Condenser Fan Blowing Fuse, Easy Repair?


#1

My condenser fan started making this noise a couple weeks ago: https://vid.me/Jook And squeaking a bit, and then it stopped. Realized yesterday that that’s because the fan blew its 40amp fuse. Replaced the fuse and it made the noise and blew again shortly thereafter. There had been some big dead bugs and the condenser fins around the blades are pretty bent, wonder if those bugs dragged across the fins.

Anyway, can I just replace some bushings or something? Is this an easy enough repair?

Driving a Land Rover Discovery 2 2004.


#2

Does the fan freely rotate if you manually give it a spin?

Probably you have to replace the fan/motor assembly.


#3

It does turn, not loosely but under control. So it’s not frozen up unless I’m mistaken.


#4

If the fuse keeps blowing and the fan motor is squeaking. My best guess is you need to replace the fan motor. BTW my condolences on owning a Land Rover.


#5

Yeah, I figure. No one in the area has a new one… Guess I’ll try a used one off eBay with a warranty. And yes, Land Rovers have periods I’ve discovered, they get cranky about once a month, but boy are they fun.


#6

Sounds like the fan motor is dragging badly and needs to be replaced.

Blowing a 40 amp fuse (and continually causing it to blow) will create more problems at some point.
Forty amps of current is a lot and odds are the current surge that popped the fuses far exceeded 40 amps.
At some point wire connectors in the harness will start burning and possibly a wire in the harness will burn through, make contact with other wires, and create all kinds of havoc.


#7

A replacement unit would be the most likely solution. But you could also take it to a local auto-electric shop who might be able to repair it. Like you say, all it may need is replacement bushings. That’s the kind of thing auto-electric shops do every day.


#8

A generic after market fan might be a cheap and simple repair. I recall that anything from Rover and the Prince of Darkness was financially challenging.


#9

Start here if your local parts store asks an arm and a leg for the part.

http://www.carid.com/replace/condenser-fan-assembly.html

You don’t want to know how much it costs to replace the transmission!

Tester


#10

A generic electric fan might work as long as the control circuitry is separate from the fan itself. Pretty cheap.


#11

“the condenser fins around the blades are pretty bent,”

The motor needs to go, along with the fan and maybe even the condenser. Because the bearings are shot, the blades are being pulled axially forward into the condenser fins during operation. You might be able to keep the condenser, but it’s effectiveness in dissipating heat is compromised by the bent fins not allowing free flow of air.


#12

I looked at @Tester 's link and could not find Land Rover listed. You may have to call their phone number that is listed and they may be able to cross reference it.

I found this http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/c3/cooling-fans/15912

Yet none are listed as an exact fit… I’m sure any good mechanic could measure up the mounting points and either find the correct fit…or make some simple mounting hardware to make one fit.

As far as the condenser is concerned, you could straighten those fins with a pick, some TLC, and some patience. As long as the tubes were not ground down too thin.

Yosemite


#13

Thanks for all the help guys, really appreciate it.

I went ahead and ordered a used fan off eBay with warranty for $50.

Yeah I couldn’t find Land Rover in that link, Tester, but thanks. My main parts website sells them for like $200 new, $400 genuine, so I’ll take $50 just to get by for now.

I’m temporarily located in a really remote town with no auto electric shop nearby, so in the vein of expedience, especially for our blazing hot temperatures kicking up and my baby girl that rides face backwards, I figure I’ll chuck up the $50. Next time down the road it breaks, I’ll have it fixed instead of replaced.

Yosemite, I actually did try a fin comb, but it didn’t work well for how badly these fins are bent. So I used tweezers and that worked a little better, but after twenty minutes and realizing I had hours ahead of me, I gave up. Here are pics of the fins, do you think that’s bad enough to warrant replacement? I can get a used condenser with warranty for $30-50. I really want to bring my vent temps down to low 40s, they’re 57 right now, at 90 ambient, which sucks. So that might help, right?

Matt


#14

Those look pretty bad.

Remember that you will have to get the system recharged after replacing the condenser.
And you should have the system evacuated before you open any lines…just to protect the environment.

Yosemite


#15

Ok, I’ll go ahead and replace the condenser while I’m doing all this then. Yeah, I’m going to have a shop evacuate it, then pull a vacuum myself and recharge. I was wanting to do that anyway so this is a good excuse I guess…


#16

I agree with Yosemite. That condenser is not worth wrestling with.

When recharging do not forget the refrigerant oil.


#17

Thanks, ok4450, will make sure not to.


#18

Nice work. Your car is in good hands. :smile:


#19

@za105

I disagree with the others in regards to the condenser

Considering the fan wasn’t working, I know your ac high side pressures were excessive

That leads to low efficiency

Replace that fan, as you already were planning to do, and you may find that the ac system also blows cooler air

Benz had a similar problem with their ac system several years ago. The condenser fan would stop working, because a modified wiring harness had to be installed, to prevent the fuse from popping. However, when the fan wasn’t working, BEFORE the modification, the ac also didn’t work very well, due to excessive high side pressures

FYI . . . it is often possible to replace just the fan motor, and reuse the fan blades and shroud. In many cases, the motors themselves are pretty generic, while the shroud and blades are not

There is considerable added expense and inconvenience added, if you replace the condenser. Because you have to find a shop to recover, evacuate and recharge. And probably even source and install the part, if you want them to stand behind their work. And you have to schedule an appointment. And depending on how busy they are, you might be out of a car for a day or so.

I wouldn’t get a shop involved UNLESS/UNTIL you replace that fan, and the ac system still doesn’t blow cold air.

Don’t cross that bridge until/unless you need to


#20

This may be a worthwhile investment in time and money.