2001 VW Eurovan - the radiator fan exploded!


#1

I’m giving my beloved 2001 VW Eurovan (read: microbus) to my son at college, and I took it to my local car repair mechanics to replace the serpentine belt, hoses, etc., flush the radiator change the oil and basically give it a good shakedown so that my son would be safe. Driving the van home, I heard a very loud BANG and found that the radiator fan and condensor fan (they are next to each other) had come apart; pieces of radiator fan were all over the engine. Without a working radiator or air conditioner (it was 105degF in Dallas) I limped the car back to the repair shop. OF COURSE, they could not find that they did anything wrong that would have caused that to happen. I find a TSB on the Volkswagen site that indicated THE RADIATOR FANS CAN BE DAMAGED IF THE PROPER TOOL IS NOT USED TO HOLD THE RADIATOR ASSEMBLY IN THE SERVICE POSITION (TSB 10007004) and RADIATOR FAN DAMAGED CAUSED BY IMPROPERLY SUPPORTING THE RADIATOR ASSEMBLY WHEN REPAIRS REQUIRE THE RADIATOR TO BE TIPPED FORWARD (TSB 10006055). The repair guys want $452 for the replacement parts and $210 for labor to fix this. Do I have any recourse? What are the odds that a radiator fan would fly apart on the way home from a repair shop? Thanks to all who read this entire tirade. - Larry


#2

It’s difficult to be 100% certain on this without knowing the procedures the shop went through but the odds of a radiator fan coming apart are extremely (near zero) slim.
This is too coincidental and my gut feeling is the fan was damaged during the process and it simply gave up on the way home.

About all I can recommend is that you print the TSB off, approach the shop (firmly polite at this point) and see what they say about the procedures BEFORE you produce the TSB. If they balk or become evasive about all you can do is have a VW specialist look over the vehicle and give their opinion as to whether this was caused by the shop.
If the VW guy says they likely caused this problem then it’s ask for reimbursement and take them to small claims if necessary.

Now the fly in the ointment. I hope by limping the car back to the shop excessive overheating was not involved because one would hate to replace fans and then discover there is a blown head gasket and/or fried piston ring situation.
Hope that helps.


#3

No- luckily I was able to return on the highway, and the wind kept the radiator cool. I made sure by watching the temperature gauge. Thanks- I’m pretty much sticking to your advice. We’ll see what they say…


#4

Thanks for clarifying the part about the temp gauge. I live in OK and we’re being barbecued also.
It’s now about 6:30 and the temp has dropped to a balmy 106… :slight_smile: