Replacing a loud fan on a Gateway notebook

By beauty ยท 12 replies
Dec 26, 2010
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  1. Hi - I have a Gateway EC18 with a very loud fan and wouldn't you know it, the warranty just expired.

    So I went to the gateway support site and typed in the serial number and looked at the vendors for parts but no fan is listed.

    Where should I look for a replacement fan?

  2. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,340   +1,438

  3. beauty

    beauty TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 64

    I have a cooling stand on this machine. The case never feels very hot, the fan is just loud. It didn't used to be that way so I think the problem is with the fan.

    I will keep that site in mind, but they don't have prices listed. I will try calling Gateway tomorrow, too.

    I will try to research some more about taking apart this laptop before I do it. I have never tried to before and really, this isn't my machine it is an elderly friend's machine. If I screw it up, I can afford to buy her a new one so I may try it.
  4. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,036   +2,558

    The site Raz has provided does have a toll free (877?) number for questions about pricing, (one supposes). Although, from the wording, I think they want to do it for you, rather than sell you the parts.

    In this case, you'd likely be better off dealing with Gateway, if they'll sell you just the parts.

    I'd suggest you pop the back off and have a look see at the fan. If it isn't a non standard item, you might get away with a generic replacement.

    However, I'm am not familiar with the operating voltage of laptop fans. So, can anybody else shed some light on this? With that said, the fan voltage should be on the label of the existing fan. If it's 12V, then you be good to go with any same size fan. Newegg shows lots of small size fans, sizes which aren't common, or perhaps not even used in desktop machines.

    One thing that an interior inspection of the machine would accomplish, is determining if the unit is dirty thereby causing the fan to speed up due to increased heat, which you're interpreting as "noisier", or the fan bearings are indeed failing.
  5. beauty

    beauty TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 64

    OK, so is this a good place for spare parts?

    Machine is just a year old. Could it get dirty that fast? It is in a carpeted, A/C'ed room. Windows never opened, clean house.
  6. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,036   +2,558

    Yes, it's the best places for computer parts on the web. However, not if a part is an actual OEM proprietary item, they come from the manufacturers.

    This is dependent on usage. The machine does suck all it's air from the room. With that said, a failed fan is also predicated on usage as well. There's no actual shortcut here. You have to open it up, diagnose it, then open it up when you get the proper parts, (if it does indeed need them).

    I'm really out of my element here, dealing with laptops. I don't know if their heat sink fan assemblies are proprietary, or perhaps come with the CPUs as a desktop would. Most makers tweak the CPU cooler anyway, and don't just slap on a stock Intel cooler.

    When you have this apart, find a metric ruler, and measure the fan, both blade diameter, and bolt hole center to center distance for comparison to aftermarket parts. How many wires does it have, 2 or 3? This is important for determining if you need a PWM speed controlled fan.

    At the end of the day, it actually might be best to grab a direct replacement from Gateway, but they'll hammer you on the price, just the nature of the corporate beast.
  7. beauty

    beauty TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 64

    Ok, as long as it is under $100 I can swing it.
  8. beauty

    beauty TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 64

    Gateway was of no help. They referred me to and I don't see any fans for the EC18 on their website. When I call them, they refer me back to their website.

    Guess I will have to take it apart and look at the fan. It really is loud and annoying.
  9. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,036   +2,558

    OK, follow my suggestion in my earlier posts.

    Have you checked into whether Gateway has an authorized service in your area, and if they would be willing to sell you the part?
  10. beauty

    beauty TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 64

    I will call again, but from their web site, it doesn't look like they do. Thanks.
  11. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Laptop fans are easy to replace if you have experience taking laptops apart. There are lots of tiny screws and delicate cables and connectors to deal with... I use EBay exclusively for laptop parts buying. So far EBay shows no results
  12. beauty

    beauty TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 64

    I am not experienced at all with taking apart laptops. Should I just forget about trying to do it myself? I have replaced things like memory and hard drives in desktop cases, but never a laptop.
  13. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Yes you should take it in for service... It is an easy repair for someone familiar with repairing laptops. So far, I have been unable to find a replacement fan though

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