Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Closed

Can WD40 cause a cpu to overheat/short circuit?

Last response: in CPUs
Share
May 14, 2008 4:40:52 PM

I have an Athlon 64 4200 on an Asus An832-sli deluxe board with an Akasa DFB122512L HSF. I was spraying my case and cpu fans with WD40 two nights ago to eliminate noise. Soon after, my pc switched off without warning. It has done this ever since and nothing I have done seems to fix this.

I have Cool and Quiet/QFan enabled in my BIOS and the Asus monitoring software reports the cpu idling at ~50c steadily climbing to over 70c, into the red. Then after a few seconds the pc just switches off. Even at the BIOS screen it will switch off.

I removed the board/HSF/CPU today and the pin array of the cpu was wet with WD40. I cleaned the board and components clear of and residual WD40 but I am unsure how to clean the pin array. Is it possible the residual WD40 on the pin array is causing problems? If so, how do I clean this from the pin array and cpu socket?
May 14, 2008 4:45:31 PM

Posting while in work, just did a double post. My reply is a bit down there.



But yeah, i think you fried the CPU.
May 14, 2008 4:59:46 PM

i'm sorry but this is the funniest and dumbest post i have read in a while
Related resources
May 14, 2008 5:01:18 PM

I'm pretty sure WD-40 conducts electricity which means your CPU is likely fried... Sorry bro...

You might could try something called QD Contact Cleaner to clean up the mess:

http://www.crcindustries.com/ei/content/prod_detail.asp...

It's not safe for an energized circuit, however. Make sure your equipment is powered off and cooled down before you apply and make sure it's completely dry before you power back up.

After you've cleaned everything up then you can determine what's still working, if anything.

EDIT: After doing some Googling, I think I have to recant my statement about WD-40 being a conductor. Whatever the problem is, it's not because the CPU is being shorted out or anything like that.
May 14, 2008 5:03:47 PM

Wow.

I'm torn between trying to be helpful or going for the funny joke.


First off, don't spray your computer with WD40. If your fan needs lubrication remove the fan and then spray. I'm not a WD40 expert, but one possibility is that the WD40 is coating the heatsink and not allowing air to run through the fins and dissapate the heat. When you reattach the heatsink be sure to clean any existing thermal compound and reapply new thermal compound between the CPU and the heatsink. And lastly, don't spray your computer with WD40.

















May 14, 2008 5:07:38 PM

the WD40 could cause capacitance between the cpu pins and the socket contacts. my suggestion (not tried or guaranteed to work): use 90% isopropyl alcohol (available at drugstore) or denatured ethyl alcohol (hardware store) to clean the socket. first, remove the mobo from case, then soak socket with alcohol, a sprayer might be good for this. turn mobo upside down to drain alcohol from socket. repeat several times. finally, thoroughly dry socket with a hair dryer before reassembly and use.
May 14, 2008 5:09:45 PM

I can only think of one thing, and its a long shot at best. And definatly not standard operating procedure. If you can find an electronics repair or hobby shop you should be able to get some denatured alcohol (electronics cleaner). it is a nonconductive evaporating alcohol based cleaner that doesn't leave residue.
You would need to rinse/soak the pin side of the cpu for a few minutes, then set it somewhere with good airflow to dry. For at least a day. 2 would be better. Same general idea with the socket, but beats me how you would do it without soaking the entire board.

Again, I don't actually recommend anything like this unless you know an electrical engineer that can help you. I have seen it save parts before, but I have also seen people finish ruining equipment trying similar methods.

Also note that denatured alcohol is nonconductive, but is flammable so no live power near it.
May 14, 2008 5:10:48 PM

A can of compressed air might help dry out the tiny holes in cpu socket, too.
May 14, 2008 5:11:53 PM

aim for the dumpster, you might have to rebuild from scratch. sorry.
you can try a cleaner/degreeser like MG chemicals # 4050-1L. It can be used for semi's and passives.
or
Safety Wash Cleaner Degreaser 4050
May 14, 2008 5:14:17 PM

MisterChef said:
I'm pretty sure WD-40 conducts electricity which means your CPU is likely fried... Sorry bro...

