Missing a Fan Blade on Radiator Fan = safe to drive or problem?



I drive a 1994 BMW 325i. This weekend the pulley broke on a road trip which caused the fan belt to break. The belt then slung off and knocked off a fan blade. I got the pulley and belt repaired, but the fan is still missing a blade. It seems like the car is running normally without the blade. Can I continue to drive it without one of the blades or should I get a new fan or fix the fan some other way (ie: adding a blade back somehow if possible)? Thoughts?

Thank you.


The fan is out of balance. Not a good idea to operate a high speed rotating component that’s out of balance. Get a replacement fan.



Yep, get a new one, I found one (fan/motor/shroud) for $77 on a google search.


Agree with get a new one soon. You can drive the car, but try to limit the driving time until you have it repaired.

The fan is out of balance and more blades could fly off due to vibration. If the hit the radiator that could be more expense. Also the vibration from being out of balance could damage the bearings in your water pump, again more expense.


I think it’s a separate fan with electric motor, right OP? So it’s just the electric motor bearings that’ll go out, not that you want that to happen…


Actually, I think it’s a pulley style w/ clutch. The fan itself is just $15 online, here: https://www.rockauto.com/dbphp/prt,107,11521712058
so it’s not an expensive fix.

Or, how about a Tom & Ray style answer: Knock off the blade exactly opposite the one that broke off! That should balance it back out. :stuck_out_tongue:


You’re right, I must have found some aftermarket electric add-on. $15? Cheap! Course the labor won’t be $15, I bet…