AskPatty Certified Female Friendly Logo
What is a Fan Clutch. The costs. Where to get parts.

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Judy Curry, Co-Founder and Vice President of Marketing at Currys Auto Service A fan clutch is part of the engine cooling fan used to keep your engine from overheating. When the engine is cold the fan clutch allows the fan to spin freely to minimize parasitic load on the engine increasing fuel mileage. The fan clutch will "lock up" once it reaches a specific temperature and pulls air through the radiator to maintain the correct running temperature for you vehicle. The cost of a fan clutch varies widely depending on year, make and model of car. Most auto parts stores carry fan clutches for just about all cars. If you have a German import you may have to go to the dealer to get the correct part.

Pat Fleischmann, Director of First Impressions at Community Tire Pros & Auto Repair The Cooling Fan Clutch is a thermostatic device that connects the Mechanical Cooling Fan to the fan belt driven pulley that is typically mounted on the front of the water pump. As the engine temperature rises a bimetallic strip expands inside the Cooling Fan Clutch, thus engaging a viscous or fluid coupling of the cooling fan blades to the rotating pulley. This provides additional air flow through the radiator which lowers or maintains the engine temperature with in a specified operating range. In simple words...it*s a necessity for your vehicle!! The cost will vary~ are YOU working on your vehicle and are you able to spot other issues while in there? You can purchase from any Chevy dealer or local GOOD parts brand will do but may not be covered if installed incorrectly..Your best bet is IF it is the fan clutch, have your ASKPATTY.COM facility or TRUSTED certified mechanic install! Save yourself from the headaches,the time and the $$$. Pat Fleischmann communitytireaz.com

Amanda J. Pierce, MBA Antonio, A fan clutch is a thermostatic device that exists as an integral component of certain automotive cooling systems. When the engine is cool or even at normal operating temperature, the fan clutch partially disengages the engine*s mechanically-driven radiator cooling fan, generally located at the front of the water pump and driven by a belt and pulley connected to the engine*s crankshaft. This saves power, since the engine does not have to fully drive the fan. However, if engine temperature rises above the clutch*s engagement temperature setting, the fan becomes fully engaged, thus drawing a higher volume of ambient air through the vehicle*s radiator, which in turn serves to maintain or lower the engine coolant temperature to an acceptable level. Most fan clutches are viscous or "fluid" couplings, combined with a bi-metallic sensory system similar to that in a thermostat. Normally fan clutches are fairly reliable, but sometimes they fail. A common symptom of fan clutch failure is overheating at idle or in heavy traffic. Bad fan clutches can also cause poor performance of the car*s air conditioning system because the fan also cools the air conditioner*s condenser, which is directly in front of the radiator. Another potential symptom of fan clutch failure (always drawing air at a high rate) in a cold weather climate is that the heating system blows lukewarm air never delivering sufficient hot air. You can find replacement parts on various resale sites and if you choose a local salvage yard.

Laurie Sarno, Co-Owner at Super Girls Auto Fan clutches are found on most pickups and large SUVs. It is the round disc in the center of the cooling fan,and is made of aluminum. Its purpose is to allow the cooling fan to pull air through the radiator when necessary, but freewheel when less airflow is required, thereby reducing "drag", or power used from the engine to turn the fan. The fan clutch is filled with an oil, and after a period of time, this oil will eventually leak out through the hub seal requiring replacement of the fan clutch. Most parts stores (NAPA Carquest CSK and Autozone) carry them, and the price generally ranges from $45 to $175 depending on where purchased. Hope this helps. Super Girls Auto

Contribute to this question:


blog comments powered by Disqus

Related Chevrolet Avalanche FAQs


  • The airbag light has come on, but the airbag has never deployed. It hasn't been in any ... Read More
  • My wife spilled a drink on the radio in my 2007 Chevy Avalanche. Now the clock is the ... Read More
  • The fuse that controls the gas gauge,alternator and speedometer on my 1991 chevrolet ... Read More
  • I have an 2008 chevy Avalanche with Onstar, In sometime soon will I be able to up grade ... Read More
  • My check engine light is on. Could this be a bad gas cap? Read More
  • My headlights wont work, I changed the bulbs and the fuse. The high beams and parking ... Read More
  • I would like to put white wall tires on this car, any available??? Read More
  • My family wagon has a new battery, new alternator and new cables. It worked great for ... Read More
  • My car thumps when I push on the brakes, but we had the brakes checked and they are fine. ... Read More
  • i have a fuel delivery or supply issue. not sure which, we have ran this 2000 chevy ... Read More

Need Car Advice?

Ask The Experts!

Find Cars For Sale

Help Our Charities