• Menu
  • Menu
can i drive my car if the fan is not working

Can I Drive My Car If The Radiator Fan Is Not Working?

Many of us have been in a situation where we are driving our car, and suddenly the temperature gauge starts to rise. In most cases, this is nothing to worry about and can be easily fixed. However, there are times when the fan stops working, which could be a major problem.

So, can you drive your car if the fan is not working? If your car’s radiator fan has stopped working, it is not advisable to drive your car for long periods as this can cause damage to the engine. The fan is responsible for cooling the engine; without it, the engine can overheat.

This article will discuss whether you drive your car if the fan is not working, possible causes of a faulty radiator fan, and tips on preventing radiator fan issues.

How Does The Fan Help In A Car?

fan cools down engine
Photo by: Pixabay

The fan is usually attached to the radiator and located between the radiator and engine. The blades of the fan spin when the engine is running and help to circulate air around the radiator. This air circulation helps keep the engine cool and prevents it from overheating

The fan also helps to cool down the engine after it has been turned off. When you turn off your car, the fan will continue to spin for a few minutes. This helps to remove any excess heat from the engine and prevents it from being damaged. 

Can I Drive My Car If The Fan Is Not Working? 

overheating radiator
Photo by:Pixabay

The answer to this question will differ depending on a few key factors, such as the type of car you own. The answer is generally yes if you have a newer car with a modern cooling system. You can still drive your vehicle even if the fan is not working.

This is because these systems are designed to function without the need for a fan for short distances. There is usually another mechanism, such as an electric pump, that will circulate the air even if the fan is not working.

However, the answer is no if you have an older car with a more traditional cooling system. You should not drive your vehicle if the fan is not working. This is because these systems are not designed to function without a fan.

If the fan is not working, there is nothing to circulate the air and prevent the engine from overheating. The engine could potentially seize up, causing serious damage to your car.

Why Is My Fan Not Working Properly: Common Reasons

can i drive my car if the fan is not working
Photo by: Wikimedia Commons

Let’s look at some of the most common reasons your car’s fan might not work properly.

Blown Fuse

One of the most common reasons for a faulty fan is a blown fuse. Fuses are responsible for powering the electrical components in your car, so if one blows, it can cause all sorts of problems.

You can check to see if a fuse has blown by looking at the fuse box under the hood of your car. If you see a fuse that has been blackened or burned, that’s a sign that it has blown and needs to be replaced. 

This is a simple fix that you can do yourself. Just open up the fuse box and replace the blown fuse with a new one. Use a fuse with the same amperage as the one that blew.

Loose Connection

Another common reason for a faulty fan is a loose connection. The fan in your car is powered by electricity, so if there’s a loose connection somewhere along the line, it can cause the fan to stop working properly.

You can check for loose connections by tracing the wires from the fan back to the fuse box. If you see any frayed or broken wires, that’s likely the problem. 

You can try to fix the problem by soldering the connection back together. However, if you’re uncomfortable doing that, you can take it to a mechanic and have them fix it for you.

Faulty Fan Motor

Another common reason for a faulty fan is a damaged motor. The motor powers the fan’s blades, so if it isn’t working properly, the fan won’t work either.

You can check to see if the motor is working by turning on the fan and listening for a noise. If you don’t hear anything, that’s a sign that the motor is either damaged or defective. 

You can replace the fan motor, but it requires some mechanical knowledge. If you feel comfortable doing the repair yourself, many guides and tutorials online can help you.

Preventing Issues With Your Car Radiator Fan

car radiator
Photo by Envato Elements

Now that we’ve gone over some of the most common reasons for a faulty radiator fan let’s take a look at some tips on how to prevent these issues from happening in the first place.

Check Your Fuses Regularly

As we mentioned before, a blown fuse is one of the most common reasons for a faulty fan. That’s why it’s important to check your fuses regularly and replace any that have blown. 

Inspect Your Wires Regularly

Another way to prevent issues with your car’s fan is to inspect the wires regularly. Look for any signs of fraying or damage and replace them if necessary.

Clean Your Fan Regularly

Another good way to prevent issues with your fan is to clean it regularly. Over time, the fan’s blades can become covered in dust and debris, which can cause them to stop working properly.

You can clean the fan by removing it from the car and using a can of compressed air to blow the dust and debris off of the blades.


How Can I Tell If My Radiator Fan Is Working?

The easiest way to tell if your fan is working is to turn it on and look at the fan blades. If they’re spinning, then the fan is working. Another sign is an increase in engine temperature. If your car’s temperature gauge starts to creep into the red zone, it could be a sign that the radiator fan is not working properly.

Should Radiator Fans Always Be On?

No, radiator fans should not always be on. In most cases, the fan will only turn on when the engine is too hot. Running the fan constantly can put a strain on the electrical system and can shorten the lifespan of the fan. However, some cars have a setting to keep the fan on all the time. High-performance cars often have this feature to help keep the engine cool during long periods of driving.


Sammy is a lifelong gearhead who's been wrenching on cars and bikes since he was tall enough to reach the pedals. These days, he spends his time writing about all things automotive, from new performance products to how to get the most out of your old ride. When he's not behind a computer, you'll find him at the race track or out on a trail somewhere.

View stories