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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
A bit of a warning for 981 owners regarding the 2 front fans.


Had my 55k mile 2013BB in for unrelated repair last month and was informed that I had an inoperative radiator fan. Though disappointed, I was not shocked, as I have experienced fan failure on my 986 in the past. I asked the dealer if he was sure, and he said there was a tripped code and the fan was seized. This was different than my 986 experience.


So when I got the car back, I tried to turn the blade and sure enough it would not move. So since fan removal requires removal of the nose and dropping the radiator down, I thought I would further inspect it by removing the inner wheel well cover. After that, I discovered that the fan motor was jammed by tiny stones that worked their way into the motor. I worked the blade around until it started to release and spit out pebbles.


I then spent about an hour spinning the fan by hand and blowing around the motor with compressed air until I got all of the rocks out. I started the car and ran the AC on max, which runs the fans, and confirmed that no more rocks were in the motor. So far it has been working perfectly for a month. Didn't blow any fuses or cause any damage. Maybe the fan will fail prematurely in the future, but right now no problems.


Regarding why this may have happened, I am one of those guys that keeps the HVAC system turned off most of the time. The fans almost never get a chance to run. I believe this allows time for small rocks that are bouncing around on the street/hwy to work their way into the motor. Screens in front of the radiators probably won't help much since these pebbles are so small. Though I still generally don't use the HVAC when driving unless needed, I now run it a few minutes every time I take the car out hoping this will help keep out/work out any pebbles that may be working their way toward the fan motor.


So, good news is no damage or replacement required. But I would watch for this issue if you have a 981.
 

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I appreciate this heads-up
"I started the car and ran the AC on max, which runs the fans. . ." -- I tend not to use the A/C myself, so based on this info I'll start running A/C Max for a bit.
Glad to hear that you investigated, solved the issue, and passed along your experience.
 

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The open front bumper / fender design where the air conditioning condensor radiators sit is fine for allowing air flow to a maximum but awful for allowing crap to wreck the radiators. I have changed all the condensors on my previous 986 and 987 but not anymore on the 981. I use plastic open black mesh to stop any grit or debris. This is placed behind the horizontal fins infront of the rads.its not brilliant but no more air con problems ...ever
 

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This is good information and advice. I very rarely use A/C in my 981 (too much fun listening with windows down and I don’t care for the slight power diversion), but I have always made a monthly practice of running the A/C at Max for 5-10 minutes in order to lubricate condenser and ventilation components and seals. I shut it off and let fan only run on max for a few minutes to dry out any condensation when it’s humid outside. OC? You bet. Guilty. Your advice regarding the grit and pebbles around the fan motor adds another benefit to this practice. Thank you kindly for sharing it.
 

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When I installed the center radiator a couple of years ago and while everything was apart I did a thorough cleaning of the radiators and condensers. I also had very small pebbles keeping the fans from freely spinning. The pebbles on my car were not in the motors but in the small space between the tip of the fan blades and the fan shroud. The fan blades are tied together with a plastic ring. I removed the inner fender liner and used a combination of a water hose and compressed air to get them all out. I concluded that they came in from the vents in the wheel liner and kicked up by the tires.
I think that occasionally running the the AC is a good idea but it’s an easy to remove the wheel liners for a cleaning if the fans get jammed.
Jim
 

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This was extremely helpful, thanks. I drive a 2013 981 Boxster S myself and I just performed oil service and when I was resetting the service lamp, I also ran diagnostics. It came up with P1466 fault which I believe is the fan on the right (passenger side in the US), I turned on the AC on full blast and I noticed that the fan on the left worked as expected, so my question is does both fans turn on when the AC is on full blast?
 
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