You might could try something called QD Contact Cleaner to clean up the mess:

http://www.crcindustries.com/ei/content/prod_detail.asp...

It's not safe for an energized circuit, however. Make sure your equipment is powered off and cooled down before you apply and make sure it's completely dry before you power back up.

After you've cleaned everything up then you can determine what's still working, if anything.


WD40 is an insulator, it can be used to displace moisture from electrical contacts, etc. I fixed a mouse button that was giving multiple clicks with a single press of the button by spraying the switch with WD40. I would have used contact cleaner, but didn't have any.
May 14, 2008 5:14:49 PM

mickrick said:
Is it possible the residual WD40 on the pin array is causing problems? If so, how do I clean this from the pin array and cpu socket?


Yes, its very possible that the WD40 is allowing for shorts all over the place. I'd try cleaning the pins with a high grade isopropyl alcohol, along with the socket itself and anything else electrical that the WD40 might have gotten into, like the ram slots and any PCI and PCIe slots. If the WD40 penetrated into the CPU itself, it may have ruined it. Can't say for sure. Same with the motherboard. You may be able to save your computer, but you may have also junked it. Again, I can't say for sure. Someone else may have a better idea for cleaning the parts, but isopropyl alcohol is the only thing I can think of at the moment.

Occasionally someone or some hardware website does something like building a computer filled with vegetable oil or something else. Those are stunts and nothing else. If the hardware website ruins the computer, they can write it off on their taxes. For those of us in the public arena, a mistake can be very costly.
May 14, 2008 5:17:20 PM

I don't think anything more constructive can be written down so soz, but this has made my day - lmfao :D .
May 14, 2008 5:21:18 PM

I used alot WD40 in fans, but i used in hypodermic sering to "fill" the back parts of fans. Right in the ball bearing. its a bit conductive from what i know. I have no idea how to clean it, because its a bit....well...greasy.

You might have burned your cpu mate.
May 14, 2008 5:39:59 PM

Before you spray anything on it again remove the mobo/cpu from the cards, bake the cards seperately from the mobo/cpu combo at 60 degrees celcius for 1 hour. Bake the cpu/mobo at 40 degrees celcius for 1 hour. Let both cool down in ambient room temp to avoid condensation. Do it carefully and you will have a 80% of getting your computer running fine. Don't be such a tool next time.

WD stands for water displacement and WD40 is a petroleum based compound with tallow oil in it. If you can use compressed air carefully prior to baking do it, aim for less than 80 psi and be very carefull.
May 14, 2008 5:52:22 PM

Vertigon said:
Before you spray anything on it again remove the mobo/cpu from the cards, bake the cards seperately from the mobo/cpu combo at 60 degrees celcius for 1 hour. Bake the cpu/mobo at 40 degrees celcius for 1 hour. Let both cool down in ambient room temp to avoid condensation. Do it carefully and you will have a 80% of getting your computer running fine. Don't be such a tool next time.

WD stands for water displacement and WD40 is a petroleum based compound with tallow oil in it. If you can use compressed air carefully prior to baking do it, aim for less than 80 psi and be very carefull.



Brutal. But hilarious!
May 14, 2008 6:02:37 PM

So the general consensus is that, yes, it can cause problems, it may or may not be repairable and I'm a tit, is that right?
May 14, 2008 6:19:53 PM

sounds right lol
May 14, 2008 6:30:14 PM

mickrick said:
So the general consensus is that, yes, it can cause problems, it may or may not be repairable and I'm a tit, is that right?



Yeah, but I'd bet that a lot of people here have made some big, bad mistakes in their days of learning about computers as well, including myself. OK, I never tried WD40 on anything electrical.
May 14, 2008 6:37:08 PM

mickrick said:
I have an Athlon 64 4200 on an Asus An832-sli deluxe board with an Akasa DFB122512L HSF. I was spraying my case and cpu fans with WD40 two nights ago to eliminate noise. Soon after, my pc switched off without warning. It has done this ever since and nothing I have done seems to fix this.

