Fixing Busted Fan on MacBook Pro (2nd Generation)

Posted by admin on Oct 2, 2013 in Uncategorized |

To my horror, the night before I had to record and stream a band’s performance over the web, my primary laptop started to have bizarre buzzing noises.  Normally, I would’ve sent it to the shop but since I needed this computer for the next day, I took matters into my own hands.  Apparently, this kind of job costs about $50 bucks in labor and $50 per fan.

After researching possible sources, I narrowed down that it was a faulty fan.  I read this post to get me going in the right direction and it was super helpful.  Basically, it instructed me to add lubricant to the axle of the fan.  So far so good…  The post does a pretty good job.

However, on the second generation MacBook Pro there’s another fan that’s pretty tricky to access that is found on the left side of the motherboard.  Here’s a picture of what the motherboard looks like once you open it.  I’ll presume that you know how to take apart your computer already and have the proper phillips head screwdriver and torx kit.

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The fan on the right side is relatively easy to open.  There are only two black phillips head screws that need to be removed.  Be careful when peeling back the orange clear tape to avoid ripping.

Here’s what it looks like when you take it apart.


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The left side fan caused a bit more brain damage but it wasn’t terrible.  If you carefully remove the yellow tape, you will notice that there are several wires that run over the fan (and unfortunately make removing the top a bit tougher) that connect into the motherboard.  Try to remove as little of the tape as possible and gently pull the wires up to pull out the black connector to the motherboard.  I believe there were two that I needed to remove to the right of the fan.  A few wires that blocked the lower part of the fan cover also needed to be moved.  Again, there were only two black phillips head screws that needed to be removed.

I then removed the fan blade from the cover and cleaned them with tissue paper.

From what I read, the reason the awful rattling noise starts is because of the lack of lubrication.  You can use WD40 or whatever.  I used 3in1 mechanical oil.  I just dabbed a bit on the tip of the axle and put it right back in the pin-sized hole.

The fan blade looks like this.  You’ll notice that I wasn’t that “exacting” with the amount of oil I used.  Also be careful when trying to pull out the blade.  I broke one of the plastic spokes when pulling it out.

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Hopefully, this was helpful in solving your fan issue.  Good luck!


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