Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How Long Does a Cooling Fan Resistor Last?

cooling fan resistor

The purpose of the cooling fan resistor is to remove heat from the engine’s coolant and from the A/C refrigerant. The resistor does this by drawing air through the radiator and air conditioning condenser. A belt drive fan is mounted on a clutch that is temperature controlled, and the cooling fan resistor draws air through once the temperature is registered as too hot.

The resistor controls when the cooling fan comes on, and normally it comes on in stages. When you turn your vehicle on, the engine heats up very fast so the cooling fan resistor comes on in stages. This helps to evenly cool your engine and allow your vehicle to run smoothly.

After the engine reaches a hot temperature, which has already been determined by the manufacturer, a switch indicates the cooling fan resistor to start working at a high speed to draw more air through the radiator. This provides extra cooling to the engine so it does not overheat. Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, you may have a second fan which allows for more airflow for the cooling and air conditioning system. The second fan is powered by the cooling fan resistor as well, and always runs at a high speed.

Over time, one or both of your cooling fan resistors may become worn or fail due to everyday usage. If you suspect your cooling fan resistor needs to be replaced, contact a professional mechanic. If your cooling fan is being replaced, chances are your resistor needs to be replaced as well.

Since this part can fail over time, it is important to recognize the symptoms it may need to be replaced.

Signs your cooling fan resistor need to be replaced include:

  • The cooling fan does not start working at all
  • The engine temperature rises to a dangerous degree
  • The cooling fan never turns off, even if your vehicle is off
  • Your vehicle is overheating on a regular basis

The cooling fan resistor is an essential part of your cooling system, so letting it go too long can cause engine damage from overheating and extensive repairs.

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

How to Buy Fuel Treatments
Adding a fuel additive to your gas tank when you fill up is one way to clean vital engine parts of deposits, improve the performance of your engine,...
How to Transfer a Car Title in Idaho
In order to prove ownership of a car, you must have the title. However, when a car is sold, given away or inherited, the title needs...
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....


Related questions

Q: My car is overheating while driving for long.

It is possible that the overheating itself is causing the radiator pressure cap to open prematurely, causing coolant to overflow from the coolant reservoir onto the ground. Consequently, the overheating problem should be diagnosed and resolved first to see if...

Q: My car air conditioner is making a rattling noise when I turn on the fan. I wanted to know what the problem is?

Hi, thanks for writing in. The rattling sound and the fact that you're not receiving cool air indicates a possible problem with the AC condenser fan. If you use your air conditioning when the AC condenser fan is not functioning,...

Q: Cooling fan faulty

Hi! The fans on earlier Acura's usually develop these issues. The issue is usually caused by a faulty fan control switch. But may also be caused by a faulty fan, a faulty relay, or faulty fan wiring. I strongly suggest...