I have Cool and Quiet/QFan enabled in my BIOS and the Asus monitoring software reports the cpu idling at ~50c steadily climbing to over 70c, into the red. Then after a few seconds the pc just switches off. Even at the BIOS screen it will switch off.

I removed the board/HSF/CPU today and the pin array of the cpu was wet with WD40. I cleaned the board and components clear of and residual WD40 but I am unsure how to clean the pin array. Is it possible the residual WD40 on the pin array is causing problems? If so, how do I clean this from the pin array and cpu socket?


For next time use 1234 as it doesn't conduct electricity, WD40 does sadly something the manufacturer of the product tends not to state. All in all use methol hydrate (alchohol) to clean up the mess the WD left and try again hopefully shes still got some spirit in her to fire up.

Word, Playa.
May 14, 2008 6:40:56 PM

sailer said:
Yeah, but I'd bet that a lot of people here have made some big, bad mistakes in their days of learning about computers as well, including myself. OK, I never tried WD40 on anything electrical.



isn't that the sad truth.
May 14, 2008 7:34:28 PM

coldneutron said:
WD40 is an insulator, it can be used to displace moisture from electrical contacts, etc. I fixed a mouse button that was giving multiple clicks with a single press of the button by spraying the switch with WD40. I would have used contact cleaner, but didn't have any.


I stand corrected.
May 14, 2008 7:54:10 PM

silicone spray is best for non metallic surfaces.
a b à CPUs
May 14, 2008 7:54:48 PM

Try soaking your PC in a bathtub full of water+ laundry detergent to break down the WD40 and degrease it off.

OK...not really, that was a joke.

May 14, 2008 8:08:25 PM

The WD40 likely ruined the thermal paste between the HSF and CPU. So the CPU is over heating causing the mobo to shut down the computer. So your CPU may not be fried.

Try cleaning the WD40 off of the CPU and HSF and use new thermal paste to reseat the HSF. As for the CPU socket, you can let the WD40 evaporate. I doubt you can clean it safely. Hopefully the dried WD40 won't do anything.

Just in case, here are some other things you shouldn't do: :pt1cable: 

  • Do not pick your nose with a carrot peeler! :non: 
  • Do not stick metalic objects (like paper clips) into electrical outlets! :o 
    May 14, 2008 8:16:33 PM

    radnor said:
    I used alot WD40 in fans, but i used in hypodermic sering to "fill" the back parts of fans. Right in the ball bearing. its a bit conductive from what i know. I have no idea how to clean it, because its a bit....well...greasy.

    You might have burned your cpu mate.


    The best way I've found to lubricate fans is to use some of the oil that comes with hair clippers and the like, peel back the sticker covering the bearing access on the fan, put a single drop of oil directly into the hole, and then press the sticker back down. One drop is plenty of lubrication, and not enough to do damage to your system if the sticker does come loose.

    May 14, 2008 8:23:06 PM

    DXRick said:
    The WD40 likely ruined the thermal paste between the HSF and CPU. So the CPU is over heating causing the mobo to shut down the computer. So your CPU may not be fried.

    Try cleaning the WD40 off of the CPU and HSF and use new thermal paste to reseat the HSF. As for the CPU socket, you can let the WD40 evaporate. I doubt you can clean it safely. Hopefully the dried WD40 won't do anything.

    Just in case, here are some other things you shouldn't do: :pt1cable: 

  • Do not pick your nose with a carrot peeler! :non: 
  • Do not stick metalic objects (like paper clips) into electrical outlets! :o 



  • Oh and press ANY key means any key on the keyboard..

    Go and buy a mac as even you cant mess than one up..

