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How to perform preventive maintenance on a semi truck engine cooling system


July 10, 2020

If a fan clutch fails, there are plenty of options to replace it. But with preventive maintenance, you can detect and solve potential problems well before they put a customer’s truck out of commission.

Here’s a simple, step-by-step guide:

1. Check the state of the radiator, coolant hoses, expansion tank, water pump, AC system, belt, belt tensioner and thermostat for any visual signs of corrosion, wear or other defects.


Coolant hoses

Expansion tank

Belt and belt tensioner

2. Examine the fan for any defects, chips or contamination buildup.

Engine cooling fan

3. If the fan clutch is pneumatically-operated, take a look at the system supplying air to the clutch.

This includes checking the air line to the solenoid valve, the air line to the fan clutch, and the electric circuit to the solenoid valve.

[RELATED: Heavy-duty fan clutch repair and replacement options can be found in Horton’s online catalog]

Air line to solenoid valve

Air line to fan clutch

Electric circuit to solenoid valve

4. Examine the fan clutch for any defects

Fan clutch

Including these checks as part of your regular preventive maintenance program can significantly increase the life of a truck’s engine cooling system and reveal problems before they cause a truck-down situation.

If there are any issues, be sure to refer to the vehicle’s service manual. Fan clutch removal methods are different from application to application.