Temporarily Fix Dying Laptop Fans By Lubricating Them

Temporarily Fix Dying Laptop Fans By Lubricating Them

If your laptop fan starts rattling and grinding, it usually means its time for a replacement. If you’re just trying to eke out the last few months of your computer’s life, though, you can keep the fans working temporary with some lubrication.

We’ve shown you how to clean and lubricate your fans before, but one reader over at Mac OS X Hints realised that a bit of lubrication can even save a fan nearing the end of its life, at least for a little while:

When my 2007 MacBook Pro’s left cooling fan started rattling really loudly last night, I thought I was in for a time-consuming repair. Every place I called had a 2 or 3 day lead time on the part and a 2-day turn-around for the repair once the part was in. The fan itself costs at least $US40, and the labour charges were at least $US60. I was irritated at the prospect of spending at least $US100 on a 4-year-old notebook that I plan to replace in like two months when the new model comes out.

I dipped a swab in some motor oil (sewing machine oil would probably be better, and soybean or canola oil might be adequate) and put a light coat on the metal spindle pin. I popped it back together and tested it. Now it’s silent again, almost like new!

As we’ve said before, 3-in-1 household oil is probably the best to use on your fans, as opposed to motor or vegetable oil. This trick won’t revive your fan completely, but if your laptop is at the end of it’s life, this should help you eke a few more months out of your fans before it’s time to get a new computer. If you’re planning on keeping your computer around, you’ll probably have to replace your fan. Hit the link to read more. Photo by edkohler.

Repair MacBook Pro Cooling Fan Rattling [Mac OS X Hints]


  • My Macbook Pro fan did the same thing. I removed the fan and went online to search for a replacement. Found a website called PC Hub who sent it out in less than a week. US$14 for the fan. US$4 for delivery. 5 minutes to replace. Bargain.

    • WD-40 is a water dispersant.. (WD). It is the type of oil thats hangs around and when dirt gets in it, forms a mild abrasive. So no it should not be used as a lubricant.

  • If anyone is reading this, Wax Dry Lube With Teflon from DuPont. Can be bought at Home Depot. Not the Silicon Lube. Make sure it’s the one with Teflon. I lost count as to how many times I’ve used this stuff. It’s amazing. Lubricates like hell, does NOT dry up and cleans dirt as it dries.

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