    Do not play the electric guitar in the bath

    do not hold fire works because your hard enough

    you cant open budwieser bottles with your teeth.

    when a girl says do you fancy a quickie, its not a cigarette

    a b à CPUs
    May 14, 2008 8:32:09 PM

    New fan= cheaper than new MB+CPU
    May 14, 2008 8:34:02 PM

    rubix_1011 said:
    New fan= cheaper than new MB+CPU



    ROFL. Yeah, they're like 6-8 bucks.
    May 14, 2008 8:39:20 PM

    Lol.

    Anyway I have a spray bottle of isopropanol fluid here. I'll try cleaning the cpu and flushing the socket with that. The pc does boot up to the desktop incidentally.
    May 14, 2008 8:40:10 PM

    Eh, thats not so bad, I saw some idiots that filled an acrylic computer case with vegetable oil, and the dang thing actually worked! ;) 

    I dont see how a little WD40 could do so much damage...

    unless he sprayed the entire motherboard with the stuff so that the data would go faster....

    EDIT: NOWHERE on the WD-40 website do they say it can be used on electrical parts...
    http://www.wd40.com/uses-tips/

    May 14, 2008 8:57:20 PM

    If it's posting and booting, then you've not likely shorted it out.

    Chances are that either the thermal paste has been compromised as was already stated or you've insulated your heat sink and it can't properly cool which was again already stated.

    Are you sure the fan on the heat sink isn't simply dead? I wouldn't expect WD40 to hurt it, but who knows. A lot of the fans aren't really built to last.

    Remove the heatsink and clean the CPUs heat spreader with some sort of thermal paste remover and then remove the fan etc from the metal base and clean it with something. I'm sure the alcohol would work or even some sort of degreaser and then the alcohol. The heat sinks is pretty much just a chunk of metal and I'd expect it to be reasonably hard to damage with cleaners, though of course enter at your own risk.

    Good luck and nice move ;) 
    a b à CPUs
    May 14, 2008 9:02:53 PM

    Quote:
    Anyway I have a spray bottle of isopropanol fluid here. I'll try cleaning the cpu and flushing the socket with that. The pc does boot up to the desktop incidentally.


    LOL...the WD40 is causing the OS to slide off.
    May 14, 2008 9:29:44 PM

    rallyimprezive said:

    EDIT: NOWHERE on the WD-40 website do they say it can be used on electrical parts...
    http://www.wd40.com/uses-tips/


    LOL, does it say anywhere it CANNOT be used on electronics? I'm kidding. But seriously it sounds like the thermal grease is ruined, causing it to overheat and turn off for safety reasons. Probably better off rebuilding from scratch than going through the trouble of searching component by component.
    May 14, 2008 9:39:21 PM

    rallyimprezive said:
    Eh, thats not so bad, I saw some idiots that filled an acrylic computer case with vegetable oil, and the dang thing actually worked! ;) 

    I dont see how a little WD40 could do so much damage...

    unless he sprayed the entire motherboard with the stuff so that the data would go faster....

    EDIT: NOWHERE on the WD-40 website do they say it can be used on electrical parts...
    http://www.wd40.com/uses-tips/


    2. DISPLACES MOISTURE: Because WD-40 displaces moisture, it quickly dries out electrical systems to eliminate moisture-induced short circuits.

    quoted directly off the FAQ on their website.
    May 14, 2008 10:18:33 PM

    mickrick said:
    Lol.

    Anyway I have a spray bottle of isopropanol fluid here. I'll try cleaning the cpu and flushing the socket with that. The pc does boot up to the desktop incidentally.


    NO! You do not need to flush the socket with it. You only need to fix that which you broke, which in this case is the thermal paste between the CPU and HSF. You just need to clean the top of the CPU and bottom of the HSF with alcohol to ensure that there is no residual WD40 that will mess with the new thermal paste.

