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Engine Cooling Fan Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Engine Cooling Fan Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$200

Talent:

***

Tools:

T20 Torx driver, flat head screwdriver

Applicable Models:

BMW 525i/xi Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 528i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 530i/xi Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 530xi Wagon (2006-07)
BMW 535i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 535xi Wagon (2008)
BMW 545i Sedan (2004-05)
BMW 550i Sedan (2006-10)

Parts Required:

Engine cooling fan, coolant reservoir vent hose

Hot Tip:

Work with a cool engine and clear DME fault codes when done

Performance Gain:

Proper engine cooling

Complementary Modification:

Inspect radiator and coolant hoses

The cooling fan on BMW E60 models is electronic and controlled depending on engine temperature and A/C operation. The main job of the cooling fan is to draw ambient air across the cooling fins of the radiator to lower engine coolant temperatures. Usually the fan will only run when the vehicle is stationary or at low speeds, when airflow across the radiator needs to be increased.

BMW E60 models utilize an electronic cooling fan integrated into the cooling fan shroud. When repairing, the cooling fan and shroud are replaced as a unit. The cooling fan is responsible for maintaining proper engine coolant temperature and A/C cooling. When a BMW E60 cooling fan fails, the fan will not activate or only activate at high speed. You can check cooling fan operation by turning on your air-conditioning and listening for the fan to activate.

When replacing your electronic cooling fan, you will want to work with the engine cold and disconnect the battery's negative cable. Disconnecting the negative battery cable will prevent the electric cooling fan from starting while being serviced. The fan could start at any time and personal injury can occur. Don't skip this step.

For a quick test of the fan, turn on your A/C. The fan should come on. If it does not, it may be faulty. You can also try unplugging your coolant temperature sensor. The fan should run on HIGH. Keep in mind with this technique, a fault code will be set and have to be cleared. Or you will be stuck with a check engine light for a few days until it automatically clears.

Remember that your car may have been serviced before and had parts replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you're working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Our vehicle may vary slightly from yours as models do change and evolve, as they grow older. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

Working in the trunk, disconnect the battery negative cable and cover the battery terminal so the cable does not accidentally come in contact with the terminal. See our tech article on battery replacing for notes on disconnecting and reconnecting the battery.

Remove the engine splash shield. See our tech article on splash shields removing.


8-cylinder engine: Working at the intake air duct, pull the vacuum line (green arrow) off the air duct.
Figure 1

8-cylinder engine: Working at the intake air duct, pull the vacuum line (green arrow) off the air duct.

8-cylinder engine: Using a flathead screwdriver, loosen both the intake air duct hose clamps (green arrows).
Figure 2

8-cylinder engine: Using a flathead screwdriver, loosen both the intake air duct hose clamps (green arrows).

8-cylinder engine: Once the clamps are loose, pull the air duct off the throttle housing.
Figure 3

8-cylinder engine: Once the clamps are loose, pull the air duct off the throttle housing. Then pull it off the intake air box. Place the duct aside.

Working at the top of the radiator support, remove the ten T30 Torx fasteners (green arrows).
Figure 4

Working at the top of the radiator support, remove the ten T30 Torx fasteners (green arrows).

Lift the radiator support in the direction of the green arrow to remove it.
Figure 5

Lift the radiator support in the direction of the green arrow to remove it.

Then, flip the radiator support (green arrow) over and rest it on the top of the engine.
Figure 6

Then, flip the radiator support (green arrow) over and rest it on the top of the engine.

Working at the top of the radiator, remove the five T25 Torx fasteners (green arrows).
Figure 7

Working at the top of the radiator, remove the five T25 Torx fasteners (green arrows).

Then pull the coolant reservoir / radiator vent hose out of the plastic mounts (green arrows).
Figure 8

Then pull the coolant reservoir / radiator vent hose out of the plastic mounts (green arrows). Be careful, as these hoses become brittle over time and can break (yellow arrows). These break about 30% of the time. Have one on hand if you are not sure of the condition of yours.

Working at the top of the cooling fan, remove the AUC sensor by pulling it in the direction of the green arrow, and then lifting up and removing.
Figure 9

Working at the top of the cooling fan, remove the AUC sensor by pulling it in the direction of the green arrow, and then lifting up and removing. Place it out of the way, on the right side of the engine compartment.

