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Laptop Fan Buzzing? Answered

Hello Everyone,

Need some advice here.
I have noticed a slight buzzing sound in my fancy gaming laptop's fan recently. Its only audible when the fan is on its highest speed and then you wouldn't notice it if your volume is up. I'm fairly certain the problem is that the fan is slightly off balance.
Here's why:
1). I completely dismantled the laptop and cleaned it of all dust and particles, so its not clogged or impeded in any way.
2). The sound stops if you tilt the laptop approx 30 degrees in any direction. (The sound actually gets louder until the 30 degrees is reached, then it completely stops).

My question is: What should I do about it? Is it really much of a problem? Do I need to replace it? If I do, my warranty literally expired 1 week 1/2 ago, is there anything I can do about that? I feel cheated by the timing personally.



Best Answer 6 years ago

Its not out of balance, its running out of oil. Those little fans have a little drop of oil sealed in them to keep the shaft from wearing in the bearing. When they start to dry up they start to vibrate because the metal is no longer gliding on oil. When you tilt it you move the stress to an area that has a little more lube. You can get some extra life out of it by adding some lubricant to the bearing. Normally there is a cap of some sort in the middle of the fan. Sometimes its just tape, sometimes its a rubber plug. Anyway you have to open up the bearing and put a drop of oil in it. I use 3 in one oil and then add a tiny bit of lithium white grease. It appears that the grease makes the oil thicker and helps to fill the area around the fan shaft so it helps cut the vibration. To seal it back up, if it was a tape seal, clean the plastic with alcohol to get all the oil off and stick a piece of vinyl electrical tape over the hole. It could last for a few more months, or a few more years, you never know.

+1(and the advice from Vyger and Rick) --

They simply wear out. Re-lubing can help, but if that doesnt its usually an inexpensive replacement part, especially if you already know how to disassemble the laptop. That hard part is finding the EXACT fan replacement, often only from the manufacturer because laptops are so specialized. $20 later and you're set.

By the Way, fans are rated in MTBF (Mean time between failures) So they have a certain number of hours that they should run for. Fans with ball bearings last about 3 times as long as fans with sleeve bearings. But the hour estimate is for the average, some can fail a lot earlier and some a lot later. Some companies tend to use cheaper sleeve bearing fans to save a few bucks because they figure the fans will die towards the end of the computers life so why bother to use better ones. Also sleeve bearings are quieter than ball bearings. But I almost never have to replace a ball bearing fan, some are still in service in machines that are 10 years old.

To add a small bit of information to the above excellent advice - The fan is probably out of balance because of accumulated dust and dirt Make sure you clean the blades when you service it.

Can I do it at home if my laptop still is under warranty ??

if you do plan to add a bit of lube, i recommend a grease( Moly Lube) or some other grease not an oil, you put a drop of oil in there and that fan will spin it out all over the guts of your machine.

good luck