Cooling fan running with engine is turned off

By YOUCANIC on Jan 23, 2019

Cooling fan running when engine is turned off

In today’s modern vehicles it is considered normal for the engine cooling fan to keep running for a few minutes after you turn off the car.


The cooling fan or fans are mounted right behind the radiator which is at the front of the vehicle behind the front grill. Here is a picture of the cooling fans that stay on, when you turn off the car.

engine cooling fans stay on after car is turned off

In fact, in some vehicles, the fan may run up to five minutes and sometimes longer.

When the engine is running; the coolant circulates from the engine and flows to the radiator where heat is dissipated. When the engine is turned off, the coolant doesn't circulate, and the heat stays trapped therefore prolonging the engine from cooling. Running cooling fans help cool down the engine even after you turn off car. 

Common Causes

If your cooling fan runs for over 15 minutes after turning off the engine, you may have a problem that needs to be fixed. Here are some possibilities causing the fan to stay running longer.

  • low coolant level,
  • faulty coolant temperature sensor,
  • PCM or ECU defective
  • coolant leaks from the water pump,
  • cracked radiator,
  • worn upper or lower radiator hoses,
  • leaky heater core,
  • leaky thermostat housing,
  • rusted coolant bypass pipe,
  • bad radiator fan relay,
  • short in the electrical wires and so on. 

If the fan continues to run for more than 30 minutes; disconnect the negative side of the battery cable to prevent the battery from being drained. 

disconnect negative battery terminal to turn off a cooling fan staying on

Troubleshooting Tips

To test for a bad fan relay; simply swap the bad fan relay with a good relay with the same pin design. Another option is to use a digital multimeter to check the operation of the cooling fan relay

If the fan turns off, that means the relay is at fault.

Furthermore, check for low coolant level and possible leaks that may be causing it. Usually, low coolant will equate to a hotter engine, therefore, it will activate the fan more often.  


Nicky Campbell, 2019-06-24

My Mini Cooper 07 fan stays on after engine turned off for 6 or 7 minutes is this normal

Haley, 2019-07-02

I have a 2015 Buick Encore and my fan stayed on after the car was off. When I went to go to work this morning my car was completely dead. When I got it jumped off the black cable sparked when being hooked up. What could this be? Please help me.

Marsha, 2019-07-05

Haley, I am having the same issue with 2015 Buick Encore.

Visitor, 2019-08-11

I'm having the same issue with a 2014 Encore. Did you figure out what it was?

Christine, 2019-08-15

I am experiencing this same issue with our 2014 Buick Encore. We just dropped it off at the mechanic this morning. Still waiting to hear back. What was the issue with your vehicle?

Diane , 2019-08-10

Same issue right now 2015 encore won’t shut off fan. It’s been over 1/2 hour should I try disconnecting battery ?

Visitor, 2019-08-12

Have a 2008 Acura CSX and fan stays on after shutting off car

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