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Radiator fan

1995 Ford Taurus, 3.8 liter, V6 And this engine is probably strengthened a bit – I see its speedometer goes to 180miles/her.

But I guarantee you I’ve never seen or heard its radiator fan (I am the second owner) for these 5 yrs since I’ve owned it. So, how do I check whether the fan is actually operational. I only have basic equipment – voltmeter, and simple stuff like that (the fuses below the dashboard all seem to be fine and the big voltage fuses under hood, near windshield are O.K.

Does the engine overheat when sitting in slow traffic or at a stop? If not, the radiator fan is working!


Simple. Start the engine, and let it idle. Don’t drive the car, just let it sit and run. When it warms up the fan(s) should come on, and it (they) should cycle on and off to keep the engine cool. If they don’t the engine will overheat and you will have coolant boiling out of the radiator.

My guess is there’s nothing wrong with your car’s cooling system. The fans will run when needed, and you may or may not hear them.

With the engine idling if you turn on the air conditioning, the fans will probably run. They certainly will if the engine is warm and the air is on. Just open the hood and look.

It is very common for the electric cooling fans never to come on, especially in a car like your Taurus which has a pretty robust cooling system and a big engine that never really has to work very hard. MC’s idle test might work, but depending on how hot it is out it might not. If your A/C system is fully charged and working, a fan should come on when you turn the A/C on, but on some cars it’s a separate fan from the engine cooling fan.

There is one other way to check, but I’m not quite sure how or if you can do this on this car. I believe this car is still an OBD-1 car, so by jumping certain terminals on the diagnostic block you should be able to put the car’s computer into “diagnostic mode” which, among other things, will turn on the engine cooling fan. Perhaps some more Ford-o-centric folks on this board will be able to tell you exactly how to do this.