How to Replace the Radiator Fan Motor on a 2002 PT Cruiser

Written by tim petruccio
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How to Replace the Radiator Fan Motor on a 2002 PT Cruiser
The radiator fan helps push cool air through the fins of the radiator, in order to cool the engine coolant. (radiator humour image by John Sfondilias from Fotolia.com)

Chrysler Corporation introduced the Chrysler PT Cruiser in 2001. The 2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser was equipped with a 2.4-litre, in-line, 4-cylinder engine capable of producing up to 150-horsepower and 162-foot-pounds of torque. The 2002 PT Cruiser has a standard cooling system, complete with parts like the cooling fan, radiator, radiator hoses, thermostat, and water pump. The cooling fan motor on the 2002 PT Cruiser can go bad over time, and replacing the cooling fan motor then becomes the only option. The motor and fan blade are connected to one another through the cage or frame of the radiator fan.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • 3/8-inch drive ratchet and socket set, with 4-inch extension
  • 3/8-inch drive torque wrench
  • New radiator fan motor
  • 2-ton or greater capacity jack
  • 2 jack stands, 2-ton or greater capacity

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Open the bonnet of the PT Cruiser and locate the negative (black) battery wire on top of the battery. Disconnect the negative battery wire using a 3/8-inch drive ratchet and socket to loosen the battery cable tie down nut. Remove the negative battery cable by hand.

  2. 2

    Remove the two radiator fan mounting bolts from the back of the radiator, using a 3/8-inch drive ratchet and socket. Remove the single side mounting bolt from the passenger side of the radiator fan, using a 3/8-inch drive ratchet and socket. The passenger side mounting bolt is about 1/3 down on the passenger side of the fan cage. Remove the single mounting bolt from the driver's side of the cooling fan cage, using a 3/8-inch drive ratchet and socket. The driver's side bolt is approximately 2/3 down the driver's side of the cooling fan cage.

  3. 3

    Disconnect the cooling fan electrical harness from the harness extending from the frame of the PT Cruiser. Pinch the harness between your forefinger and thumb, and pull the two connectors apart from one another by hand.

  4. 4

    Raise the front end of the PT Cruiser using a 2-ton floor jack or a jack with greater lift capacity. Set a jack stand beneath both front frame rails underneath the Cruiser, in order to support the vehicle for the duration of the lower portion of this project.

  5. 5

    Lay beneath the front bumper of the PT Cruiser. Slide your body so that your are in a position to physically access the lower rear side of the radiator. Remove the two bottom cooling fan mounting bolts from the back of the radiator, using a 3/8-inch drive ratchet and socket along with a 4-inch extension. The addition of an extension between the ratchet and the socket will allow you to reach past the lower front framework of the PT Cruiser, in order to access the lower cooling fan mounting bolts.

  6. 6

    Remove yourself from beneath the PT Cruiser. Stand directly in front of the vehicle, and pull the radiator fan motor and cage assembly straight upward to remove them. Place the cooling fan assembly on a flat surface, with the fan blade portion of the fan facing upward, and the motor side downward.

  7. 7

    Remove the fan blade from the motor, by removing the clip that holds the motor to the blade. Hold the blade steady and remove the clip using flat head screwdriver to pry the clip off the fan motor shaft. Leave the fan blade inside the cooling fan cage, and flip the entire cooling fan assembly over so the back of the motor is facing upward.

  8. 8

    Remove the three fan motor mounting bolts from the rear of the cooling fan cage, using a 3/8-inch drive ratchet and socket. Pull the fan motor straight upward and out of the fan cage to remove the old motor. Remove the old motor and connector wire completely from the rear of the fan cage.

  9. 9

    Install the new fan motor into the rear of the fan cage. Turn the fan motor so that the electrical connector protruding from the motor is facing to the driver's side of the fan cage. Install and tighten the fan motor mounting bolts. Tighten the bolts using a 3/8-inch drive torque wrench, to set the bolts to 55-inch-pounds of torque. Tighten all three bolts with the torque wrench.

  10. 10

    Flip the fan cage over so the blade side is facing upward. Install the fan blade guide onto the new fan blade motor. This is a small triangular metal piece that comes with the new motor, and acts as a spacer between the motor and fan blade. Install the fan blade onto the fan motor shaft. Install the fan blade tie down clip by hand. Just push the "horseshoe" shaped clip onto the recessed portion of the tip on the fan motor shaft.

  11. 11

    Set the entire cooling fan assembly into the engine compartment of the PT Cruiser, by hand. Rest the cooling fan assembly just behind the radiator, onto the lower front support or cross member. Lay beneath the front of the PT Cruiser and slide your body so that you can physically access the rear of the radiator, and the cooling fan assembly. Install the two bottom cooling fan assembly bolts by hand. Do not torque or tighten the bolts until the rest of the cooling fan mounting bolts are set in place.

  12. 12

    Step back up to the front of the PT Cruiser. Install the driver's side cooling fan mounting bolt by hand, but do not tighten it down. Connect the power connector extending from the frame of the PT Cruiser, to the power connector that is protruding from the fan motor. Install the passenger side single mounting bolt by hand, but do not tighten it down. Install the top to cooling fan assembly mounting bolts by hand.

  13. 13

    Lay beneath the PT Cruiser again, and slide your body beneath the front of the vehicle. Tighten the radiator fan cage mounting bolts on the bottom of the cage to 55-inch-pounds of torque, using a 3/8-inch drive torque wrench and socket. Remove yourself from beneath the PT Cruiser when this is completed.

  14. 14

    Lift the front end of the PT Cruiser with a 2-ton floor jack, and remove the jack stands from beneath the vehicle. Lower the PT Cruiser to the ground and position your body over the front of the vehicle again.

  15. 15

    Tighten the remaining four fan cage mounting bolts to 55-inch-pounds of torque, using a 3/8-inch drive torque wrench and socket. Tighten the two single side mounting bolts first, the proceed to tighten the two top side mounting bolts .

  16. 16

    Reconnect the negative battery wire to the battery terminal. Tighten the cable tie down nut with a 3/8-inch drive ratchet and socket until it is snug. Once the nut is snug, turn the ratchet a quarter-turn farther. There is no need for torquing or over tightening these parts, and doing so can cause damage to the battery wire end.

Tips and warnings

  • Never lift a vehicle on uneven ground or a slope. Lifting a vehicle on uneven ground can cause jacks and jack stands to collapse. Failure to adhere to this warning could result in vehicle damage, personal injury, or even death if the vehicle collapses onto you.

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