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Cooling Fan Resistor Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Cooling Fan Resistor Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$30

Talent:

**

Tools:

10mm socket, wire strippers and crimpers

Applicable Models:

R53 (2002-06)

Parts Required:

Resistor, 14-16 gauge wiring butt joints

Hot Tip:

Use good quality butt joints

Performance Gain:

Working cooling fan

Complementary Modification:

Coolant flush

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. There is a resistor in the wiring and attached to the shroud that will control the speed of the fan. If your fan only runs at high speed when it is on it is probably the resistor that has failed. While you can replace the fan, shroud and resistor as a unit it is also possible to remove the old resistor and splice a new one into the wiring, saving you a lot of money.

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.

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.

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.

The resistor is attached to the shroud, which is attached to the radiator.
Figure 1

The resistor is attached to the shroud, which is attached to the radiator. You will need to remove both of these to replace the resistor so please see our article on fan and shroud replacement for additional information.

The resistor is located on the top right corner of the shroud (yellow arrow).
Figure 2

The resistor is located on the top right corner of the shroud (yellow arrow). Replacing the resistor with a new one (yellow arrow) is simple even if you are working on wiring for the first time.

Use a 10mm socket and remove the two bolts holding the resistor and cover to the shroud (red arrows).
Figure 3

Use a 10mm socket and remove the two bolts holding the resistor and cover to the shroud (red arrows).

Slide the resistor out from the shroud and pop open the cover protecting the wiring (red arrow).
Figure 4

Slide the resistor out from the shroud and pop open the cover protecting the wiring (red arrow).

The new resistor is a direct replacement for the old one you just need to cut the original wires from the harness and splice in the new ones.
Figure 5

The new resistor is a direct replacement for the old one you just need to cut the original wires from the harness and splice in the new ones.

The wiring is color coded and gauge (which is the thickness of the wire) coded so you really can't mess it up if you are paying attention.
Figure 6

The wiring is color coded and gauge (which is the thickness of the wire) coded so you really can't mess it up if you are paying attention. Trim the ends of the wires of the sheath and use the correct butt joints. Connect the wires via the butt joints, making sure to properly crimp them and the heat shielding to help keep out dirt and grim. Do one wire at a time so you can't mess them up

Fold the wiring connections under the cap and install the cap securing it with the two 10mm bolts.
Figure 7

Fold the wiring connections under the cap and install the cap securing it with the two 10mm bolts. Installation of the rest is the reverse of removal.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Don Comments: At what engine temp should the low speed fan come on? High speed fan?
And or any conditions at which they should come on.
December 3, 2016

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