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Repair your noisy CPU and system fans

By nork ยท 98 replies
Jun 25, 2006
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  1. JakeMandragoran

    JakeMandragoran TS Rookie

    I wanted to try this on my graphicscard fan, when I unmounted the fan from the metal cooler and peeled off the stickers, I noticed there wasn't any hole or seal covering a hole. The backside of the fan just shows plastic and near the sides a few openings where you can see parts of the internal circuit board.
    So here I am wondering on how to open up this fan, as there doesn't seem to be a way to reach the motor (at first sight).

    Thx for your advice
  2. nork

    nork TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 303


    Sorry, i didnt get notification of your post. Its hard to find the correct spot in the situation you are talking about. What i do is put the oil and the graphite under that circuit board. I know you are hesitant about it but thats what i do. Also, sometimes you can gently lift the fan top off and separate the fan. In your situation its trial and error. But i havent yet ruined one of those and i have put the oil and graphite in and around those circuit boards with no problem. Sometimes it doesnt fix the prob but it hasnt ever made it worse for me. So, unless its some weird one of a kind fan i would just go ahead and try it and you may post back with success!
    Before others start posting about how bad it is to get oil or graphite on the circuit board, i dont reccommend it but as a last resort i have done it and either got satisfactory results or no results, never ruined a fan. Again, try putting oil and graphite under or around that circuit board.
    Please, no posts about how harmful this is, its not.

    Right on. As i said in my tutorial just about any light oil will do as its only a carrier for the graphite. You dont really even need oil but oil does help the process go quicker and better.
    I have posted this tutorial of mine on different sites. I have had oh, maybe 100 replies where my method worked. Maybe one or two where it didnt.
    I have repaired fans that were about ready to seize right up and if i recall correctly even fixed seized fans, but this is over a long period of time so my memory may not be perfect, lol. Im not getting younger. But it does work for most people. Just read some of the replies here where it worked for them. And, again, i have put oil under and around where those little circuit boards are and never had a problem where the oil or graphite caused arcing or anything similar. Either it worked or it didnt work is all.
  3. nork

    nork TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 303

    You're very welcome.
    Again, just about any oil will do as alll i really use the oil for is to carry the graphite powder around to make sure the job goes well. Use very small amount of oil, 2 drops.
    And, again, dont use anything but graphite powder. I find that the graphite oil you can buy is too thin for this job, almost like water, just doesnt do the job.
    And again, but a good point. Where you cant really see the spot where the oil and graphite powder must go, try and find it. Sometimes you can lift the fan piece up a bit or even out. First make sure you lift the seal, thats the best place, but sometimes there isnt a hole there. It's up to you but i have even just put oil and graphite powder nearby one of those little boards that you sometimes see. I figure theres no harm done if the fan is really bad and unusable the way it is!

    I hope to hear more replies from people who have used this little trick successfully!
    I dont always get the email notification that i should, but thats another thread,lol.
    But i dont ignore it when i get a notification.
  4. sum one

    sum one TS Rookie

    My gpu fan has been rattling like crazy for a months now. I had to re-oil it every couple of weeks to make it not rattle but I got tired of disassembling it and tried some graphite powder. Man I thought at first it wasn't going to work because it was still rattling even louder than before... but 30 minutes later it stopped! I applied the powder directly into the ball bearing themselves with some radio shack precision lubricator oil. The bearing still make noise at certain RPMs but if it's quiet at idle that's good enough for me. The graphite powder i bought didn't really look powdery it was more liek very fine sand. I thought ti was going to look like flour.
  5. nork

    nork TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 303

    Glad it worked for you. I would suggest you put more graphite in it and you might find that it will help even more. And maybe dont add any more oil, just the graphite. If that doesnt work then maybe add a touch of oil. Again, the old only helps distribute the graphite. Course im not where you are so i dont know how much you already put there and the exact fan and assembly system.
    Yes, the graphite could look a little sandy but rub some between your fingers and you will see how smooth your fingers glide. The "sandiness" goes away as soon as the graphite particles rub against each other i suspect.
    Im just really glad i took the time to write this up in the first place because so many people have tried my method and i havent had a complaint yet, it works and works well. Course there is always gonna be that one fan that is too far gone, too badly damaged or worn for even the graphite to cure it.
  6. sum one

    sum one TS Rookie

    I squeezed two times, each amount would be about half the size of a rice grain. The bearing is very small so i wasn't sure how much to apply. As far as what type of fan I have they are sealed single ball bearing. Not sure how to explain it but the "face" of the fan is where the BB is closest too. At the opposite end of the shaft where the little plastic C clip holds the fan from flying out, is a sleeve bearing. I'll put it more next time I dust my pc but it's getting quieter overtime.
  7. nork

    nork TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 303

    If its getting quieter over time it usually means that a bit more graphite is called for. Fill the hole as much as you can. Cover with duct tape if need be, just make sure tape doesnt interfere with the fan.
  8. sum one

    sum one TS Rookie

    I'll take pictures next time I do and will post back on here.
  9. Ramin

    Ramin TS Rookie

    I read your post and according to the feedback I thought let me try in a ps3 fan. Big mistake... The bearing started making loud grinding noise after applying graphite and it stayed like this for hours. Its a ball bearing and I can tell for a fact that the graphite worked its way down the ball bearing because thats when the noise started. I tried everything everything. I cleaned off all the graphite fully with TF2 and applied lithium grease and bearing grease but that grinding is still there. The graphite damaged the balls in the bearing I assume. maybe it works with other ball bearings but not with mine. Or I did something wrong... like wrong graphite? I got this one:
    Any ideas? I dont know what bearing size it is to replace it and a new fan is very exensive for ps3!!
  10. nork

