If you have noticed your desktop computer getting louder and louder, it’s most likely the wearing out of your fans. Now in most situations the easiest and most cost-effective thing to do when you have a noisy fan is to simply buy a new case fan or processor cooler and replace it. But if you’re more interested in repairing vs. replacing, this article is for you.
First, make sure the noise you’re concerned about is actually coming from the fans. An easy way to do this is to either unplug the fan before turning your computer on (if this can be done safely) or by listening closely to identify where the source of the noise really is.
Once you’ve determined that it is in fact a fan in your system that is making the noise, from there you can decide if you want to repair or replace. If you’re going with repair, all you really need is oil or lubricant in the bearings to ease the friction that is leading to the noise.
So what type of oil? This is largely up to you and what you have available to you. Most people incorrectly think of something like WD-40 to do the job here. But that’s a bad idea as WD40 is not intended to work with devices such as fans that are in constant motion while in use. Try a light mechanical oil, such as an all purpose household oil or sewing machine lubricant. If you’re in a hardware store, let the clerk know that the oil must be able to withstand moderately high temperatures and will be spinning at a high rate. They should be able to point you in the right direction.
Once you have the oil, you need to lubricate your fan with it. It’s easier if you completely remove the fan from the computer for this part of the process. Most standard case fans have a sticker that covers the lubrication point in the dead center of the fan. Once you peal back that sticker will most likely see a rubber plug that pulls out to reveal the existing lubrication. To this add a single drop of oil and then replace the rubber plug and put the sticker back on. If the label does not stay in place, either tape or glue it down.
Once you’ve done this, re-install the fan and fire your system back up. If everything goes smoothly, your computer hardware should be back to it’s old low-noise self.