Radiator fan comes on, shuts off, then the engine overheats


Asked by May 30, 2016 at 03:14 PM about the 2003 Ford Focus SE

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

The radiator fan comes on for about a minute once the car reaches normal
operating temperature, then it shuts off completely. The car then overheats
and the fan never comes on again. I've tried turning the A/C on at various
times during this sequence and it does not seem to have any effect on the fan
speed or activity.

2 Answers


If there's any additional information needed for someone to help me figure this out, please let me know. I'm not a mechanic, to say the least, but I'll try to be helpful. I know several "mechanics" and they all seem baffled by this problem. They say they've never seen something like this before. Clearly the fan works, and it kicks in at the right time, but then it just stops and no one seems to know why. The car is a mess. It doesn't have the original engine in it and whoever did the work on it messed a lot of things up. That said, it's been fairly reliable for a couple of years, until now. I need to get it back into working condition at least long enough for me to be able to find something better.

Ian Clarke

Your engine cooling fan resistor may be bad. Try and turn on the heat and if the fan comes on it is your cooling fan resistor. If not the fan relay or fuse may be bad.

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