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View Full Version : Lubricating fans with WD-40?



Prodigious
01-31-05, 08:35 AM
ok so in my quest for an ever quieter system(I know there are better ways but I want to to try some quick and simple things), I decided that maybe I should add some sort of oil lubricant to my fans. None of them are loud(4 coolermaster led fans and a zalman cnps7000a cpu cooler), but I'm sure they'd be slightly quieter if properly lubricated.

Now I know lubricating works, but my question is if its ok to use wd-40. I did some research and most sources don't recommend it because its a mediocre lubricant not designed for high speed moving parts. However, I want to know if it will actually be detrimental to use it. Obviously its not the best choice, but I would think it'd be better than nothing. I have a lot of it lying around, but not any other types of multipurpose oils that I've seen recommended.

Anyone ever try anything like this? Your input would be greatly appreciated.

archilochus
01-31-05, 08:52 AM
WD-40 is a definite, NO,NO...

WD stands for "water displacement" and is not a good lubricant... It leaves a waxy residue...

Use 3 in 1 oil, sewing machine oil, or gun oil... :)

Sentential
01-31-05, 08:58 AM
Or my personal favorite, lithium greese. Works wonders on the impeller shaft of the fans. All you have to do is apply some there and your fan will be infinatly more silent since thats where most of the vibration occurs

RoadWarrior
01-31-05, 09:02 AM
If you use WD-40 it will only last at most a week. The only reason to use it on a fan that makes sense is when they've gone all gummy and tight, and you can free them up with WD-40 and then follow up with decent lubricating oil.

Using WD-40 on fans that are spinning up without a problem and that are not yet THAT loud will wash out any lubricant remaining in them, and will hasten their demise unless you re-apply it every couple of days, even then it's not very good for them.

I'm suprised you can't find ANYTHING better around the house, you just need 2 drops out of the bottom of an "empty" can of lawnmower oil, motor oil, even jack oil might do. Mineral oil out of the medicine cabinet is also something that would be better. Even a couple of smears of vaseline on the end of a toothpick would probably be more effective than WD-40. I've even used cooking oil when desperate, but that goes gummy in a couple of months, necessitating a WD-40 cleanup when I got something better. This is only on fans that REALLY needed something though.

IMHO unless your fans are showing real signs of age, WD-40 isn't even going to make your fans temporarily quieter, in fact, if they are in good condition, they will be louder in a day or two after using it. It's probably better to do nothing to them, than use WD-40 on them at the moment.

The best plan would be to buy a small bottle of 3in1 oil or similar to use for this, because if you're not just trying to get a few more months out of old fans, you don't want to be using any second choice solutions on them that will kill them quicker.

regards,

Road Warrior

Prodigious
01-31-05, 09:10 AM
I have plenty of motor oil, but I wasn't aware that it would be a good choice. Most things I saw mentioned lighter, less thick oils and lubricants. I'll give it a shot. Thanks guys.

Sentential
01-31-05, 09:13 AM
Similar question since it relevant to the thread. How in the hell do you guys pull the plastic washer off the impeller shaft of the fan? What tool are you guys using I damn near mangled my Tornado tryingto get that tiny washer off.

lethil
01-31-05, 09:20 AM
Yeah I was thinking the same thing...please do explain...
Im alittle ruff with my fans tho :rolleyes:

threeme2189
01-31-05, 09:20 AM
i used the tip of a knife from my leatherman to pry the thing out
you are talking about the circular peice of rubber/plastic under the sticker on the fan right?

Sentential
01-31-05, 09:21 AM
you are talking about the circular peice of rubber/plastic under the sticker on the fan right?
I sure am....god what a PITA that little bugger is. So you used a knife eh? Might have to give that a shot.. I was trying to use tweezers lol.

And the knife didnt damage the washer right?

archilochus
01-31-05, 09:31 AM
Under the sticker on the fans motor, there is a little rubber or plastic plug.... Remove the sticker, then the plug... Lubricate using 2 drops max.., replace plug...

Record info off of sticker before removal, for future referrence..

**Some fans look as though there is a plug, but its just a molding mark...

Zulu-1
01-31-05, 10:40 AM
ive read that if your fans need lubricating to keep them silent, theyre already on theyre way out... :-/

Sentential
01-31-05, 10:42 AM
Under the sticker on the fans motor, there is a little rubber or plastic plug.... Remove the sticker, then the plug... Lubricate using 2 drops max.., replace plug...

Record info off of sticker before removal, for future referrence..

**Some fans look as though there is a plug, but its just a molding mark...
I realize this, but what do *you* use to remove the washer? A knife?

Prodigious
01-31-05, 01:02 PM
ok, I found some Black Label chain lube that my dad uses for his motorcycle. Will this stuff work? Its a spray, so I figure it'd be easier to apply, and supposedly it is high quality stuff. Plus I know it has to last a while and hold up to high speed heavy use, because my dad uses it on his R1.

Think I should try using this stuff?

Susquehannock
01-31-05, 05:07 PM
> "Its a spray .... Think I should try using this stuff?" <

Only if you are sure it doesn't contain any solvents (most sprayable oils do) as
they could eat away your fan.

WD-40 includes evaporative solvents which is why it doesn't last long.
And since we know some solvents can be bad for plastics it's not a
good to use them.
Especially those with plastic sleeves. Which are the ones that usually go bad quickly.

I use straight 60wt oil as it lasts a long LONG time. Not everyone has that thick
old skool motorhead oil around so you may have to use something like WD 3-in-one.

orion456
01-31-05, 10:53 PM
ok so in my quest for an ever quieter system(I know there are better ways but I want to to try some quick and simple things), I decided that maybe I should add some sort of oil lubricant to my fans.

External oil to fans is called a dust magnet, and dust means death to a fan.

This is one of those cooling ideas best left in the dust bin.

fldrice
02-01-05, 04:14 AM
I use either silicon based lube or teflon based lube.

Diggrr
02-01-05, 06:51 AM
**Some fans look as though there is a plug, but its just a molding mark...

On my 120mm Panaflo L1A, that mold mark turned out to be a plug that was glued in. Underneath was just like most fans, and the only way to remove the blades from the motor.

I use my exacto knife with the square chisel type tip. Pry up slightly, rotate 1/3 pry up, rotate...small steps. Some cheap fans use a plastic ring and it breaks easy so beware. My Panaflo uses a metal one.

threeme2189
02-01-05, 07:14 AM
my fans use rubber ones..just stick the point of the knife (it has to be very pointy) between the ring and the fan and pop it out...

Enablingwolf
02-01-05, 07:14 AM
I have a fan that was making a horrible whining noise and wouldn't actuate. I used the oil from a hair clipper set. So far so good. When it is on its deathbed I will get a new fan. Till then I just use hair clipper oil. Seems to work reasonably well and easy to get into the itty bitty axle port. I think its maybe 3in1 oil though.

furiousfords89
02-01-05, 08:03 AM
i use corn oil for lubing my fans, and after around 6 months of use their still going strong :cool:

smokenjoe
02-01-05, 09:24 AM
ok, I found some Black Label chain lube that my dad uses for his motorcycle. Will this stuff work? Its a spray, so I figure it'd be easier to apply, and supposedly it is high quality stuff. Plus I know it has to last a while and hold up to high speed heavy use, because my dad uses it on his R1.

Think I should try using this stuff?


Chain lube is not even recomended for the chain! Have your dad read the manual
The only thing he should be using is WD-40 or motor oil. It is just to keep the chain clean. The actual lube for the chain is white lithium grese. Your dad should have some it is great to lube up your fans.