Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How Long Does a Cooling Fan Relay Last?

cooling fan relay

The purpose of the cooling fan relay is to pull air through the A/C condenser and the radiator. Most vehicles have two fans, one for the radiator and one for the condenser. Once you turn on the air conditioning, both fans should come on. The fan turns on when the power control module (PCM) receives a signal that the temperature of the engine needs extra air flow to cool it down.

The PCM sends a signal for the cooling fan relay to provide power to the cooling fan. The fan relay provides power via a switch, and sends 12-volts to the cooling fan which starts the operation. After the engine reaches a certain temperature, the cooling fan is turned off.

If the cooling fan relay is going bad, it can continue to run even when the ignition is off, or when the engine is cold. On the opposite side, the fan may not operate at all which will cause the engine to overheat or the temperature gauge to rise. If you notice your air conditioning is not working properly or your vehicle is constantly overheating, it may be time for your cooling fan relay to be replaced.

The cooling fan circuit normally consists of a relay, fan motor, and a control module. The cooling fan relay is the part that fails most often, so it should be tested by a professional if you are suspecting it is going bad. The mechanic will make sure it has the appropriate amount of power and ground connection by testing the circuit. If resistance is high on the coil, this means the relay is failing. If there is no resistance on the coil, the cooling fan relay has completely failed.

Since these can go bad over time, you should be aware of the symptoms that indicate the cooling fan relay needs to be replaced.

Signs that indicate your cooling fan relay needs to be replaced include:

  • The cooling fan continues to run, even when the vehicle is turned off
  • The air conditioning is not working properly, either it is not cool or does not work at all
  • The vehicle constantly overheats or the temperature gauge reads higher than normal

If you are noticing any of the above issues, you just might have a problem with your cooling fan relay. If you would like this have this issue checked, contact a certified mechanic to inspect your vehicle and make any repairs as necessary.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in Malaysia
CraigBurrows / Shutterstock.com Malaysia is a popular destination for many tourists today. The country has amazing sights and attractions that you will want to explore....
P2159 OBD-II Trouble Code: Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2159 P2159 code definition Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance...
P2422 OBD-II Trouble Code: Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP) Vent Valve Stuck Closed
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2422 P2422 code definition Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP)...


Related questions

Q: Radiator/coolant

Be sure not to drive the car if it is overheating because overheating can warp the cylinder head and/or engine block causing costly damage. The most common causes of overheating include low coolant level, a faulty thermostat, a plugged radiator,...

Q: Fans out and radiator leaking

Hi. There are two engine cooling fans in your vehicle: a high and a low speed. The body control module (BCM) sends requests to the powertrain control module (PCM) for fan operation. The powertrain control module (PCM) then grounds the...

Q: RADIATOR COOLING FAN IS NOT WORKING

The cooling fan is controlled by the ECU. The ECU sends the on command to one of the fan relays which send the power either to the fan for high speed or the fan resistor for low speed. The relays...