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Radiator Fan and Shroud Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Radiator Fan and Shroud Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$95 to $275

Talent:

**

Tools:

Panel popper, flathead screwdriver

Applicable Models:

R53 (2002-06)

Parts Required:

Fan and shroud

Hot Tip:

Careful working with the plastic it gets brittle

Performance Gain:

Working radiator fan

Complementary Modification:

Flush and new coolant

The cooling fan on MINI R53 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.

MINI R53 models utilize an electronic cooling fan integrated into the cooling fan shroud. When repairs are needed, 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 MINI R53 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.

The MINI Cooper has a unique design on the front of the car called a modular front end. Due to the limitations of space, the engineers came up with a way to extend the front bumper several inches forward to allow access to some of the engine components without having to remove the radiator, hoses or drain the coolant. However, in our case, we will be removing the radiator and hoses.

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.

You will need to remove the radiator to replace the fan and shroud, so please see our article on radiator removal for additional instructions.
Figure 1

You will need to remove the radiator to replace the fan and shroud, so please see our article on radiator removal for additional instructions.

We removed the front clip that holds the radiator for photographic purposes and while you can do this with the clip in the service position, if you want to remove the clip simply pass the wires through and remove the service bolts.
Figure 2

We removed the front clip that holds the radiator for photographic purposes and while you can do this with the clip in the service position, if you want to remove the clip simply pass the wires through and remove the service bolts.

Disconnect the fan wiring harness from the front clip using a panel popper or flathead screwdriver (red arrows).
Figure 3

Disconnect the fan wiring harness from the front clip using a panel popper or flathead screwdriver (red arrows).

There are two plastic plugs that hold the radiator to the clip, pry out the center of the plugs (red arrows).
Figure 4

There are two plastic plugs that hold the radiator to the clip, pry out the center of the plugs (red arrows).

With the center plug out you can pull the base of the plug out and this will free up the radiator (red arrow).
Figure 5

With the center plug out you can pull the base of the plug out and this will free up the radiator (red arrow). The fan and shroud are attached to the radiator and will come out as a unit.

Lay the radiator down face first on your bench making sure not to damage the fins on the radiator.
Figure 6

Lay the radiator down face first on your bench making sure not to damage the fins on the radiator. The shroud is attached to the radiator in four locations. The top two plastic tabs sit in plastic holders (red arrows) and the bottom two have clips that need to be removed (yellow arrows).

Lift up on the bottom two clips and this will allow the shroud and fan to slide up and off the radiator (red arrow).
Figure 7

Lift up on the bottom two clips and this will allow the shroud and fan to slide up and off the radiator (red arrow).

You can now replace the complete unit.
Figure 8

You can now replace the complete unit. Installation is the reverse of removal and do not forget to refill the coolant.

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