Engine fan is on all the time

I have a 2002 GMC Envoy XL. 120,000 miles. It has been a great car. BUT for over a year the engine fan stays on all the time. REally a big noise. A year ago I took it to the dealer and a local mechanic. Both say that it would cost over $1,000 to repair this. both say that it is relatively safe to drive it like it is.
The blue book on the car is about $3500. We don’t want to spend $1,000 on such an old car but it is very loud and obnoxious to drive it.
Is there a way to fix this for under $1,000? Should I just sell it? Any recommendations?

I agree with Rod Knox.

I would suggest that you disconnect the electric fan clutch and start the engine. If the fan is fully engaged while unplugged it is almost certainly the problem and it is about $200 and easily replaced.

Thanks!! I will ask my mechanic to try that and see what happens! i appreciate you writing back!

If it is an electric fan it shouldn’t cost much to see why it runs all the time. If it is driven by a belt, the fan clutch is bad and isn’t expensive.

You have already had two guestimates of over 1000 dollars. They must have been based on replacing something. What were they going to replace?

It sounds like you have an electrically controlled fan clutch that is fully engaged when it shouldn’t be. If your mechanic has isolated this as the trouble then it should be replaced, as it can exert a lot of wear on your water pump and cause premature failure. It’s also costing you fuel economy.

Just looked, list price for a genuine GM AC Delco clutch assembly is $591.57. Labor guide shows 3 hours to replace. That puts you at about $900 plus tax. There are a few aftermarket parts available at about half the price, only one of them is from a company I would trust.

The Hayden is $199 and the Murray is $299 and I have never had a problem with either of those brands. And as stated in the 2-25 post it is quite simple to test that part to see if it is the problem.

The Hayden has a lifetime warranty for what it’s worth. Locally here all the McParts stores cover the warranties if they see no indication of improper installation or abuse. At highway speeds a frozen fan clutch can drastically shorten the life of the water pump and belt and can cause the fan to break loose and trash the radiator.

Hayden is the only aftermarket fan clutch I would use. Not to start bashing people here but after a few Murray A/C compressors I don’t think I’ll ever use their stuff again.

I don’t want a good warranty per se, I want doesn’t fail in the first place. But then I suppose if cars didn’t break I’d have to find another line of work.

Do you work for a dealer, acemaster? If the OE parts were even in the ball park price wise many shops would make OE parts counters their first call. The lifetime warranty to a shop can be an albatross and woe be unto him who crosses that bird. McParts stores have removed all their logos so shops will call them. There are several aftermarket brands that have proven to be outstanding and often better than OE.

I am familiar with the electric fan clutch but have never had to deal with one so I have no history on that particular part from any source. Most likely we can agree that within reason quality and reliability trumps price and warranty. I try to read between the lines with OP’s situations and problems and throw out the be$t option$ available to them with regard to their situation and abilities. My expertise is becoming outdated and you seem to be on top of your game so I will acquiesce to your opinion on preferring OE on this part. And as for finding another line of work, unless the oil wells all run dry the cars will continue to break.

And, FWIW, I proudly wore that ASE Master patch for several years. Any who think it is an easy accomplishment can take the test and prove it to themselves…

As a trucker I have always had the utmost respect for working mechanics because I knew how much easier it was to break them than to fix them.

No, I’m a small indy. I just checked my wholesaler, they have both the GM and Hayden parts in stock, the Hayden is half the price and I’d have no problem using that one. I just priced the OE parts to see if it would come to $900. I think I would offer both options and let the customer decide. If in fact this is the problem I can’t believe 2 guys told him it’s ok to drive this way.

Things are moving so fast these days I don’t think anyone can be on top of his game anymore! :slight_smile:

Technology is moving much too fast for independents to keep up with all the various makes and models today. But that has been somewhat true for years. By turning down work on models that had no local dealer I avoided all European cars and several Japanese.

As always we must read between the lines and shoot from the hip to move things along here but it does seem strange that no one has pinpointed the cause of the problem and the specific cost. Unless, of course, the shops want to avoid the all too common problem of wasting time diagnosing a problem only to see the owner go home and make the simple repair. Too many shops refuse to charge a minimum fee. That’s a mistake in my opinion.

Well, is it an electric fan clutch, an electric fan or a non-electric fan clutch? I bet it is the latter.

Well, we haven’t heard from the original poster for a few days, but the car is equipped with an electro-hyrdraulic fan clutch assembly. It’s similar to the older thermo-operated fan clutches but this one is pulse-width modulated by the engine computer, like a fuel pump or fuel injector.

Is it possible to replace the clutch with a thermo-operated one?? They aren’t expensive, and I have replaced a few of them in little time and with few tools.

Common problem on the TrailVoys/Isuzu. Having owned two and having had to replace the electro-viscous clutch fan on both, I agree wholeheartedly with asemaster. I used a Dorman the first time. PITA to replace. The shaft “nut” was shorter then the OEM and caused all sorts of trouble to tighten down in that space constrained area. It also had a problem from the get-go. It defaulted to engaged and sounded like a school bus until it warmed up enough to disengage even though the electrical signal was telling it to disengage. Wasn’t irritating enough to make me want to do the job again. Second one I bought OEM and it was easier to install and worked perfectly. I didn’t see Hayden as an option back then but if he’s used it and happy, I would be willing to try it too. The OEM is insanely expensive.

Contrary to the instructions, it is far easier to cut a notch in the fan shroud near the radiator neck than to try bending everything beyond all reason to get the required stuff out of the way. I discovered this the hard way. Funny thing, when I was looking at used TBs to replace the one that got totaled, I saw several that had exactly the same notch so must have came to the same conclusion…