The fan clutch is an important component of your vehicle because the power is transferred from the drive belt to the fan by this clutch. It is known as the thermostatic engine-conditioning fan as well. You need to know the exact necessities for a component to function properly within the main unit of a vehicle. So, we will be discussing whether the fan clutch needs low or high temperature to function and support the car engine. Should a fan clutch spin freely when the engine is hot? Today, we are going to reveal the truth behind this opinion.
What is a Fan Clutch?
The fan clutch is the thermostatic engine fan of the vehicle. It helps the engine to warm up within a short time. Then the engine will use less amount of fuel. This component is responsible for transferring the power to the blade.
There is a driving shaft or liquid pump pulley in a vehicle, and the fan clutch uses one of them to transfer power. When the temperature is high, the clutch engages to let the fan flow the air. Then the motor will be cool and prevent damage to the component.
The main features of the fan clutch are the self-contained mechanism and automatic actuation.
How does Fan Clutch Work?
Fan clutch (viscous fan clutch/ Visco) is the responsible component for providing power to the radiation fan. It is a self-contained system, and we can see two parts there. The front half contains the fan and the clutch, which have been merged.
The next half of the system contains the drive portion. It spins with a water pump. Or else, there can be a drive belt pulley. Two parts of the system encounter the center, but there is no friction. There are shear plates that minimize friction.
There is a bi-metallic plate in the clutch housing, and the valve is released to silicate viscous fluid by this plate. Then the fluid will flow to shear plates. That fluid is thick, and it can create friction between two parts. The power generated by the drive portion helps to move the fan.
When there is not enough heat, the release valve will be closed, and fluid will return to the clutch. So, two halves will be disconnected.
Should a Fan Clutch Spin Freely When the Engine is Hot?
Yes, there should be a particular temperature for the fan clutch to work at its best. In general, 170 F or a temperature below is needed for the fan clutch to activate. On the contrary, the motor temperature climbs at an amount between 180 F to 190 F.
Therefore, when the engine is turned on, the fan clutch starts to warm up. In other words, the spring of the fan clutch begins stretching. Due to these qualities, this component can be known as an example of a conditioning mechanism. If there is a lot of force, the fan clutch can spin without great difficulty.
If there is not enough heat, the fan clutching should be adequately tightened to minimize unnecessary spinning. On the other hand, if the temperature is too high, the fan clutch might struggle to keep the motor cool. Therefore, it is highly important to have the temperature at the right amount.
What are the Possible Reasons for a Fan Clutch Not Spinning Freely When Hot?
We can recognize these couple of issues for the fan clutch not spinning.
- Fluid Leak – when there is a fluid leak at the middle rear of the clutch, the fan clutch cannot spin because the power is not transferred. You can touch the joint and see whether there is a black silicone goo to determine this problem.
- Faulty Thermostatic Spring – if the thermostatic spring has been broken or damaged, it can open the valve. A failed valve can stick closed. Then the speed of the fan will be low. As a result, the engine will not be warmed up.
Can a Fan Clutch that doesn’t Spin Freely Cause Overheating Issues?
Yes, when you have a faulty fan clutch, one of the consequences is the engine overheating because the fan clutch belongs to the car’s conditioning system. If you can notice that the temperature reading quickly hits the peak, you can guess that the fan clutch has an issue.
Let’s talk about what you need to do when there is a sudden rise in the car’s temperature. Park your vehicle in a safe place and let it rest. Next, open the bonnet and see whether the fan rotates normally. If the fan does not spin properly, the fan clutch might have damaged. So, you need to visit a professional service center and repair or replace it.
How Can I Determine If My Fan is Functioning Properly When the Engine is Hot?
Here is a simple test to determine that your fan clutch functions properly. When the engine is not working, spin the fan hard. If it spins more than five times, you have a faulty fan clutch. The reason why, it spins when the engine is cold. And also, you can notice excessive heat or odd sounds when there is a faulty fan clutch. If everything is normal, there might not be a problem with the fan clutch.
Are There any Signs or Symptoms that Indicate a Faulty Fan Clutch?
These are the signs that you can identify a faulty fan clutch.
- One of the most significant signs is an overheating engine. When there is an issue with the conditioning system, the engine can overheat. Then you should leave your car to rest. And replace or repair the component as soon as possible.
- If the bi-metallic plate is broken, it can be opened. So, there will be a shortage of viscous fluid. Then, you will hear some odd sounds. The fan’s audible winching down can be noticed mostly.
In case you have found these things, do not be late to service the fan clutch because it helps to keep the car healthy for the estimated period. As a temporary solution, masking tape and tubing clamp can be recommended. But you should visit a mechanic and get it replaced soon.
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Video Credits – bam6972
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