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Pelican Technical Article:

Radiator Fan Switch Replacement

Jared Fenton

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$20

Talent:

***

Tools:

Small standard screwdriver, 27mm open end wrench

Applicable Models:

Jetta MkIV 2.0L (1998-05)

Parts Required:

Radiator fan switch

Hot Tip:

Drain coolant before you begin

Performance Gain:

Cooling system works again

Complementary Modification:

Replace engine coolant

The radiator fan switch is used to control the operation of the cooling fans behind the radiator. The switch is essentially a thermostat that senses the temperature of the coolant. When the coolant temperature hits a certain point, it causes the switch to turn the fan on, which in turn reduces the coolant temperature.

A failing fan switch can cause your car to overheat and in extreme cases, a blown head gasket or worse. If you have determined that the switch on your car is bad, it should be replaced as soon as possible. In this article, I'll go over the steps involved with changing it out.

Keep in mind that replacing the switch requires you to drain the coolant from the engine. See our article on Coolant Flush and Replacement for more information.

The radiator fan switch is located on the lower right hand side of the radiator on the engine bay side (looking towards rear of car).
Figure 1

The radiator fan switch is located on the lower right hand side of the radiator on the engine bay side (looking towards rear of car). Access is pretty tight here, but it is possible to remove the switch. Use a small screwdriver to press the tab on the electrical connector (green arrow) and pull it off the switch.

Use a 27mm box end wrench to loosen the switch from the radiator.
Figure 2

Use a 27mm box end wrench to loosen the switch from the radiator. You have just enough room to slip it over the outside of the switch.

When installing the new switch, make sure that you tighten it just until you feel the crush washer at the bottom of the switch (green arrow) begin to seat against the radiator.
Figure 3

When installing the new switch, make sure that you tighten it just until you feel the crush washer at the bottom of the switch (green arrow) begin to seat against the radiator. Now reattach the electrical connector and fill the car with coolant.

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Page last updated: Wed 12/7/2016 03:07:56 AM