    nork TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 303

    I cant for the life of me see where powdered graphite of any kind could possibly cause what you are talking about. There just HAS to be more to this story. I have repaired hundreds of fans with the results being from good to excellent depending on how badly worn the fan was to begin with. I have repaired some real screamers!
    Its possible the graphite you used has another element in it or the fan was just ready to go bad, hard to say from your description. The graphite I use comes from Canadian Tire and its use there is for auto, squeeking doors, that sort of thing but it works wonders on pc fans, even video card fans, all fans. Ive repaired our house fans, list is endless. Wherever I can get access to the "innards" of a fan I have repaired it, even if I got some of the powder on the windings! This graphite powder is black, very very small crystals and its like soapy to the feel when you rub your fingers together with some of this your fingers get very slippery, thats what makes this stuff work so well, slippery as hell, see if yours is too? Thats about all I can think of at the moment. If and when I think of more I will post.
  11. Ramin

    Ramin TS Rookie

    Wow thanks for the quick answer! I think I read somewhere that the ps3 fan's bearing balls aren't the best quality. Maybe the metal is just very brittle or softer than graphite and the graphite made the balls imperfect. I tried the graphite on 2 ps3 fans and they both made the grinding noise, non repairable. I did try the graphite on my graphics cards sleeve bearing fan and it seems to work ! but 2 ps3 fans ruined lol, I found a cheap one on ebay to replace it. I'll keep the graphite far from that one. I will use the graphite on some more pc fans and post the results here. The graphite does fit your description of slippyness. Google images shows many different graphite powders with different darkness. Mine is dark grey , not black as you described yours. Maybe its just not as pure as the description stated (95%, natural graphite).
  12. nork

    nork TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 303

    Actually the color is grey, not black, my bad. I will tell people with ps's to use graphite at their own risk. However, it seems these fans are gone anyway so no harm done.
    "graphite made the balls imperfect" - nah, I wont go there, lol.
  13. gabriel

    gabriel TS Rookie

    To answer the question everyone seems to have...YES graphite powder is a conductor. It is used in small bombs that are dropped on sub-stations. The powder coats the insulators and allows the current to flash over to ground and blow the circuit breakers. WD40 is also a good conductor. It doesn't matter. The only place you can short a bearingless, brushless motor is at the terminals, or from one terminal to the sleeve. And since the sleeve isn't grounded, there would also need to be a short to the other contact for that to be a real problem. The wire on those coils may not look it, but it is coated with a layer of ceramic insulator. That's why the coils can be in contact with each other. The lubricant is really nowhere near where it would need to be to cause a problem as capillary action draws it to where it's needed. Not to mention that to cause a short the gap you would need to bridge would be far too large to easily bridge by mistake.
  14. Razer

    Razer TS Booster Posts: 126   +14


    I just want to comment about WD40, WD40 is not conductor, it is non-conductive.
  15. Lambanien

    Lambanien TS Rookie


    Could anyone post a video of applying the powder to a laptop cpu fan...I would like to see how this would work...Why would the graphite powder not seep from crevices and spread on a mother board...Thanks for any assistance
  16. nork

    nork TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 303

    Gabriel, thanks for the perfect answer to the question of conductivity, I appreciate it and im sure others do too.
    Lambanien, I hadnt thought of that, I will do that, not right now, but maybe over the holidays.
    Stay tuned.
    For certain, my method has never harmed a fan. Its impossible. However, if a fan is very very very badly damaged, well, it may not help but it cant do any harm. Notice I said very very very. Its because I have repaired very and very, just not very very very. Very very very is likely too far gone to repair. Im very very very sure of this,lol.

    I can tell you this much. I have had people from U.S, Canada, and Great Britain send me their video card fans and I have repaired every single one of them, one was at least a very, maybe a very very.
  17. DMerlin

    DMerlin TS Rookie

    Hi I have 2 laptops I would like to try this with but I would like to hear from anyone who has tried this with laptops first. So did it work or did it brick your laptop lol? Thanks
  18. DMerlin

    DMerlin TS Rookie

    Ok looks like this is a dead thread. To bad sounded like a good idea.
    Nomad1 likes this.
  19. Nomad1

    Nomad1 TS Rookie

    I dont know if anyone has posted this alradya s there are alot of posts but....Maybe make a Youtube video and post it up as to how you did it and the amounts you used etc. Just so people can not mistake anything.

    Just a suggestion.
  20. nork

    nork TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 303

    I dont do youtube or other social media,I have a mis-trust of them. I stick to forums like this. Besides, this has been done and overdone. As I have stated, its easy, you get a bit of oil, any oil, add small bit of oil and a touch of graphite powder. Where? Where the noise is coming from. Done. If its still noisy add a bit more powder. Done. Still noisy, try putting the oil and powder in another place. The best place is where the little spindle is, the thing in the middle that goes around fast. Done.
    I shouldnt have even posted this, its been sooo overdone. Just follow instructions as per my first post, done.
    No need for videos or anything else.
  21. AM123

    AM123 TS Rookie

    Same thing happened to me with an AMD Phenom ball bearing stock fan. Same grinding noise after applying graphite...
  22. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Posts: 1,397   +303

    the instruction says: apply graphite powder and oil
    did you also add oil or did you put graphite powder only?
  23. AM123

    AM123 TS Rookie

    Hi misor,
    yes, I applied fine mechanics oil and graphite powder. I ended up by replacing the ball bearings (2 bearings 3 x 8 x 4 mm each). I will try this on other noisy fans with the next occasion. Maybe it works better on sleeve bearings...
    misor likes this.
  24. AM123

    AM123 TS Rookie

    After searching the net, I found an interesting link: http://www.docfizzix.com/products/parts-supplies/supp006df.shtml

    The interesting part is:

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