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Old 09-28-2012, 06:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Date registered: Jul 2010
Vehicle: 1996 SL 500, 2004 CLK 500
Location: Clovis, CA
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Loud Engine Cooling Fan

We have a fairly new to us 2004 CLK 500 cabriolet with only 41,000 miles. We live in a hot climate and have noticed that the engine's electric cooling fan sounds like a Tsunami warning siren going off when it running on its highest speed. It appears to be a 2 speed fan. The noise level appears to sound normal when it runs on low speed. I've even had a person comment that it sound like the car is "preparing for take off" when the fan kicks in. Of course its really noticeable when the top is down. There are no engine cooling issues.

To avoid confusion, I'm talking about the engine radiator cooling fan, not the a/c blower motor fan. My SL500's fan is far quieter...

Is this noise level "normal?"
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Old 09-28-2012, 04:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Vehicle: 2004 CLK 240 Coupe
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Originally Posted by blahargoue View Post
Is this noise level "normal?"
Is the noise 'air noise' or 'bearing noise'? What isn't 'normal' is for the fan to be at 100% operation for most of the time. Also it is not 2-speed - it changes incrementally between 0% and 100%.

If it is running at 100% it is likely that your refrigerant pressure is greater than 20 bar. If not that, maybe the integrated control unit in the fan is faulty.
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Old 09-28-2012, 05:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It doesn't sound solely like a bad bearing. It is a lot of loud air noise mixed with a high pitched whine. There is no noticeable play or noise in the fan bearings when rotated by hand and the assemble seems properly secured. My mistake on the 2 speed fan comment. It does run at varying speeds but is only really loud when running at its fastest speed. The engine temperature always remains about 200 degrees F. and never even comes close to overheating. The fan runs at its highest speed only periodically and usually only when there is little airflow thru the radiator at low driving speeds or when sitting still. Again, it usually only has to run on its highest speed when the outside temperature exceeds 100 degrees F. I'm confident that the fan and control circuits are working as designed - it just seems really loud when compared to my other vehicles with electric fans. Just wondering if these vehicles have really loud electric fans.
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Old 09-28-2012, 05:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Normal. Many new owners ask. Sounds like a Cessna.
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Old 09-28-2012, 05:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks Yidney! That's the info I was looking for. BTW, the photo of your car looks like my car's twin!
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Old 09-28-2012, 05:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by blahargoue View Post
Again, it usually only has to run on its highest speed when the outside temperature exceeds 100 degrees F.
LOL.. that's why I have never experienced this noise... that temperature is unknown in the UK...

As Yidney said, others have remarked on this CLK fan noise before.
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Old 09-29-2012, 09:33 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Yes, Tsunami or Civil Defense siren sounds about right (and normal).
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Old 11-17-2012, 02:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Mine sounds like that too.

I think it was designed by engineers from the old Stuka factory.

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