Fans and fault causes

Repairing a fan is a short term solution, but sometimes it may an only one when the original cooler is hart (or impossible) to come by.

Where can fans be found

These fans are found in computers in 3 usual spots:

  • On the CPU
  • On the GPU (usually one or more)
  • In the PSU

They can also be found in the computer case itself, or other components that may require them.

Effects a broken fan might have

A faulty fan makes the component it’s supposed to be cooling running hotter than it should do. If you indeed find out that you have a broken fan, it will cause thermal throttling on the component thus limiting it’s performance significantly. It also may cause your computer to crash depending on the maximum temperature for that component and whether it reaches it or not.

Fixing a broken computer fan

First we need to check and make sure than nothing could’ve clogged it up. It can also slow down, or even stop if it’s too clogged up with dust.

Taking it apart

Once removed from the component, next thing to do is to take it apart. The first thing to remove is the sticker at the bottom. There are fans that have a rubber cap on the bottom, but some have neither.

We can try oiling up the fan with silicone oil, if this fixes it, this is a very short term solution. It won’t last long at all and that’s why I recommend further disassembly.

Next thing to do is remove the fuse, it can be either plastic or metal. It’s very small so please be careful not to lose it.

After we’ve taken out the fuse, next on the list is to take off the fins with the base. Do this carefully and slowly so you don’t break something.

There are two kinds of bases, one with a handle and one with pellets as bearings, if your fan has pellets, make sure you don’t lose them.

Remove the dust from the base, and if your fan has pellets, make sure to clean them as well. The best way to do this is take ear cleaning buds, dip them into petrol and start rubbing the dirt.

After cleaning it what remains to do is apply graphite grease in a small layer, so that when assembling there isn’t any extra.

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