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Old 06-13-2018, 11:40 AM   #1
mbr
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Default Radiator fan squealing

Yesterday my radiator fan started to squeal when it first turned on (no a/c). It quiets down, but then squealed again today when started by turning on the a/c.
Can the fan motor be oiled, or just replace it? Is the VDO motor on sale a Rock any good?
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Old 06-13-2018, 11:55 AM   #2
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Default Re: Radiator fan squealing

It could be oiled, but I would blow away any dirt/dust that might be found there first. The motor shaft housing is probably worn and causing a wobble upon startup. I replaced mine once, but it had an electrical failure and I purchased a cheapo one off Ebay. Worked just fine.

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Old 06-14-2018, 03:32 PM   #3
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Default Re: Radiator fan squealing

www.car-part.com

It is a DC, electric drive motor. You do NOT oil them for any reason. If they fail, or begin to show signs of failing, replace them.

Easiest route is to get a used fan from a local wrecking yard, as the replacement motor assemblies require disassembly of the unit, and impeller shaft sizes are not always machined correctly.

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Old 06-14-2018, 09:33 PM   #4
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Default Re: Radiator fan squealing

Begging your pardon, but oiling the shaft is a good, safe and reliable fix for any ac or dc fan that has been compromised by dirt/grit and begins squealing. Don't knock it if you haven't tried it, because , it does work.

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Old 06-14-2018, 09:37 PM   #5
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Default Re: Radiator fan squealing

How would you go about oiling it? Can the bearing be accessed and what kind of oil or grease?

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Old 06-14-2018, 09:40 PM   #6
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Default Re: Radiator fan squealing

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Originally Posted by toggenburg View Post
Begging your pardon, but oiling the shaft is a good, safe and reliable fix for any ac or dc fan that has been compromised by dirt/grit and begins squealing. Don't knock it if you haven't tried it, because , it does work.
Yes, it certainly does work ! I use a light oil with Teflon on my household fans and humidifier motors. AC DC makes no difference.

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Old 06-15-2018, 12:30 PM   #7
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Default Re: Radiator fan squealing

Dunno if oiling works or not on a squealing radiator fan motor . . . but what do you have to lose by trying?

Worst case scenario:
Oh no, it started squealing again.
Oh no, now I have to replace it.


I suppose it could break down or start squealing at an embarrassing time. "Hey, baby, I'll be back to pick you up la . . squeeeaaaakkkk!"


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Old 06-15-2018, 10:53 PM   #8
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Default Re: Radiator fan squealing

I went ahead a bought a new motor. $26, wth.

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Old 06-16-2018, 08:28 AM   #9
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Default Re: Radiator fan squealing

Quote:
Originally Posted by toggenburg View Post
Begging your pardon, but oiling the shaft is a good, safe and reliable fix for any ac or dc fan that has been compromised by dirt/grit and begins squealing. Don't knock it if you haven't tried it, because , it does work.
Does it work as well as the ATF supposedly "cleaning" an engine? Because I have a short YouTube video that proves ATF in an engine does NOTHiNG for buildup of dirt/soot in the engine, as well as a nearly ruined engine block and a cylinder head with a burnt exhaust valve in the #3 cylinder.

When I posted that video, 111 people viewed the thread, but not a single person replied or made a comment.

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Old 06-16-2018, 10:07 AM   #10
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Default Re: Radiator fan squealing

You can definitely oil these bearings. The shaft end is obvious other than removing the motor, removing the fan and then putting a couple of drops of light oil down the shaft, do not flood with oil. The rear bearing is more difficult as you have to drill through the back of teh bearing bulge to allow getting any oil in there. Again, only a couple of drops. Do not use 3-in-1 anything either. No ATF! Use a small motor 5 weight oil that has the R and O inhibitors. This is sometimes sold in a plastic squeeze bottle labeled Turbine Oil and is in the same area as the remainder of the household oils. It is quicker and easier to just replace the motor ...

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Old 06-16-2018, 04:57 PM   #11
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Default Re: Radiator fan squealing

It was no simple thing to lube the bearings, and I think it was shot anyway. I just replaced it. Now it's blowing good like a Satty should.
I've oiled noisy electric fans in my computer and even a Tivo, but this would not have been worth it.
Interesting that the fan motor would go. It must be time that dries out the lubricant. After 20 years and 150k miles, the fan couldn't have been on for more than 5% of that time, if that. Only when the a/c is on (rare) or when stuck in traffic (even rarer).
Gotta love these Saturns though, parts are cheap and simple to maintain (relatively)
.

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Last edited by mbr; 06-16-2018 at 05:05 PM..

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Old 06-16-2018, 05:32 PM   #12
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Default Re: Radiator fan squealing

It is heat and age that does it not miles. They are equipped with oiltite bearings that use a non R&O inhibited oil in most cases so it oxidizes to tar over time.

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Old 06-16-2018, 10:16 PM   #13
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Default Re: Radiator fan squealing

You mean I'll have to replace it again in 20 years? It never ends.

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Old 06-17-2018, 07:33 AM   #14
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Default Re: Radiator fan squealing

New ones should have higher quality bearings.

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Old 06-17-2018, 12:09 PM   #15
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Default Re: Radiator fan squealing

Quote:
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You mean I'll have to replace it again in 20 years? It never ends.
Saturn S-Series: Where the cooling fans are often replaced more often than the engines, transmissions, or body panels are....

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Old 06-18-2018, 12:04 PM   #16
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Default Re: Radiator fan squealing

Quote:
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You mean I'll have to replace it again in 20 years? It never ends.
lol, that's good!

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Old 06-18-2018, 01:39 PM   #17
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Default Re: Radiator fan squealing

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lol, that's good!
I'll be 86. Hopefully I can still turn wrenches.
Another question. I let it get to 220 and the fan turned on. It quickly dropped to 210 and I shut the engine off. Should the fan still have been turning after shutoff at that temp?

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Old 06-18-2018, 02:21 PM   #18
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Default Re: Radiator fan squealing

No, fan will not run when key in OFF. There is a feature to implement after-blow but it is not in all PCM code and primarily only in the gen-3 cars. Could be initiated in gen-2 though.

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Old 06-18-2018, 03:08 PM   #19
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Default Re: Radiator fan squealing

Thanks Nuc.

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Old 06-18-2018, 04:24 PM   #20
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Default Re: Radiator fan squealing

I was kinda curious about the fan running when the car is off eariler so I tested it out. The temp gauge got to a little more that 4/8, I turned it off then back to run but didn't start the car so I could monitor the temp gauge. Watched it go a little past 5/8 (about 220F), the fan turned on and continued running even after I turned it to off and pulled the key out.

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