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How To Replace A VW Radiator Fan

If you think the radiator fan is going bad on your VW, we can help you save money and a trip to the dealership. Replacing your radiator fan is something you can do at home with a few tools and the right parts. This article will show you what you need and how to do it.

Is The Radiator Fan The Problem?

Image Credit: HumbleMechanic

First, you'll want to be sure the radiator fan is the issue. It's possible you could have a coolant leak due to a bad radiator hose, expansion tank, or radiator. The easiest way to check for a coolant leak is to inspect those parts. It could indicate a leak if you see signs of coolant around any of those parts or underneath the front of your VW.

To diagnose a failing radiator fan, look for these symptoms:

  • The radiator fan does not turn on once the engine reaches operating temperature
  • The engine runs hotter than normal or overheats when you're stopped or driving slowly
  • The fan makes loud noises
  • The fan's electrical circuit regularly blows fuses
  • Poor A/C performance

If you notice your radiator fan turning on and off, it is probably operating normally. However, to be sure, you can check it using a volt meter. Connect one end of the volt meter to a ground and the other end to a positive connection on the fan. You should get a reading of around 12 volts. If you get a reading of 12 volts and the fan never turns on, the problem is the fan itself. If you cannot measure any voltage, it could be a bad fuse or another issue.

Replacing The Radiator Fan

VW radiator fan

Image Credit: HumbleMechanic

Replacing a radiator fan requires just a few steps and some basic tools. Before getting started, park your VW somewhere you can work on it safely, preferably in your driveway or garage. Then open the hood and disconnect the battery. Be sure you've got these tools handy:

  • Assorted pliers
  • Screwdriver set
  • Metric socket set or metric combination box/crescent wrenches

The steps below will work for most vehicles with an electrically powered radiator fan:

  1. Disconnect the Power Supply: Disconnect the power connector from the fan motor. On most cars, the power connector will have a clip that can be removed by hand or a set of pliers. Be careful not to pull out the wires or break the clip. If you have separate wires for the fan motor, note which connection uses the positive wire and which one uses the negative wire.
  2. Remove the Fan Shroud: Remove the bolts or screws holding the fan shroud or housing to the radiator or radiator support. In most cases, the fan shroud should be unobstructed, but you may need to move the top radiator hose or wiring out of the way to extract it. Most cars have one or two radiator fans attached to the fan shroud. Extract it from the engine compartment using both hands being careful not to damage the shroud or radiator.
  3. Remove the Radiator Cooling Fan and the Fan Motor: The fan itself is either pinned or screwed to a shaft connected to the fan motor. Using a screwdriver or wrench, loosen the fan blade and slide it off the shaft. Then remove the fan motor using a screwdriver or wrench.
  4. Attach the Replacement Radiator Cooling Fan and Fan Motor: Install the new fan motor into the fan shroud being careful not to overtighten the screws. Then slide the new radiator fan onto the shaft and tighten it. Reattach the fan shroud and install any hoses or wires that were previously removed. Finally, connect the power connector to the fan motor and reconnect the battery.

Radiator Fans From VW Parts Vortex

Radiator fan OEM vw

If you have questions about ordering or installing a radiator fan, call us at 888-667-8938 or contact us online. We'll be glad to help you get the exact part you need for your VW.

At VW Parts Vortex, we supply only the best Volkswagen OEM parts. All our parts come directly from Volkswagen and are backed by the manufacturer's warranty.  We have been in business since 2006 and guarantee the lowest prices on all of our genuine VW parts and accessories.