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Power Steering Pump Cooling Fan

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Power Steering Pump Cooling Fan

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What is the power steering pump cooling fan and where is it located? 

Power steering pump cooling fans are found specifically on recent model year Mini Coopers.  While most cars use a power steering pump that is driven by the crankshaft via a belt, the Cooper uses an electrical power steering pump.  The speed of a normal power steering pump is determined by the speed of the crankshaft, but low driving speeds are when the power steering pump is most needed.  That leads to certain engineering comprises.  An electrical power steering pump has a little more flexibility in that regard.  Unfortunately, the electric motor and the pump’s location under the exhaust can lead to it overheating.  So, those Minis came with an electric fan to cool off the power steering pump.  The fan has a thermostat, and when it reaches a certain temperature it blows air across the power steering pump to cool it off. 

How do I know if my power steering pump cooling fan needs to be replaced?   

The power steering pump cooling fan is mounted underneath the vehicle under the grille.  It can be subject to damage from dirt, sticks, small rocks and other pieces of road debris.  The fan does have a grille to keep foreign materials from reaching the fan blades, but the grille can get damaged and fall off.  If that happens, debris or trash on the road can get sucked up into the fan, clogging it.  A broken or clogged fan doesn’t cool very well, so your power steering fluid may start to overheat.  You might hear whining from the power steering pump or have difficulty steering at low speeds.  Hot fluid expands, so overheated power steering fluid might even leak out the top of the power steering fluid reservoir in some cases. 

Can I replace the power steering pump cooling fan myself?  

Luckily, replacing a power steering cooling fan is not that difficult.  You can reach the power steering fan underneath the hood, behind the grille.  The fan is mounted into a metal bracket.  The easiest way to remove the fan is to take the whole bracket out.  Remove the bolts from the bracket and disconnect the wiring harness from the fan.  Then you can remove the screws that hold the fan to the bracket.  Pull off the fan.  If your old fan grille is broken, you can pry it off and push on a new one.  Then mount the new fan into the bracket and screw it in.  Connect the wiring harness, put the bracket into place and bolt it on.  

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