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Help! Fan Clutch Bearing Turning Bad

Hi! New here. I am ignorant about vehicle matter, please forgive the dumbness of my questions - shop A claims that my vehicle’s “fan clutch bearing bad” while shop B suggests a “clutch assembly” service (listed there is fan clutch & water pump replacement). My question is - 1) does shop B’s “clutch assembly” service, naturally includes replacement of the bad “fan clutch bearing” alleged by shop A? 2) just now I noticed coolant starts to slowly leak from what my neighbor told me to be the water pump area, some coolant even spilled on the belts, if so, will the belts also need to be replaced, or is there anything I should do immediately as to clean the coolant spilled belts? Thank you very much.

Make/model/year/engine?

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Jeep/grand cherokee/1996/ 5.2l

Sounds like you need a water pump, you might as well replace the belts unless you know they’re nearly new. The fan clutch could also be bad, it is attached to the fan, and is removed as part of the water pump replacement, so the only added cost should be the part. Since you don’t know much about cars, you need to find a shop you can trust. Ask around (friends, family, co-workers, etc).

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The belts probably need replacing too. Might as well get everything at one time.

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One more thing - if you are leaking coolant you need to get this done quickly. You don’t want to overheat the engine. Do you know how to check the coolant level, both in the radiator and the coolant reservoir? You need to learn (do it when the engine is COLD), and keep both the radiator full and the reservoir at the ‘full cold’ mark.

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It sounds like both shops are in agreement on the problem; Shop A gave you the absolute bare bones thing to replace, while Shop B gave you the more complete picture (“as long as you’re replacing the fan clutch you should also replace the water pump”). It sounds like the water pump is now also bad anyways…without having any other info, I would go with Shop B, since they gave you the better solution from the start.

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Hi Texases, Purebred, BikeGuy88, I am grateful for your helpful suggestions. One final question - Is the “fan clutch bearing” part of the “fan clutch assembly”? i.e., if I go with shop B’s “fan clutch assembly” service (fan clutch + water pump), will they replace the fan clutch “bearing” too? Or, I would need to pay extra separately for the bearing? Thank you very much!

Yes, it’s all one part (the fan clutch and fan clutch bearing). The water pump has an additional bearing.

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Does the clutch hub feel loose? If you hear a bearing noise it is more likely to be from the water pump.

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Here’s a diagram:
image

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Shop B has it right. The water leak could have been caused by the “bad” fan clutch, perhaps an out of balance shaft or a seal. Replace both. Leave it up to the shop to decide whether or not to replace the belt.