How to Test My Thermal Fan Clutch

by Melanie Fleury

A fan clutch that is not working can cause many different problems. The engine can overheat or even run below the proper temperature. It is clutch is not working, it can cause shaking or noise and damage the water pump. To find out if it is indeed your thermal clutch that is causing trouble with your car, you can try a simple testing process.


Look at your clutch with the engine turned off. The clutch can often have a broken part that you may be able to see. Also take a look around for oil leaks. If there is an oil leak, the clutch will need to be replaced.


Grab the thermal clutch with both hands and try to shake back and forth. If it is moving easily and excessively, you will need to remove it and check the water pump. If the water pump does not move, then you will need to replace the thermal clutch.


Turn on the engine and let it run for a moment. Pay attention to the temperature of the car. You should not hear the clutch turn on until the car has reached its operating temperature. If you do hear the clutch early or you do not hear it at all, it will need to be replaced.


Run the engine and rev it up. As you go faster, you should hear the clutch slowing down, if it does not, it will need to be replaced.

About the Author

Melanie Fleury has been writing professionally since 1995. She has written for various educational websites such as and is the educational consultant at the Knowledge Tree Center for Education. She enjoys creating curriculum for children with various learning styles. Fleury holds a master's degree in education specializing in early childhood from Ashwood University.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images