2013~2016 Radiator Fan Chirping

:
16.5 CX-5 Tour/AWD
Hi All,

I've stumbled upon a strange noise in my vehicle the past 1-2 months and I think it may be related to the radiator fan but I'm not entirely sure. Here's what I know:
  • 1/17/21: The vehicle is off and the belt tensioner/everything else is no longer moving but the radiator fan still runs and there's this weird chirping noise. See video
  • When driving the vehicle and I hear the chirping noise inside of the cabin, I turn off the AC and the noise seems to go away but comes back on whenever the AC is back on.
  • The issue appears to be intermittent and most notable when it's extremely cold outside but goes away when the vehicle is warmed up
  • I am not sure if it's related to my recent belt tensioner replacement but I don't think so as the vehicle was off when I recorded the video above.
Questions:
  1. Could it be a bad fan bearing that might be worthy of replacing the radiator fan as a whole?
  2. Would I have to lubricate the fan bearings?
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
Hi All,

I've stumbled upon a strange noise in my vehicle the past 1-2 months and I think it may be related to the radiator fan but I'm not entirely sure. Here's what I know:
  • 1/17/21: The vehicle is off and the belt tensioner/everything else is no longer moving but the radiator fan still runs and there's this weird chirping noise. See video
  • When driving the vehicle and I hear the chirping noise inside of the cabin, I turn off the AC and the noise seems to go away but comes back on whenever the AC is back on.
  • The issue appears to be intermittent and most notable when it's extremely cold outside but goes away when the vehicle is warmed up
  • I am not sure if it's related to my recent belt tensioner replacement but I don't think so as the vehicle was off when I recorded the video above.
Questions:
  1. Could it be a bad fan bearing that might be worthy of replacing the radiator fan as a whole?
  2. Would I have to lubricate the fan bearings?
Is it a 2016.5 CX-5 Touring with about 66K miles?

And the engine was off during the entire video? Were both fans turning when you heard the chirping noise from the radiator fan and / or AC fan?

If these answers are yes:

1. It should be bad fan bearing, and you should be able to get only a new motor for the fan. But you have to figure out which fan is having the bad bearing.

2. You can quiet down a worn out motor bearing with heavier weight motor oil, but the noise will be back soon. It can only be used to diagnose the problem.

IMO I’d try to lubricate the motor bearing on the fan side after the fan blade is removed. Or the best is if you can take apart the motor, lubricating both end of the motor shaft. I’d done this several times on starter motor with grease instead of getting a new starter, but that motor is much bigger in size and the construction is a bit different.

Of course you can also just keep an eye on both cooling fans. Check both fans more frequently making sure the fan shaft is not too loose due to the worn bearing. Eventually the noise is getting consistent and the fan blade may even hit the fan shroud, that’s the time you really need to do something on it.
 
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:
16.5 CX-5 Tour/AWD
Is it a 2016.5 CX-5 Touring with about 66K miles?

And the engine was off during the entire video? Were both fans turning when you heard the chirping noise from the radiator fan and / or AC fan?

If these answers are yes:

1. It should be bad fan bearing, and you should be able to get only a new motor for the fan. But you have to figure out which fan is having the bad bearing.

2. You can quiet down a worn out motor bearing with heavier weight motor oil, but the noise will be back soon. It can only be used to diagnose the problem.

IMO I’d try to lubricate the motor bearing on the fan side after the fan blade is removed. Or the best is if you can take apart the motor, lubricating both end of the motor shaft. I’d done this several times on starter motor with grease instead of getting a new starter, but that motor is much bigger in size and the construction is a bit different.

Of course you can also just keep an eye on both cooling fans. Check both fans more frequently making sure the fan shaft is not too loose due to the worn bearing. Eventually the noise is getting consistent and the fan blade may even hit the fan shroud, that’s the time you really need to do something on it.
Yep, it's the 2016.5 CX-5 Touring with about 70k miles currently. The engine was off the entire video and yes both fans were spinning at the same time.

Just a few questions:
  1. What's the best way to figure out which one has a bad bearing aside from taking the whole car apart?
  2. Would lubricating the bearing be a permanent solution or would it be a temporary thing?
  3. Is there anything else to know about the disassembly? I haven't looked at the service manual yet hehe
Thanks!!
 
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yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
Yep, it's the 2016.5 CX-5 Touring with about 70k miles currently. The engine was off the entire video and yes both fans were spinning at the same time.

Just a few questions:
  1. What's the best way to figure out which one has a bad bearing aside from taking the whole car apart?
  2. Would lubricating the bearing be a permanent solution or would it be a temporary thing?
  3. Is there anything else to know about the disassembly? I haven't looked at the service manual yet hehe
Thanks!!
1. May be try this mechanic's stethoscope to identify which motor is having the bearing noise?

EC5AC247-86D1-4CFF-AB4A-FFE1312F84FA.jpeg

B635D80A-68FD-4668-817B-1E613799840E.jpeg


2. Lubricating the fan motor bearing after it started having the noise definitely is not a permanent solution. How long it can last is depending on the bearing condition. On starter motors I’d worked on they all worked fine until I got rid of the car.

