How an Electric Fan Can Help Your Car
An electric fan can help your car in a number of ways. It can pull air through the radiator to bring the engine up to temperature more quickly, which is ideal for stock or mildly modified street cars.
However, this type of fan can be a huge current hog, resulting in popped fuses, smoked relays and melted wires. To prevent this from happening, you should use an ECU-controlled fan circuit like the one shown in Fig. 5.
Improves Engine Cooling
Unlike a mechanical fan that is slaved to engine speed, an electric cooling fan can be activated and run when the temperature sensor in your vehicle’s cooling system detects coolant temperatures rising. They then operate until the radiator is cooled down, allowing the engine to be kept closer to its optimum operating temperature without needing revs or motion to keep it cool.
A single large mechanical fan can draw as much as a half-horsepower from the engine to turn, a power drain that can detract from your fuel economy. In contrast, an electric fan system can operate with much less energy consumption and help to reduce parasitic load — that is, wasted engine output that is needed for other vehicle functions.
An electric fan setup typically includes a motor that moves the fan blades. They are fitted in front of the radiator to pull air across the core and into the radiator. There are both pusher and puller style fans depending on your application and whether there is sufficient space to fit the fan between the radiator and engine.
It’s important to remember that a car electric fan draws current from the electrical system and therefore should only be used when you need it. A good rule of thumb is to have the fan set to activate at +3C above your OEM thermostat temperature to avoid damaging heat soak.
Reduces Engine Noise
When a car’s cooling fan is running, it can make a loud noise. This can happen because of several reasons, such as a worn out fan belt, loose or broken blades, or even a leaky radiator. It can also happen because the engine is running at high speeds. In this case, the fan needs to be switched on and off at the same time as the engine. The fan is not needed when the car is idling or driving slowly.
The solution is to switch to an electric fan setup. They are controlled by thermostats and fan controllers, so they run when the cooling system demands it most. This can save power and improve car electric fan the car’s fuel economy and performance. It can also reduce the amount of engine noise and vibration.
Another benefit of an electric fan is that it doesn’t rob the engine of horsepower, as is the case with traditional fans. These fans draw too much power, which can reduce the engine’s efficiency and cause it to use more fuel than necessary. An electric fan can be turned on and off without affecting the engine’s operation. These fans can also be controlled independently from the engine, so they can stay on when the vehicle is idling or stopped. They can also be set to run at different speeds depending on the cooling demand of the engine.
Increases Fuel Economy
Unlike belt driven fans that pull mechanical energy directly from the engine, electric cooling fans rely on electrical energy from the battery and charging system to spin. This reduces the overall load on the engine for optimum cooling during most driving conditions.
An electric fan can spin at the exact speed needed to cool your engine during normal operations. The constant airflow provides the best car electric fan protection against overheating which can cause serious damage to your engine and transmission. JEGS offers a variety of cooling kit packages from Compbrake Motorsport featuring the latest in electric fan controller technology and vehicle specific brackets to make your car’s retrofit installation as simple as possible.
As the automotive industry continues to move away from traditional mechanical cooling fans, more and more car owners are opting for an electric fan conversion. They are more reliable, require less maintenance and can improve fuel economy.
Popped fuses, smoked relays and melted wires are telltale signs that your engine cooling fans are hogging too much current. High startup and continuous current draws can lead to failures in the fan circuit, especially with cheap brushed motors.
The best part of an electric fan is it can be turned off or spun at reduced RPM when the engine is not in use, so it does not draw as much current as a belt-driven mechanical fan. This can reduce the demand on your alternator and lead to better fuel efficiency for your classic car.
A car’s cooling fan is a vital safety feature to help control engine temperatures during highway cruising. Designed to draw cool air over the radiator and engine, the fan is controlled by a signal generated by the car’s temperature sensors. The ECU of most modern cars uses this data to trigger the electric fan when needed.
A mechanical fan’s CFM will increase with the engine speed, but it can cause a parasitic load on the engine by taking power to spin the fan. This takes away from available horsepower that could be going to the rear wheels of the car. A properly set up electrical fan can pull the maximum amount of air at idle when it is needed and disconnect when the engine reaches higher speeds where the air is cooler and less dense.
When choosing an electric fan for your vehicle, Clayton advises matching the fans CFM to your vehicle’s performance level. “With a mild street motor, you will need less CFM, while high-performance engines require more,” he says. You should also take into account the power demands of an electric fan, as some dual-fan configurations can draw up to 35 amps.
An electrical fan will increase the performance of a car and improve fuel economy by eliminating the parasitic load that a mechanical fan can create. With this in mind, it’s no wonder that a truck with an electric fan has been shown to improve fuel efficiency by 7.7 percent.