Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Failing fan clutch symptoms

asked by on

Conditions: Ambient temp- 50°F +/- 5° A/C- off Heat- off

I notice that when I start the engine dead cold, the fan spins very aggressivly then almost stops (visibly) after approximately 15 seconds. RPM runs high and then settles in that same time frame. Sometimes, when at operating temperature and I come to a stop, upon acceleration I can hear the fan run very fast and then quite down within seconds. Vehicle is new to me and am not sure of normal operation of fan clutch. Does this sound like normal operation?

My car has 130000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

What you described is happening is normal cooling fan clutch operation. When you first start the engine the cooling fan clutch will be in the full engaged position and may take a minute for the internal fluid to move back to no or low fan clutch engagement. This is why it will run fast and then slow down. The fan clutch can and will increase fan speed on demand as the engine temperature goes up and down. This is to keep it from overheating and maintain a constant temperature.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: how to increase horsepower for my lexus rx 300 v6 240 km/h

Hi there. Typically when you make an aftermarket intake improvement, the next evolution is to find a way to increase fuel flow or ignition timing to allow fuel to burn more efficiently within the combustion chamber. This can be completed...

Q: ABS sensor on front hub

Hi, thanks for writing in. The hex bolt size for the ABS sensor on a 2006 GMC Envoy is a 5 millimeter for the front. I believe the rear sensors are placed into the axle rather than the hub and...

Q: Cooling fan not coming on

Most of the time when the fan stops coming on it is caused by a fan failure. If the fan stops working it means that either the motor in the fan failed or it blew a fuse. If it blew...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.