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Grinding case fans - anyway to fix without replacement?

DhalphirDhalphir don't you open that trapdooryou're a fool if you dareRegistered User regular

I'm buying a new PC, so this is going to be a moot point soon, but in nearly every PC I've ever had, the case fans have begun grinding usually about 2 years after it was bought, and they grind for the first 15-20 minutes of startup. They then usually stop and don't start again unless the PC is turned off and restarted (leaving the PC on for days at a time does not provoke the grinding).

Is there a cause for this, and is it fixable without replacement of the fans?

Dhalphir on


  • AlectharAlecthar Alan Shore We're not territorial about that sort of thing, are we?Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    I'm not an expert on fans, but it's possible that (if they're sleeve bearing fans, which is likely) that they need to be lubricated. Some sleeve bearing fans have little lubrication ports behind the stickers that are on the fan "back".

    Alecthar on
  • DhalphirDhalphir don't you open that trapdoor you're a fool if you dareRegistered User regular
    edited June 2011
    after some research, it seems like this is a pretty common thing in nearly all case fans, they can get grindy upon a cold startup but as the components warm up a little, the grinding noise stops. apparently its doing no permanent harm to the PC.

    Dhalphir on
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Over time, dust gets into the bearings of the fan. That causes friction between the moving parts, which is causing the grinding you hear. Eventually they'll seize completely. The reason they grind during startup and then stop is that as the fan spins, the bearings heat up and some of the dust gets dislodged.

    It's not really a fixable problem; fans are usually cheap and eventually they go bad. You can prolong their life by keeping the case clean and making sure the vent is well-ventilated.

    That cuts both ways though; case fans are cheap and usually pretty easy to replace.

    Now, if you're like me and your PSU fan is starting to go bad, that's another story.

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
    accept your death, and become dangerous
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