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1998 Forester Auto
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49 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all. I drive a 98 forester w/ 204K miles, and have had a couple of problems recently. This is my third post for today on my various problems.

At the end of a long trip today, after starting up from a rest stop I noticed a loud noise coming from the engine compartment. We opened it up and it seems that the left radiator fan is making the noise; the noise starts when the fan starts, and stops when the fan stops. It looks like the plastic fan blade isn't seated properly on its mounting; it appears to wobble as it rotates.

I'm concerned that if the fan blade is loose, it could come off and damage the radiator -- is this a reasonable concern? If so, should I try to fix it before driving it again? In that case, how can I learn how to fix it?

I don't need to drive it for a couple of days; my next trip will probably be to take it to the dealer to have the transmission inspected (see one of my other posts). But if it's a small job to fix the radiator fan, I'd prefer to do it myself than pay the dealer for it.

Thanks for your advice!

Mike
 

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Most likely the fan motor bushing is loose allowing motor rotor to scrub against the armature. That is why blade is wobbling. Fan motor will make a howling, screeching noise that makes your skin crawl. Fix is to replace the motor as its not repairable.

It's not impossible to have a loose blade, but if noise is as descrbed above, the motor is more likely. You may be able to see the fan/motor drive shaft nut and confirm whether it's tight.

good luck
 

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1998 Forester Auto
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Discussion Starter #3
So I popped open the hood this morning to check, and the fan blade is actually loose. I can wobble it dramatically on its mounting. Unfortunately, I can't see a way to get access to the bold holding it on without removing the housing and the coolant reservoir.

On the other hand, it seems like if I could remove those, tightening or replacing the blade wouldn't be a huge job.

I guess I need a Forester service manual to figure out how to do that?
 

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Blade and shaft are keyed. If blade is loose, the shaft has probably been reamed round and will not fit shaft correctly. New fan blade can be purchased, but a new motor/fan may be a better investment. Fan motors usually go bad at some point and cost difference may not be large between fan blade and fan/motor assy. Check ebay and rockauto for prices/availability.

good luck
 

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1998 Forester Auto
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Discussion Starter #5
Aha. OK, that's good to know. Thanks very much! I got myself a service manual off Ebay, so I'll see if replacing the fan blade or blade/motor assembly looks like something I can do.

In the meantime, I guess I should avoid driving it -- I'm worried that the loose blade will come off and do more damage -- but tell me if you think that's an unnecessary precaution.
 

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Unplug the fan motor underneath the fan. I would not run AC at stop, only while moving w/ a cooling fan inoperative.

good luck
 

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1998 Forester Auto
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Discussion Starter #7
Done, thanks for the suggestion. I still have one good fan, so I just won't run the AC for a while.
 

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2010 Forester
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Loud fans run non-stop

In FebruaryThe cooling fan(s) on my 2005 Forester start running very loudly after driving for about 10 minutes. It happens in all temperatures (here in NC we have had temp. ranges of 15 - 96 since Feb.) with the A/C on or off and with the heater on or off. At stop lights and signs I can hear it and it doesn't stop until I turn the car off. If I leave the key in the on position the fans run for about 5 min. and then turn off. My mechanic says the fans are just doing what they are supposed to do which is cool the engine. I understand that but in the 5 years and 100,000 miles previous to Feb. this NEVER happened. He replaced the thermostat anyway and it didn't change things at all. The car does not overheat and runs fine otherwise. Is this just something that I will have to put up with or is it likely that damage is being done?
 

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2005 Forester
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I have a fan problem similar to your fan problem

lgelinne, what you described as happened to your 2005 Forester in terms of the fans coming on and running until you shut off the engine is very similar to a problem I'm having with my 2005 Forester. In fact, I currently have a thread related to my problem. For me, the problem is happening only in the winter months here in Pennsylvania when the outside temp is below 40 degress and, so far, 5 repair shops plus my Subaru dealer have looked at it with no solution, but they've ruled out the relays, the CTSU, and the HVAC controls. Today, I drove by a new repair shop while the fans were running, so I decided to stop and have them take a look at my fans. After they looked at it for about 20 minutes, we decided to schedule a longer appointment for them to look at it in more depth. So far, the latest repair shop is, as I am, perplexed. Anyway, did you ever get your problem resolved and, if so, what was the solution? Any information you can provide may be very helpful to the repair shop when they take a deeper look at my fans two days from today. Thanks much. Best regards, b3player2.
 
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