A few weeks ago, I was asked to talk about fan clutches. But that is because the person who asked me struggled to find the best fan clutch for Dodge Cummins.
It was difficult to recommend a specific fan clutch as many more excellent models are available in the market. But, at that time, I had no choice but to give him my top pick.
After that incident, I went through some more models that, from my experience, were among the best ones. Then I tasted a few more and chose from them too. Thus, I ended up with today’s article.
Top 5 Best Fan Clutch For Dodge Cummins in 2023
Remember when I said I went through some more to select the top-rated fan clutch for Cummins? The following reviews are on each of my selected fan clutches. After that, you will find a buyer’s guide and a few more necessary pieces of information to help you find the right fan clutch.
1. AutoForever Electric Radiator Cooling Fan Clutch
The Electric Radiator cooling fan clutch is something you should never overlook. From what I’ve experienced, this is one of the most reliable, durable, and powerful fan clutches.
- Noise Reduction: Unlike low-fitted fan clutches that make a rattling sound when powered up, the Electronic Radiator is less noisy. In fact, you will barely hear any sound coming from the fan.
- Durable Material: This fan clutch is made with high-grade aluminum. As a result, it comes with extended durability.
- Fits Different Dodges: The manufacturer has designed this 7.48″ fan clutch to fit different Dodge models. It is compatible with 2003-2009 Dodge Cummins with RAM 2500 and 3500 engines.
- Material: Aluminum
- Diameter: 7.48″
- Position: Front
- Special Features: Lightweight
2. US Motor Works 22059 Heavy Duty Thermal Fan Clutch
When it comes to reliability and quality material, the US Motor Works has got you covered. And now, with the 22059 Heavy Duty Thermal Fan Clutch, I don’t need to explain a lot to tell you how good it is.
- High-Quality Material: US Motor Works wants to ensure the best quality material for the users. That’s why the fan clutch is made with high-quality aluminum.
- Durability: Being made with high-quality aluminum makes the clutch strong and durable. It gives the vehicle enough strength for fast rides.
- Moly Grease Bearings: The fan clutch bearing contains moly grease, which is effective for riding under high pressure.
- Material: Aluminum
- Item Weight: 3.7 pounds
- Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 7.5 x 4.3 inches
- Country of Origin: USA
3. OAW 12-CR3282 Electronic Cooling Fan Clutch
OAW is a commonly known name when it comes to vehicle parts. OAW offers an excellent cooling system with a fast acceleration.
- Fits Most Vehicles: This fan clutch fits any Dodge Cummins with RAM 2500, 3500, 4500, and 5500. Being suitable for most models makes this fan clutch an excellent choice.
- Fast Driving: Speeding up your vehicle means the vehicle engine will have an increasing temperature. In that case, the OAW 12-CR3282 will prevent the engine from overheating while driving faster.
- Return Policy: Another reason to choose it for its return policy. If you find any fault with the fan clutch after purchasing it, you can return it within 30 days.
4. Dorman 621-410 Engine Cooling Fan Assembly
If your vehicle’s orange original cooling fan is acting up, the Dorman 621-410 can be an excellent replacement. Though it comes at a higher price, the quality and the performance make the fan clutch worth the money.
- Reliable Parts: Each part of the Dorman 621-410 fan assembly are OEM specifications tested. It makes the clutch reliable for long and fast rides.
- Easy Installation: As it is an assembled part, installing it will not be a hassle. It makes the clutch an ideal replacement part.
- Fits Easily: The fan clutch is suitable and compatible with most Dodge models. To find out if it fits your vehicle, you can input data on Amazon Garage for convenience.
- Material: Plastic
- Cooling Method: Air
- Item Dimensions: 35.5 x 9.6 x 25 inches
- Exterior: Ready To Paint If Needed
- Country of Origin: Taiwan
5. TOPAZ 2781 Cooling Fan Clutch
As the last one for the best fan clutch for Cummins, I chose the Topaz 2781 model. It is a premium quality fan clutch that fits a long list of vehicles and provides a robust cooling system.
- Silent Working: Unnecessary noise during rides can be irritating, especially if it comes from vehicle parts. But Topaz 2781 will work in silence to make sure such things do not happen.
- Fits Most Dodge: It is one of the few fan clutches to fit a great number of Dodge. It is compatible with 1997-2003 Dodge with RAM 1500, 2500, and 3500 engines.
- Premium Quality: The Topaz 2781 is made with high-quality material that provides excellent performance.
How To Choose The Best Fan Clutch For Dodge Cummins?
