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Thread: Sudden failure of fan clutch?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    517

    Default Sudden failure of fan clutch?

    Can there be sudden failure of fan clutch? No indication of any trouble up to incident below.

    Testing/driving a couple of miles in suburban traffic, stop sign/light every couple of blocks, after repair of throttle body "heater" gasket failure so checking temp gauge constantly. Temp never varied from normal. Stopped and let engine run a bit while listening to end of something on radio.

    Bang! Cooling system puked through the radiator cap.

    Shop replaced fan clutch and everything then OK.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Reading, UK
    Posts
    1,853

    Default

    Yeah, they can suddenly just go, my E31 was fine for a few days after purchase then suddenly, wham! fan clutch oil everywhere under the bonnet and it was overheating in traffic...

    Though the new one seems to be faulty... it's not disengaging properly and the fan's *constantly* spinning up, should really grab an original part I think as this is a cheap one...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    335

    Default

    I lost one 400 miles from home a while back. See previous post. I have a 535i. My car didn't overheat, it just vibrated a lot. Fortunately I was able to find a Harbor Freight and buy a 32mm wrench and take the fan clutch off. LH thread. I didn't lose the fanbelt. Depending on what model you have, you may not overheat. I did notice the throttle response improved quite a bit at higher RPMs with the fan off. The clutch was almost $200 and took 12 minutes to replace. Fortunately I got good road advice from various list members and had my laptop with me and a nice guy at a Comfort Inn let me have the wifi sign in info.

    1990 535im 421,000 miles, 1987 325is, 1989 325is, 1990 m3, 1991 318is, 2001 X5 3.0

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Eastern Tennessee USi
    Posts
    14,694

    Default

    Air in the system finally expanded, unless the fan spun like wimp... should be able to hear it warp up in speed after starting and sound like a school bus in heat with AC on. Sudden failure? Doubt it. Maybe wrong fan, maybe the accellery fan dont work right, check the ac function if the aux fan turns on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gene in NC View Post
    Can there be sudden failure of fan clutch? No indication of any trouble up to incident below.

    Testing/driving a couple of miles in suburban traffic, stop sign/light every couple of blocks, after repair of throttle body "heater" gasket failure so checking temp gauge constantly. Temp never varied from normal. Stopped and let engine run a bit while listening to end of something on radio.

    Bang! Cooling system puked through the radiator cap.

    Shop replaced fan clutch and everything then OK.
    95 E34 530I V2.31
    ===========
    Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

    John F. Kennedy

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