The Truth About OEM and Aftermarket Radiator Fans

When stuck with a broken radiator fan, some car owners think about getting an aftermarket fan because they are pretty cheap. Well, what can you really expect from an aftermarket radiator fan? Are they really worth the few bucks in savings? Read on to find out.

Aftermarket Radiator Fans are Cheaper: Myth or Fact?

Here’s another myth we’d like to debunk: OEM radiator fans cost a small fortune.

Let’s play Mythbusters for a second! We’re going to address the most common misinformation regarding aftermarket parts:

Aftermarket parts are cheaper.

Are they really? We’re here to say that it’s a myth, at least most of the time.

It’s true that most aftermarket parts, including radiator fans, cost less than OEM parts upfront. However, they usually end up failing early or causing problems that are expensive to fix. You might get lucky with a cheap aftermarket radiator fan that performs flawlessly for a long time. But there’s a greater chance that it’ll ultimately cost you more money than an OEM radiator fan.

The Most Common Reasons Aftermarket Radiator Fans Cost More Than OEM Fans

1. Quality Issues

It's not uncommon for aftermarket manufacturers to use cheap materials to build their parts. If you look at any aftermarket radiator fan, chances are the fan blades and/or housing are made of cheap and flimsy plastic. Maybe the wires are low quality. Basically, you don't really know what you're going to get with an aftermarket radiator fan.

If you happen to get a cheaply built radiator fan, it's definitely not going to last a long time. This means you'll have to splurge on a new radiator fan and maybe repairs if the broken radiator fan affects the other parts in the engine.

Unlike most of their aftermarket counterparts, OEM radiator fans are built to last. Nissan makes a point to build all of their OEM radiator fans with high-quality materials.

2. Incompatibility

Image Credit: CarsNToys

If you can find an aftermarket radiator fan that's built with high-quality materials, there's still a chance it won't work well with your car. It may not blow enough air through the radiator. It may also blow too much air through your radiator, resulting in an overcooled engine. Or it may not engage at the right time or speed. An aftermarket radiator fan that doesn’t work quite right can cause issues within your engine, which may be expensive to fix.

It’s just easier to get an OEM radiator fan. Because an OEM radiator fan is built to Nissan’s specs, you know that you’re getting a radiator fan that will work optimally with your engine.

3. No Warranty

If you’re looking for an aftermarket radiator fan that’s backed by a good warranty, you have a better chance of finding a flying pig in the sky. Most aftermarket parts don’t even come with a warranty. Those that do are far and few in between, and those warranty policies don’t usually cover much.

The lack of a warranty means that if your new aftermarket radiator fan goes out, you have no choice but to buy a brand new one. That means any money you saved on an aftermarket radiator fan goes right out of the window.

Nissan offers a comprehensive Limited Warranty on all genuine OEM Nissan parts, including radiator fans. It’s good for 12 months or 12,000 miles, whichever occurs first. Even though it’s pretty rare for an OEM radiator fan to fail early on, you still have the peace of mind that your OEM radiator fan will be replaced under warranty.

Good News: OEM Radiator Fans Don’t Always Have to be Expensive

This myth rings true only if you buy from a Nissan dealership or certain websites. They tend to charge a big markup on their parts. The good news is that you can actually buy a genuine OEM replacement radiator fan at a wholesale price from our website. You can save about 30% by buying from us. For example:

  • Part No. 21481-ZY70A (for 2009-2014 Maximas) – Regular price: $252.47; our price: $174.20
  • Part No. 92120-ZS20A (for 2008-2012 Pathfinders) – Regular price: $183.90; our price: $126.89
  • Part No. 92120-EA200 (for 2005-2007 Frontiers, Pathfinders, and Xterras) – Regular price: $131.93; our price: $91.03

Got any questions about OEM and aftermarket radiator fans that were not addressed in this article? Give us an email or phone call!