VW Tiguan radiator fan keeps running after turning off the engine

For VW Tiguan owners, witnessing the radiator fan persistently running after turning off the engine can be a cause for concern. However, this phenomenon is not indicative of a malfunction but rather a deliberate feature designed to address specific operational needs.

VW Tiguan second generation – (photo by Volkswagen)

In this article, we’ll delve into the reasons behind the VW Tiguan radiator fan’s post-engine operation and why it should not be a cause for alarm.

The Radiator Fan Run-On Indicator:

Upon turning off the ignition in your VW Tiguan, you may notice the radiator fan continuing to run. To reassure drivers, VW has incorporated a radiator fan run-on indicator that appears in the instrument cluster. This visual cue informs the driver that the radiator fan is still operational after the engine has been switched off.

Reasons for Continued Operation:

Several factors contribute to the radiator fan’s prolonged operation even after the engine has been turned off. Understanding these reasons can help demystify this behavior for VW Tiguan owners:

Exhaust Gas Post-Treatment:

One of the primary reasons for the radiator fan’s extended operation is exhaust gas post-treatment. This process may involve particulate filter regeneration, a crucial aspect of modern emission control systems. The continued operation of the fan assists in optimizing the efficiency of these systems.

Active Brake Cooling After Descent:

Another scenario where the radiator fan continues to run is during active brake cooling after a descent. When the vehicle undergoes prolonged or intense braking, the braking system can generate significant heat. The radiator fan aids in dissipating this heat, ensuring optimal braking performance.

Dissipation of Engine Heat After High Load:

In situations where the engine experiences high loads, such as towing in trailer mode, the radiator fan may run for an extended period post-engine shutdown.

This is a preventive measure to dissipate the excess heat generated during demanding driving conditions, safeguarding the engine components.

Automatic Shutdown:

It’s important for VW Tiguan owners to note that the radiator fan is programmed to turn off automatically after a designated period following engine shutdown.

This ensures that the fan operates long enough to address specific post-engine heat dissipation needs but does not continue indefinitely, conserving energy and preventing unnecessary wear on the fan components.


While it may initially raise eyebrows to witness the radiator fan persistently running after turning off the engine in a VW Tiguan, understanding the reasons behind this behavior can alleviate concerns.

This deliberate design feature ensures that the vehicle’s various systems operate optimally, contributing to performance, efficiency, and overall longevity.

The radiator fan’s post-engine operation serves as a testament to the meticulous engineering and thoughtful design integrated into modern vehicles like the VW Tiguan.

Author: Nabeel K
Email: nabeel@wheelsjoint.com