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Types Of Cooling Fans For Cars Explained In 2022

Types Of Cooling Fans For Cars Explained In 2022

All heat absorbed from the engine is kept in the radiator, where the cooling fan blows the heat away, thanks to the design and arrangement of the automotive cooling system. The cooling fan is also called the radiator fan because it is mounted directly to the radiator in some engine layouts. The fan is usually placed between the radiator and the engine, drawing heat into the atmosphere.

The cooling fan in front-wheel automobiles is an electrical component powered by the battery. It’s commonly situated transversely, which means the engine’s output is directed to the side of the vehicle. It cools the radiator of the car with an engine-driven cooling fan in rear-wheel-drive cars with longitudinal engines, and a thermostatically regulated viscous clutch is meant to control it.

Types of cooling fans for cars

Mechanical radiator fans

These are older automotive fan that is still in use today. It’s driven by a belt and is mounted directly to the engine’s water pump pulley. The engine crankshaft provides the cooling fan’s power, so the fan rotates when it revolves.

Because they are less sophisticated and only require mechanical power to rotate, these radiator fans are employed in various applications other than automobiles. The mechanical radiator fan of the vehicle is on as long as the engine runs, and it either pulls or pushes air to cool the coolant in the radiator, depending on the design. On the other hand, fan clutches allow the mechanical cooling fan to be turned on and off as needed, and the engine’s temperature determines it. Mechanical cooling fan clutches come in two varieties:

Clutches with viscous-drive:

When the engine of the car reaches a marked temperature, these clutches function with a fluid connection to allow the fan to engage. These fan clutches have a bi-metallic sensor that works similarly to a thermostat. The clutch is released, and the fan rotates when the engine is cold or cold starting. The bi-metallic sensor of the vehicle allows the coupling to engage as the engine heats up, and it causes the pulley and the fan attached to it to spin.

Clutches for electric fans:

Electric fan clutches work similarly to vicious clutches, but the engine control unit (ECU) can turn them on and off depending on the current engine condition. This offers it more turns than the first type because it enables more precise control of mechanical cooling.

Radiator cooling fan powered by electricity

A solo electric cooling fan is osiered by the engine’s electrical system rather than the engine itself. The system is placed directly upright to the radiator and tightly tightened with bolt and nut for adequate cooling. These radiator cooling fans use a DC motor that turns on and off based on the engine’s temperature, and the engine control unit or a coolant temperature switch does this. With the integrated fan shroud, the device can be installed at the front or back of the radiator.

Single radiator fan

A single radiator fan employs a single fan to circulate air through the radiator. Most automobiles have only one radiator cooling fan, and this setup usually meets most engines’ cooling requirements. However, a single cooling fan may not be sufficient for some oversized or customized engines, resulting in overheating issues.

Dual radiator fan

Large engines that require a higher CFM rating will benefit from dual radiator designs. The dual radiator fan comprises two fans, and they work together to flow air through the radiator core, increasing cooling effectiveness. They’re also used if the engine has been upgraded or there is a problem with overheating.

Universal radiator fan

Aftermarket universal cooling fans are popular among motorists wishing to enhance their engine systems. Universal radiator fans are designed to fit various vehicle types and models. It makes no difference whether the cooling fan is installed in front or behind the radiator with these fans.

Radiator Fan: Mechanical vs Electric

Mechanical cooling fans are powered by the engine’s crankshaft, whereas a 12V DC motor powers electrical cooling fans. In many aspects, the electric cooling fan is superior. Unlike mechanical types, it may be adjusted to rotate at any time and at any speed. Electric car cooling fans produce more uniform airflow and do not affect engine horsepower because they do not spin with the engine. The compactness of electric radiator cooling fan kinds is another advantage. They may be fitted in narrow spaces and support dual fan configurations. Finally, electric fans are the greatest fans of automobiles today. They’re easier to control, gentler on the engine, and don’t wear out the water pump. However, they are more pricey. If you have a mechanical stock cooling fan, you might consider replacing it, but that would require costly adjustments.

Radiator Fan: Single vs Dual

Single and twin radiator cooling fans are available. These include applications with modest engines that do not generate much heat. When compared to single radiator fans, dual radiator fans move more air. In most circumstances, though, a single fan is sufficient. A single fan may not be adequate in some cases, resulting in engine overheating. Large, high-rpm engines or modified engines are examples. A dual-fan system would fit the engine cooling requirements best if you have a turbocharger or supercharger.

A cooling fan’s job is to remove heat from the coolant inside the radiator. It must accomplish this most practical and feasible. Your car engine would overheat and eventually stop working without a cooling fan. That is why the blades and other parts of the fan are designed with much thought and ingenuity.

A hot car engine produces a lot of heat. The engine will seize or blow up if this heat is not eliminated. Coolant is circulated throughout the engine to prevent this from happening. The hot coolant is subsequently cooled by passing through a radiator. The radiator comprises small tubes with an enormous surface area for heat escape. The cooling fan helps remove heat from the coolant before it returns to the engine by maintaining a consistent circulation.

Only use the cooling fan when necessary. A mechanical fan operates a temperature sensing clutch to activate and disengage itself. A bi-metallic spring is used to make the clutch. When the latter becomes sufficiently hot, it expands and activates the fan. The fan stops rotating when the temperature drops. A thermal clutch is not required in an electric cooling fan, and it is powered by an electric motor controlled by temperature sensors. The fan can be modified to turn on and off at particular temperatures, making it extremely energy efficient.

How does a cooling fan work?

  • When you start your car engine, the reactions between the fuel and the moving parts produce a lot of heat. If the heat is not evacuated, the engine will seize, become damaged, or blow up.
  • Different procedures are employed to remove the heat. Circulating coolant is the most frequent. The hot coolant is subsequently directed to a radiator, where it loses heat.
  • The radiator has small tubes that allow heat to escape across a vast surface area. It’s also close to the grille.
  • Air passes via the grille at rates more than 25 mph, traveling through the radiator core and assisting the coolant in the tubes in losing heat.
  • There isn’t much air getting into the radiator when the speed drops below 25mph, like in traffic. The radiator fan is used in this situation.
  • When this happens, the radiator fan’s job is to provide a continuous airflow that helps to eliminate heat from inside the coolant before returning to the engine.

A radiator fan’s size, blades, and design determine how much air it can move—the cubic feet of air moving per minute, or CFM rating, commonly rated fans. CFM is also affected by amp draw in electric models, and high CFM radiator fans run on high ampere ratings.

A temperature sensing clutch engages and disengages most mechanical radiator fans. A bi-metallic spring makes up the clutch, and it swells and engages the fan when heated by the growing heat. When the temperature drops, the fan comes to a halt and stops spinning. Several techniques are utilized to ensure that the fan only runs when required.

A thermal clutch is not required for an electric cooling fan. It can be adjusted to only run when needed using an ECU and temperature sensors because it employs an electric motor. Pusher and puller types of electric cooling fans are available for automotive applications. Puller fans go between the engine and the radiator, whilst pusher fans go between the grille and the radiator. The most efficient radiator fans are puller radiator fans.


The radiator fan in an automobile serves an essential purpose. As a result, you want it to work every time you’re on the road. And, if it fails, the appropriate cooling replacement for your vehicle. You may assure a functional fan by using the ideas covered in this chapter. You’ll be able to find the proper fan type to replace the old fan.