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Lubricating a computer fan...

SeñorAmorSeñorAmor !!!Registered User regular
edited December 2006 in Help / Advice Forum
The bearings in my ATI Radeon X800XL fan are starting to go. I can hear the fan spinning and it's getting worse. Rather than buy a new video card, I'd like to re-lubricate the bearings in the fan. I have it all taken apart, and I hear that sewing maching oil works wonders, but unfortunately, I don't have any. What I do have, however, is shredder lubricant. It contains soybean oil and mineral oil. Is this ok to use? I've never re-lubricated a fan like this before, and I don't want to ruin my video card.


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    EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    edited December 2006
    My dad always used graphite lube to lubricate machinery.

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    vonPoonBurGervonPoonBurGer Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    It's probably best is to use some 3-in-1 oil or similar. Don't use WD-40, it's not well-suited to this kind of job. I wouldn't recommend the shredder lubricant, anything organic-based like that is liable to break down faster. I imagine it's used on shredders because it keeps toxic oil residue out of whatever's being shredded; really not an issue with a computer fan.

    As for oiling the fan itself, blow any dust you can out of the fan, then look at the center spindle the fan blades are attached to. There should be a small hole on top, in the middle of the spindle. Put a single drop of oil in there, turn the fan a few times with your finger to distribute the oil, and power the system back up. Note that I think this would be a temporary solution. In my experience, once a fan starts to degrade, you can oil it to give yourself some temporary relief from the noise, but chances are one of the bearings is beginning to break down. In the long run, you're probably best off replacing the fan.

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    drxand?drxand? Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    whoa whoa whoa
    you'd actually concider buying a new videocard just because of a fan?! you crazy
    the fan is built into a heatsink, and the heatsink can be removed (at least most videocard heatsinks can be..)

    I have had the same problems with videocard fans before and lube didnt really help, replacing the heatsink with either an aftermarket one or rigging up something worked great for me.. but YMMV

    if you cant get lube to work properly look on computer hardware sites for replacement videocard heatsink/fan combos.
    don't use shredder lube, something synthetic is more likely to be better

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    RuckusRuckus Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    WD-40 is a penetrating oil, it's used to temporarily lubricate stuck moving parts (such as siezed bolts or shafts). It doesn't last long due to it's light SAE weight and aerosol components.

    I'd recommend 3in1 Electric Motor Oil as the cheapest solution, but the other guys are right, start looking to replace the fan and/or heatsink assembly soon, as this is at best a temporary fix.

    If you really wanted to get the most out of the fan, buy a Teflon based lubricant (available at Radioshack/SourceCC or online, probably some hardware stores have it too). I've found Teflon based lubricants work best when it comes to fans that are just starting to die.

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