How to Replace a Condenser Fan Relay

The condenser fan relay and the engine cooling fan relay are, on most vehicles, the same component. Some vehicles use separate relays for the condenser fan and the radiator fan. For the purpose of this article, we will talk about a single relay that controls the operation of the cooling fan that serves to remove excess heat from both the refrigeration system and the engine.

Electric cooling fans come in several configurations. Some vehicles use two separate fans. One fan is used for low air flow and both fans are used for high air flow. Other vehicles use a single fan that has two speeds, low and high. These two-speed fans are typically controlled by a low-speed fan relay and a high-speed fan relay. If the condenser fan relay is failing, you may notice signs such as the air conditioner not blowing cool air, or not functioning at all. In some cases the vehicle may overheat.

Part 1 of 1: Replacing the condenser fan relay

Materials Needed

example to the location of a condenser fan relay

Step 1: Locate the condenser fan relay. Before you can replace this relay, you must first locate its position in your vehicle.

In most vehicles, this relay is located in the power distribution center or underhood junction box. A few vehicles have this relay mounted on a fender apron or on the firewall. Your owner’s manual will show you its exact location.

Step 2: Turn off the ignition key. Once you have identified the correct relay, ensure that the ignition key is turned to the off position. You don’t want any electrical sparks harming your vehicle.

condenser fan relay

Step 3: Remove the condenser fan relay. Use relay removal pliers to grab the relay firmly and pull it steadily upward, rocking the relay slightly from side to side to loosen it from its socket.

  • Warning: Do not use slip joint pliers, needle nose pliers, vise grips, or any other pair of pliers for this task. If you don’t use the proper tool for the job, you will damage the housing of the relay when you try to remove it from the power distribution center. Relay removal pliers grip the opposite corners of the relay or under the bottom edge of the relay instead of the sides. This gives you more pulling force on the relay without damaging the sides.

iso fan relay

Step 4: Install the new relay. Due to their terminal arrangement, ISO relays like the one shown above can only be installed one way. Identify the relay socket terminals that correspond to the terminals on the relay. Align the relay terminals with the relay socket and push the relay down firmly until it bottoms out in the socket.

Replacing this relay is well within the ability of your average do-it-yourselfer. However, if you would rather have someone else do it for you, the certified technicians at YourMechanic are ready and willing to replace your condenser fan relay for you.


Next Step

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Miguel

21 years of experience
232 reviews
Miguel
21 years of experience
Honda CR-V L4-2.4L - Condenser Fan Relay - Emerson, New Jersey
Knew exactly what the issue was , was in touch with updates from day one with the parts and work dates. Had all the right tools and returned the work place clean . Great job ...

Fred

17 years of experience
389 reviews
Fred
17 years of experience
Jeep Cherokee L6-4.0L - Condenser Fan Relay - Houston, Texas
Fred knew exactly what to do, came prepared with right tools

Brian

23 years of experience
641 reviews
Brian
23 years of experience
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 V6-4.3L - Condenser Fan Relay - Jacksonville, Florida
Great service. Looked truck over and in detail fixed a issue that was driving me crazy{ no pun intended}. You want a great mechanic ask for Brian.

Chuy

14 years of experience
386 reviews
Chuy
14 years of experience
Acura TL V6-3.7L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Schaumburg, Illinois
Chuy was professional, knowledgeable, and very helpful. He answered my specific questions about the new car inspection promptly. I would highly recommend him.

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