In my experience, I’ve seen people purchasing fan clutches without having a decent idea of which one to choose or what type to choose, or what the price range should be. Thus, they end up getting the wrong clutch that doesn’t fit or last long enough.
While sorting through the models to find the best clutch for dodge Cummins isn’t an impossible task, you still need to consider a few things. For your convenience, here is a buying guide to help you go through this step.
For different sizes of Dodge Cummins, you will need to buy different sizes of fan clutches. It isn’t a difficult guess.
Not knowing the right size can lead to ending up with a wrong-sized clutch. So, you must know the size of your Dodge Cummins before you purchase it.
The Dodge Cummins fan clutch must be fuel-efficient. It also provides better acceleration, along with increasing power. If you come across a fan clutch that promises these performances, this can be your best pick.
Less Or No Noise
There is nothing more irritating than constant noise coming from your fan clutch. It also means the quality of the fan clutch is poor. That’s why it is important to choose the ones that will make very little to zero noise while operating.
Fan clutches operate when it reaches a specific temperature. But overheating can create different issues. Having a fan clutch with a fast cooling system can prevent the possibility of such occurrences. It will also keep the engine cool and will run for a long time without issues.
Now, we all know most of the time, vehicle parts cost a lot. And if you are getting it fixed at a workshop rather than on your own, the fixing cost can end up being more than the part itself. That’s why you need to consider this part wisely, especially if you are tight on budget.
Fan clutches prices usually start from as low as $35 and can go as high as $250, sometimes even more. Then comes the fixing or labor cost.
If you are doing it on your own, then you are saving some bucks. But if you are getting it repaired from a shop, the labor cost will add up. In the end, the total cost can be around $250-$450 or more.
Know What You Need
One of the first mistakes people make is going to the store by themselves without knowing anything, or worse, knowing a little. I’ve forgotten how many times I’ve encountered such an incident.
It is why I always advise everyone to know their automobiles and their parts well before showing up at stores or arguing with a little knowledge. You must have good knowledge about the size of the parts, specifications and other necessary things.
How Does A Fan Clutch Work?
Let’s get to know how a fan clutch works. I’m explaining it because I’ve seen vehicle owners often struggle to understand fan clutch issues as they have very little idea about it.
As you drive on, your vehicle engine starts heating up. If the heat isn’t controlled or does not have a cooling system, it will overheat. And engine overheating is one of the leading vehicle problems.
But every vehicle comes with a cooling system that operates the radiator and cools the engine by increasing and decreasing the airflow. It is called a fan clutch.
The internal area of the fan clutch contains a set of clutch plates. It also has a coupling that is filled with silicone-based oil. The oil flow is directed between the cavities as the clutch’s internal valve opens and closes.
As the valve opens, it helps the oil enter the clutch. It results in the fan turning faster. On the other hand, when the valve closes, the oil flows back to the couplings, slowing down the fan.
It’s the fan’s way of ensuring the cooling system of the vehicle engine. And having the best fan clutch makes the operation way easier.
How To Test A Fan Clutch?
Often it can be tough to identify a bad fan clutch as not everyone who drives is an expert. But there are a few simple hacks that will help you keep the fan clutch in check.
You can test the fan clutch in two ways:
- Test when driving
- Test manually
1. Test When Driving
- Change Of Temperature: One of the easiest ways to test a fan clutch is to check the temperature when driving. Turn on the AC and turn the setting to the coldest level. If it does not cool down, there is an issue with the fan clutch.
You can also try putting your hand a few inches away from the air vent of your vehicle. This way, you will be able to check it more closely.
- Listen For Noise: A binding fan clutch will always make an unnecessary loud noise. When it binds or locks up, the passing air will create noise which you will hear from the vehicle. To test if the clutch has this issue, keep your vehicle at a 50-80 mph speed.
- Listen For Fan Engage: The fan clutch takes a few minutes to engage after the vehicle starts. The fan should start once the engine starts to heat up. If you notice the fan is taking a long time to start, it could mean something isn’t right.
- Check If The Fan Slows Or Stops: Another way to test the fan clutch is speeding the vehicle and monitoring the fan. If the fan keeps running at the same speed as the vehicle, the fan clutch must be defective.
2. Test Manually
- Pop The Hood: When checking manually, you need to pop the hood first. But always make sure your vehicle is parked properly and the engine is turned off before you start the process.
- Locate The Clutch: You can spot the fan clutch between the radiator and the engine. It will be in front of the engine compartment, bolted to the water pump.
- Examine The Condition: When you look at the fan clutch, you can immediately tell if something is wrong. The fan blades should be arranged perfectly inside their housing and leave equal space between the engine and the radiator.
