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Catastrophic radiator fan failure (check your fan!)

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Old Aug 14th, 2019, 22:54   #1
MatD
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Default Catastrophic radiator fan failure (check your fan!)

While waiting at the traffic lights in hot weather with aircon on I heard a loud pop then the whole car started shaking. While looking for a place to pull over (it was a busy street) I saw my coolant temperature gauge dangerously rising and looking through the side window I saw a big puddle on the floor which I then realised was my coolant.

Long story short, 2 spokes of the radiator fan broke from the inner hub. While rotating and pulling air, the broken blades the got sucked towards the radiator, scraping it badly and causing a massive leak which caused near instant loss of the majority of the coolant. I needed towing because as much water I poured in came instantly out through the holes. Still not sure about possible engine damage from overheating, I'm still waiting for parts. Reluctant to fit a used fan, but Volvo wants 190 EUR just for the fan blade without motor.

After close inspection I found out that all the fan blades are cracked where they attach to the inner hub. 2 of them broke off. So check your fan for cracking at the inner hub.

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Old Aug 15th, 2019, 07:56   #2
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With that sort of damage there’s no way I’d be fitting a 2nd hand fan (which may suffer the same failure....)
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Old Aug 15th, 2019, 09:54   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatD View Post
While waiting at the traffic lights in hot weather with aircon on I heard a loud pop then the whole car started shaking. While looking for a place to pull over (it was a busy street) I saw my coolant temperature gauge dangerously rising and looking through the side window I saw a big puddle on the floor which I then realised was my coolant.

Long story short, 2 spokes of the radiator fan broke from the inner hub. While rotating and pulling air, the broken blades the got sucked towards the radiator, scraping it badly and causing a massive leak which caused near instant loss of the majority of the coolant. I needed towing because as much water I poured in came instantly out through the holes. Still not sure about possible engine damage from overheating, I'm still waiting for parts. Reluctant to fit a used fan, but Volvo wants 190 EUR just for the fan blade without motor.

After close inspection I found out that all the fan blades are cracked where they attach to the inner hub. 2 of them broke off. So check your fan for cracking at the inner hub.

Pics attached.
fitting a second hand fan assembly is the way to go , something unique has happened to yours to make it break , maybe it was in a previous accident and the radiator got pushed into the fan and it was re-used . I have never heard of this happening before in my experience with 1000's of these cars from 1996 to 2004 when they ceased production and beyond to date ..
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Old Aug 17th, 2019, 06:24   #4
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Not seen this happen on a car before, but I have had it happen in a PC. The CPU heatsink fan lost a blade in the same way and although the blade found itself somewhere to rest unmolested, it got very noisy very quickly being so unballanced. Overall an extremely rare event though. Hard luck.
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Old Aug 18th, 2019, 10:35   #5
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Probably not something that we would see here in britain very often as the weather rarely gets very hot.. My fan hardly ever seems to cut in even on warm days & then only in stationary traffic, or if i switch on the air con !
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