Lift the plastic cover up and off the radiator in the direction of the green arrow.
Figure 10

Lift the plastic cover up and off the radiator in the direction of the green arrow.

Working at the right side of the cooling fan, disconnect the cooling fan electrical connector by pressing the release tab and pulling it apart.
Figure 11

Working at the right side of the cooling fan, disconnect the cooling fan electrical connector by pressing the release tab and pulling it apart.

Working at the bottom of the cooling fan, remove the cooling fan from the plastic mounts (green arrows).
Figure 12

Working at the bottom of the cooling fan, remove the cooling fan from the plastic mounts (green arrows). Pull the hose straight out to remove it. Then cut the wire tie (yellow arrow) to release the bottom of the hose. Not all E60 models have this configuration. If you do not, ignore this step.

Lift the cooling fan up slightly.
Figure 13

Lift the cooling fan up slightly. Then working at the left side of the cooling fan shroud, flip the mounting tab toward the fan. This allows the fan to be removed, clearing the radiator hose.

Then pull the cooling fan up and remove it from the engine compartment.
Figure 14

Then pull the cooling fan up and remove it from the engine compartment. Be careful not to snag the fan on wires or hoses, when installing the new cooling fan. Slide it down into the engine compartment. Move it into place and lock the retaining tabs. Be sure that the fan is properly seated in the radiator support. If the fan is giving you a hard time and will not drop all the way down, check to see if the bottom of the cooling fan is hung up on the radiator or hoses. Reroute the wiring harness and connect. Install the engine splash shield and check the cooling fan operation. You can check the operation by running the engine and turning on the A/C. The cooling fan will run when the A/C is switched ON.



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Comments and Suggestions:
Hassouneh Comments: Very good explanation
Many thanks boys
Much appreciated
July 2, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Rbbmw Comments: Should fan begin to run immediately when car turns on? Bmw530 I 2004
July 2, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jerry Comments: Have a 2006 530xi the AUC sensor is there on the shroud but can't find the connector as I replaced the fan ,AC turns on and off whenever it wants figured its they the sensor is not connected but can't find the connector don't know if the 2006 have the sensor on the shroud or not The fan works fine as it is connected.
June 24, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If the sensor is there, so should be the connector. I would inspect the harness for the fan. Look for a pigtail coming off or a damaged section, showing signs of damage. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Andrew Comments: Thank you for the instruction. I have a 2008 535xi and I could not find the AUC sensor in step 9. Also, if we cut the wire in step 12, where would you get a new one at? It does not look like a normal tight wrap but rather a clip-on. Again, thanks.
June 9, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Ron Comments: Picked up a BMW wiring diagram book, found out it was not the fan or water temp.sensor but the fan relay.
May 6, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the follow up. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Ron Comments: Have a 2009 x5 30 I.. No A/C and fan does not run when a/c selected. No water leaks. When water sensor disconnect fan runs on high. All fuses are good. Could it be a temp sensor??
May 2, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: the sensor or the fan low speed could be faulty. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Mark Comments: What do you recommend to use as a plug on the transmission line when removing from the radiator?
September 6, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I have rubber caps and plugs from years of working on cars. You can try vacuum caps, they come in an assortment. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
garrett Comments: Thank you for all of the help, and the quick reply. The coolant temp sensor on my e60 2008 528i is down by the radiator?
April 15, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: There are two:

http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/BMW-E60/24-WATER-Radiator_Outlet_Temperature_Sesnor_Replacing/24-WATER-Radiator_Outlet_Temperature_Sesnor_Replacing.htm

And one on the engine, mounted in the front of the cylinder head. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
garrett Comments: Hi, and thank you for the great DIY.... My aux fan now only runs at low speed, and seems to be effecting my a/c performance when idle or stopped in traffic for long periods of time. Highway driving is ice cold. I remember my aux fan used to sound like it was ready for takeoff on hot days and was very audible when I was standing outside the car. The fan seems to no longer engage to high speeds and I could almost stop in with firm force of my finger.... it even stays at this same constant low speed on a 90F day with the a/c on max. Any suggestions, seeing how my fan does "work" but not properly?
2008 528i

Thank you in advance
April 14, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The fan may be faulty. You can try to activate it manually or use a BMW scan tool. Another trick, is to unplug the coolant temp sensor, the fan should run on high. However, that will set a fault code, it will need to be cleared using a BMW scan tool. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Sat 12/3/2016 02:24:31 AM