I'll have to defer to my experience on 1999 and older models, but I think yours will be the same. Previously there was a simple, common sense relay in the under-hood fuse box that cost around ten bucks. As cars became quieter, customers started complaining that they could hear the radiator fan run from time to time. To address that, they now use a small computer module that can vary the speed of the fan motor from very slow to full speed. They don't run the fan any faster than necessary to get the job done. They call that module the fan relay but it really is a lot more than that. Any time they add another computer module, they add to the vehicle's unreliability. (Be happy you don't have a GM product. They make the majority of their profits from selling replacement computers that have to be purchased at the dealership, and must be programmed and installed by them. By the year 2002 they can have up to 47 computer modules)!
These fan relays used to have a real high failure rate but we don't hear about that much anymore. I sell used relays along with other car parts at an old car show in WI. I get ten bucks for them but I don't know what new ones cost. It shouldn't take more than about a half hour to replace it.
Saturday, January 29th, 2011 AT 3:26 AM