3. Workshop manuals won’t show any procedures to disassemble an electrical motor. They all show the whole electrical motor, #3 and #4 in the schematic for 2016 CX-5, as one replacement part.

32E004AE-E726-4F3B-BCA4-21E567D4A91E.png

C0C9B02B-C594-4DE1-8B97-3DE44198A63C.jpeg
 
Upvote 0
:
16.5 CX-5 Tour/AWD
1. May be try this mechanic's stethoscope to identify which motor is having the bearing noise?

View attachment 294358
View attachment 294359

2. Lubricating the fan motor bearing after it started having the noise definitely is not a permanent solution. How long it can last is depending on the bearing condition. On starter motors I’d worked on they all worked fine until I got rid of the car.

3. Workshop manuals won’t show any procedures to disassemble an electrical motor. They all show the whole electrical motor, #3 and #4 in the schematic for 2016 CX-5, as one replacement part.

View attachment 294360
View attachment 294363
That's pretty damn expensive just for one motor. I think I noticed my blower in the cabin having the squeaking issue as well so I think that is going to slowly die. I'll probably try the junk yard or something...
 
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:
Pueblo county CO
:
CX-5 Sport 16.5 6M
Do they use those sleeve bearings, or ball bearings. It would be nice to find replacements and save $$$.
 
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yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
Do they use those sleeve bearings, or ball bearings. It would be nice to find replacements and save $$$.
Most electrical fan motors have plain bearings (sleeve bearings). And the motor itself is easy to take apart、clean up the crud、re-lubricate both bearings with grease, and put them back. Done this many times and prolonged the motor life substantially.

3AD3ADAA-3181-4FED-836C-AE3D9AF31B26.jpeg
 
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:
2020 CX-5 AWD
Have you tried spinning the fans by hand (engine completely cold of course), to see if either one produces any noise? Also, when the fans continue to spin after the engine shuts down, try pressing on various points on the outside of the fan cases to see if doing that causes any change in the noise. And you can manually run the fans individually by applying battery power at the connector using a jumper wire.
 
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:
2014 mazda cx-5 touring FWD
Could the chirping sound be due to serpentine belt slippage when the added drag of the A/C compressor is present or maybe an idler pulley such as belt tensioners have. I'd investigate these before removing fan assembly.
 
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yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
Could the chirping sound be due to serpentine belt slippage when the added drag of the A/C compressor is present or maybe an idler pulley such as belt tensioners have. I'd investigate these before removing fan assembly.
OP said the engine is off only the cooling fans were running when he heard the chirping noise. It can’t be from serpentine belt or belt tensioner.
 
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:
2014 mazda cx-5 touring FWD
OP said the engine is off only the cooling fans were running when he heard the chirping noise. It can’t be from serpentine belt or belt tensioner.
You're right. I did see that when I read the thread yesterday. I just skipped to the bottom today without re-reading everything before replying. Thanks.
 
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:
16.5 CX-5 Tour/AWD
Have you tried spinning the fans by hand (engine completely cold of course), to see if either one produces any noise? Also, when the fans continue to spin after the engine shuts down, try pressing on various points on the outside of the fan cases to see if doing that causes any change in the noise. And you can manually run the fans individually by applying battery power at the connector using a jumper wire.

Good advice with trying to spin when off, I'll definitely give it a try. No idea how to do the jumper cable part though as I don't have any.
 
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:
16.5 CX-5 Tour/AWD
Thanks for the tips guys. I also seem to have this issue with the cabin blower motor. I'm thinking, should I grab an aftermarket one from RockAuto or go to the salvage yard? The prices are identical but I have no idea about the performance of the aftermarket ones. Anyone ever replace with aftermarket and had issues?

Did some Googling and it seems OEM would have better electrical components so I'm leaning towards junk yard.

RockAuto: $45 - 90
Junk Yard: $45 - 75
OEM: $160
 
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yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
Thanks for the tips guys. I also seem to have this issue with the cabin blower motor. I'm thinking, should I grab an aftermarket one from RockAuto or go to the salvage yard? The prices are identical but I have no idea about the performance of the aftermarket ones. Anyone ever replace with aftermarket and had issues?

Did some Googling and it seems OEM would have better electrical components so I'm leaning towards junk yard.

RockAuto: $45 - 90
Junk Yard: $45 - 75
OEM: $160
Choice is easy. Unless the fan motors from salvage yard are from a fairly new CX-5, you want new motors with brand new bearings even if there’re after-market ones.
 
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:
16.5 CX-5 Tour/AWD
Choice is easy. Unless the fan motors from salvage yard are from a fairly new CX-5, you want new motors with brand new bearings even if there’re after-market ones.
I did some more digging into it and here's one example of the aftermarket brands from RockAuto. Based on what I found, I'll probably take my chances with junk yard ones since it seems like aftermarket ones can't get their QC right.

TYC
VDO
4Seasons

https://bobistheoilguy.com/forums/threads/a-tale-of-3-heater-blower-motors.264477/
 
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