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Replace Fan Motor Only, or Radiator Too?

For the past 3 months my engine overheats when it sits idling for about 2 minutes. I believe this is because my fan motor has stopped working. Will replacing the fan motor fix the problem or will I need to check up on the radiator and possibly replace that as well?

If the fan motor is not running at all, that is the reason for the overheating. Replacing the radiator would most likely be a waste of money, since it works once air is running through it, like it was designed.

If the motor does work, and the car still overheats, I’d get the radiator flow-checked to see if it is clogged. Last time I had a radiator shop clean and test a radiator that was not leaking, it cost me $40. A new replacement would have been $200.

Thank you. I appreciate your fast response to my post. Should I do this repair myself or is this one for the shop? I’d like to buy and install the part myself, seems easy enough.

It is easy to do. Yes, if your handy, you should be able to do it yourself. On these cars, IIRC, the radiator fans can be removed without draining and removing the radiator. In fact, removing the fans first is part of removing the radiator.

Check the free vehicle repair guides at to get a good idea of what you need to do. You’ll need to register, but it is free.

Before you just replace the fan motor you might want to find out why it isn’t working. Bad temp switch, fan relay, simple fuse?