Introduction: How to Repair a Computer Fan

If you have a computer fan that sounds like the bearing has been replaced with gravel, there may actually be a simple fix. All you need is a screw driver, a small pick, and some lubricant. In this instructable, I repair my GPU fan. However, the process should be nearly identical for any fan in your PC.

Step 1: Remove Fan

I repaired my GPU fan. First, find the screws holding the fan in place, and remove them so that you can access both sides of the fan freely. Now is a good time to clean up all the dust that's been collecting around the fan. Some canned air will work nicely.

Step 2: Remove Sticker and Split Ring

First, remove the sticker on the fan. That will expose the shaft and the split ring that holds the fan in place. Use the pick to gently pry the split ring off the shaft and remove the fan. Set the split ring aside for reassembly later. If possible, leave the o-ring in place. Otherwise, put it on the fan shaft.

Step 3: Lubricate

I used some Hoppe's #9 gun lubricant on my fan. It worked great. Add a few drops of lubricant to the inside edge of the fan. Rotate it around until it looks wet. Try not to use more lubricant than necessary. It helps to put the fan back in the bearing and spin it around a bit to get a nice even coating.

Step 4: Reassemble

Be sure the o-ring is still in place as you put the fan back into the bearing and pop the split ring back on. Add another few drops of lubricant to the fan shaft around the split ring and spin the fan around a bit. It should be nice and smooth now. Reattach the fan and turn it on. If all went well, it should be nice and quiet again!

Comments

author
pfred2 (author)2015-05-03

What if there is nothing exposed other than the fan housing when you remove the sticker? Then you need to head on over to my new article.

https://www.instructables.com/id/Noisy-Computer-Fan-Repair/

author
makestructor (author)2012-12-04

What to do if there is no split ring?

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master key (author)makestructor2013-07-27

There should be some kind of clip holding the axle in place.

author
prule (author)2011-04-04

Great tutorial. Very helpful. My GPU Cooler works like new. Thanks

author
zack247 (author)2010-08-01

would sewing maching lube work too?

author
The Lightning Stalker (author)2010-04-30

If you can get in there and wipe the crud out the bearing, it works that much better.

author
Punkguyta (author)2010-04-06

 Awesome to see someone else that figured out how to open computer fans right up!

author
djr6789 (author)2009-02-17

great instructable! my servers cpu fan sounds like theres a gun fight goin on inside my pc lol

author
Solderguy (author)djr67892009-10-20

That would be awesome! :D

author
djr6789 (author)Solderguy2009-11-10

or it could be all the dust mites having a nuclear war in there :O

author
Sandisk1duo (author)2008-09-08

you should also blast the "fins" with compressed air to get the dust off

author
Derin (author)Sandisk1duo2009-05-08

For that I useubbing alcohol.

author
rshino (author)2009-03-29

thanks for this. i had a slow fan on a drive enclosure and the tip to take off the sticker was the one that set me up. thanks a lot.

author
Derin (author)2009-01-31

You can also use sewing machine oil on a Q-tip.But use no more than one drop for each part.Shaft gets one drop with Q-tip and bearing gets one drop straight from the bottle.

author
Scott_Tx (author)2008-09-07

Use grease instead of oil and it'll last longer

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nachosyumm (author)Scott_Tx2008-09-07

Actually for computer fans oil would work better. In all reality, most computer fans will never really need any sort of lubrication. I've re-oiled the fans on my computer that runs 24/7 only once in the past 3 years

author
Scott_Tx (author)nachosyumm2008-09-07

I've used oil and oil and oil and then switched to grease and never had to re-do them.

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nachosyumm (author)Scott_Tx2008-09-07

wow, how old and how often is your computer on?

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Scott_Tx (author)nachosyumm2008-09-07

My computer started with a 486 and its been upgraded a part here and a part there for 15 or so years. I think the floppy is still original. :P

author
danymw (author)2008-09-07

correct: how to repair most GPU fans... any idea on normal,cpu or power supply fans?they sound like 7 years old vacuums(not pc's)...

author
damonkohler (author)danymw2008-09-07

The process should be nearly identical for any fan in your PC. Just remove the fan, remove the sticker, remove the split ring, lubricate, and reassemble.

author
danymw (author)damonkohler2008-09-07

thanks for reply

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