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

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: Vehicle turns off at any rpm, at idle or highway speeds, without stumbling or warning.

This kind of a stalling issue can be caused by a variety of problems. They are typically caused by ignition faults, wiring faults, and fuel issues. Although you do not have a Check Engine Light on, you should still scan...

Q: my car shakes and loses horsepower

Hello It's quite possible that you have a fuel system leak, damage to the EGR valve or other emissions related component or perhaps an exhaust system leak that is causing both the smell and reduced engine power and mileage. The...

Q: My battery is being drained by the constant running of the coolant fan

This is a sign of a failing coolant fan switch. As you may know, the coolant fan switch helps to maintain the proper coolant temperature by turning on and off at specific temperature thresholds based upon inputs from the coolant...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.