, but not as well in traffic or while stopped. You need to keep air passing through the radiator core to prevent overheating, and this is where your cooling system fan comes into play. The fan keeps air moving through the radiator core, helping to dissipate heat and cool your vehicle, at all times.2015-03-26 12.41.37

There are three basic styles of fans used on vehicles. There is a belt driven pulley fan, a clutch fan, and an electrical fan. Each fan offers distinct advantages and disadvantages. No matter what type of truck fan you have, you will always need to check for any fan wobble, fan vibration, or cracked fan blades.

  1. The basic belt driven fan operates with a pulley and fan belt. This fan is always on when your vehicle is running and thus affects fuel consumption and workload. This fan design is the most basic, and it works. Things to check on this system is the wearing of the belt, cracks or a very shiny gloss look to the underside of the belt indicating slipping. Check for improper tension and if you hear a squealing sound when starting your vehicle you will need to check the tension and condition of the belt.
  2. The second style of fan is the clutch fan. There are two types of fan clutches, a non-thermal clutch fan that rotates based on shaft speed and a thermal clutch fan clutch that reacts to system temperatures. The thermal fan clutch engages more as the system heats up and pulls more air through the radiator. These fans put less stress on your engine when cold and thus provides some fuel economy. A defective clutch fan will not pull the proper amount of cooling air through your truck radiator so you must check them during scheduled maintenance. Look for a grease or oil spot on the coil in the front center and try spinning the blade to check its grip. We have provided a short video from BorgWarner below that shows how your truck clutch fan works. If the blade spins freely when the engine is hot but shut off, the clutch fan is defective and needs to be replaced.
  3. The electric fan works with a sensor and your computer. This system keeps track of what is going on with your cooling system and operates the fan accordingly. When your engine is hot, it should engage and when your air conditioning is on it should be on. This fan may also keep running while you engine is turned off to help cool it down. Be careful working on a fan like this as it can be running with the vehicle off and your keys in hand. If your fan is not turning on you will need to check your fuses, wiring, connections, relay, sensor and test the electric motor.

Truck Fan Shroud

Your truck needs a truck fan shroud, and if you have a car, you need a car fan shroud. Your fan shroud and fan works together and will help keep your vehicle running cooler. Many individuals with custom applications or special use vehicles think that using a thicker radiator or heavy-duty fan will replace the need for a fan shroud. In most cases It will not. Removing a fan shroud will only make your vehicle run hotter. The key to a properly working fan is the fan shroud. All fans need a fan shroud to keep the air flowing properly through the radiator and not all around the engine compartment. Do not remove your fan shroud.

Custom Cooling System Fans

If you are building a special vehicle or need to operate your vehicle in special conditions, you will have many choices to consider. Do you need a heavy-duty radiator core, a different temperature thermostat,  or a custom cooling system fan? Are you trying to cool a high-performance vehicle? Should you add a fan that pushes air through a radiator? If you are you looking at this web page and trying to adapt a custom application to a functioning fan and need help cooling a high-performance radiator, then you should seek out a professional. I can only tell you that adjusting your engines performance and adding horsepower will throw all basic calculations off. You will be in a trial and error situation, and you should talk to someone like a NARSA certified radiator shop.


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