A fan clutch in good condition will not be crooked or have any dents. Besides, the bolts will be keeping the clutch well-secured in its place.
- Check The Movement: Try gently wiggling each fan blade to see if anything feels out of place. Check the metal housing in the same way. There shouldn’t be any rattling or squeaky sound when you do it.
- Check For Oil Leaks: Though finding traces of oil in the clutch is perfectly normal, there is always a culprit hiding in plain sight. If you find any heavy oil coating while running your finger on the bearing edge, you have found the criminal.
Signs Of A Bad Or Failing Fan Clutch
A bad fan clutch isn’t something that you face rarely. But not recognizing the signs of a bad fan clutch can lead to several serious issues. Though the fan clutch’s job is to prevent the engine from overheating, the non-stop use of this part can be severe sometimes.
So the best thing to do is to know and understand the signs to avoid things going worse. Check out the following symptoms of a bad fan clutch to learn more.
In my experience, of all the fan clutch issues I’ve faced, this has been the most common one. The fan clutches job is to prevent the engine from overheating. It happens when the fan is working slow. So, when the overheating begins, you know it’s time to take a look at it.
This problem occurs when the fan clutch isn’t engaged correctly. It results in the fan moving slowly or not moving at all. Thus, the engine heats up.
Though overheating is the most common issue, the opposite can happen too. This issue happens a lot during the winter.
The fan clutch operates when the heat reaches a specific temperature. However, during the winter, the temperature of the fan clutch can start dropping. It can end up cooling off the engine, which is completely the opposite of what it was meant to do.
Another common sign of a bad fan clutch is excessive noise. Sometimes the fan clutch can get stuck while engaged. The fan continues to turn even when it is not necessary. As a result, it starts making loud noises while the fan is on and blowing air.
Lowers Vehicle Performance
When the fan clutch starts acting up, it will decrease your vehicle’s overall performance. The first sign, in this case, will be low fuel efficiency as the fan will stay active even when your vehicle doesn’t need it.
The vehicle power will also drop if the fan clutch isn’t working properly. You can immediately spot this problem as it will cost more fuel per mile.
Frequently Asked Questions About Fan Clutch
How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Fan Clutch?
The fan clutch is an essential part of a car’s cooling system. Without it, you can end up with minor to major car issues. The price of this fan clutch depends on several things, such as the model, version of the clutch, and where you are getting the replacement done.
Nevertheless, a fan clutch will cost $50-$250 if you are replacing the part. On the other hand, if you get it done at a workshop or car repair service, you will have to add labor costs. It can lead the total cost to be between $250-$500.
Why Do I Need To Replace A Fan Clutch?
Replacing fan clutches is a wise decision you make from time to time. Otherwise, it can lead to different vehicle problems. The first reason to replace a fan clutch is that they get old over time.
Changing an old clutch is mandatory. Otherwise, the clutches will start overheating the engine. Besides, it can also lead to low power, noise, spending more fuel, etc.
What Temperature Does A Fan Clutch Engage?
A fan clutch engages when the temperature is 170 degrees Fahrenheit. It is when the engine temperature is 180°F to 190°F.
And the fan clutch will disengage when the temperature reduces to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. However, a few of the models can be an exception.
Does A Fan Clutch Spins When It Is Cold?
No, fan clutches do not engage or spin when it’s cold. The only time it will spin is when the temperature is high. Otherwise, it will remain stiff. So if your fan clutch spins when it’s cold, it means you need to replace it.
How To Fix A Squeaky Fan Clutch?
Fixing a bad fan clutch is not a troublesome job. You can do it in a simple DIY way. Here is a simple procedure for you to follow.
- First, you need to remove the fan clutch. You can use a wrench to turn the clutch in an anticlockwise motion.
- After getting the clutch out, apply a small amount of silicone oil at the clutch’s center.
- Let the oil sit for some time. And then you can take out the bolt.
- If the clutch still squeaks after reinstalling it, it needs replacement.
How to Replace Fan Clutch for Cummins
Finding the best fan clutch for Dodge Cummins becomes a lot easier if you have adequate knowledge about it. And, I believe that sharing my ideas and experiences will help you learn everything more clearly.
However, if you are still unsure, I can recommend a few. If you want something budget-friendly but with a powerful performance, I recommend the OAW 12-CR3282 and the US Motor Works 22059. On the other hand, if you don’t mind paying some extra to get some extra, the Dorman 621-410 should be your pick.
Now I’ll leave it up to you to weigh your options and consider which one you would like to buy. No matter what, pay attention to the reviews and buying guide to make sure you get the right fan clutch.