    Don't feel so bad. How would we really know what is and is not possible if there weren't people out there willing to question basic common sense? Many people risk their lives (and the lives of others) every year doing this. Some become contenders for the coveted Darwin award (http://www.darwinawards.com/)

    A few years ago, I risked my life to learn why one should not stand on the very top of a ladder. :ouch: 

    Good luck!
    May 14, 2008 11:39:16 PM

    But surely if there's WD40 on the pins, and it acts as an insulator, it will stop the pins from connecting properly in the socket???
    May 14, 2008 11:50:29 PM

    sailer said:
    Yeah, but I'd bet that a lot of people here have made some big, bad mistakes in their days of learning about computers as well, including myself. OK, I never tried WD40 on anything electrical.

    I don't know about you guys. But even as a newbie I never did anything like this to my PC. The worst mistake I ever made as I was learning about PCs was forgetting to plug my cpu cooler fan in and not noticing the problem until I booted into the OS and the temperature went up so high it broke my thermal monitoring utility(showed 999C). However a quick forced shutdown meant no harm was done, and I learned to always make sure I plug that back in before I boot up a computer.

    So yeah... do not spray WD40 into your PC.
    May 15, 2008 2:17:10 AM

    "The worst mistake I ever made as I was learning about PCs was forgetting to plug my cpu cooler fan in and not noticing the problem until I booted into the OS and the temperature went up so high it broke my thermal monitoring utility(showed 999C)"

    I don't which is worse, I think I'd rather the WD40.

    Oh and how about an update, did the computer work? What did you do to get it working again?
    May 15, 2008 6:40:48 AM

    mickrick said:
    But surely if there's WD40 on the pins, and it acts as an insulator, it will stop the pins from connecting properly in the socket???

    WD40 is non-conductive. It is however a solvent, and dust magnet.
    Once the dust in in solution, it becomes the conductor.
    The longer you leave the WD40, and the more times you heat it, the more like past it becomes.
    BTW, you can clean a mobo in the bath, or sink. It is important to make sure there is no water left behind.
    Interestingly enough, pure water is not a conductor either, but is a weak solvent.
    I have cleaned a variety of computer parts in the sink. Keyboards, add in cards etc. The key is to make sure there is no residue.
    I use dish detergent rather than laundry, because it is less caustic.
    Once I am sure they are dry, I brush them with isopropl alcohol, and dry with a can of air.
    May 15, 2008 2:28:06 PM

    endyen said:

    I have cleaned a variety of computer parts in the sink. Keyboards, add in cards etc. The key is to make sure there is no residue.
    I use dish detergent rather than laundry, because it is less caustic.
    Once I am sure they are dry, I brush them with isopropl alcohol, and dry with a can of air.


    :ouch:  I would never attempt such a thing! The very thought of running water over my motherboard or videocard makes me cringe. Even is it does work or is "safe", I could never bring myself to do it.

    :sweat: 
    May 15, 2008 3:12:37 PM

    evilshuriken said:
    I don't know about you guys. But even as a newbie I never did anything like this to my PC. The worst mistake I ever made as I was learning about PCs was forgetting to plug my cpu cooler fan in and not noticing the problem until I booted into the OS and the temperature went up so high it broke my thermal monitoring utility(showed 999C). However a quick forced shutdown meant no harm was done, and I learned to always make sure I plug that back in before I boot up a computer.

    So yeah... do not spray WD40 into your PC.


    What can be said? Some people get through the learning process easier than others. I've seen a CPU smoke, my kid lost a computer when a heatsink fell loose and touched the graphics card, lists can go on with different stories from various people.
    May 15, 2008 3:14:24 PM

    Well I did what was suggested by a few people here (I think), I cleaned the heatsink and cpu with alcohol and then, after allowing them to dry thoroughly, applied a thin layer of thermal paste to the cpu. Before putting the cpu/hsf back together, I used alcohol to clean the board, video card etc. I also used an air can to clean the cpu socket out. Finally, I put the whole lot back together and booted up. Using ai booster (the Asus overclocking/monitoring sw) I could see that the cpu was idling around 48c, the cpu fan was running at 1541 rpm and the system was running at 35c. As the cpu was being stressed the temp was rising and falling accordingly. Everything was looking stable enough.

    I then ran a video in MediaPlayer Classic and this caused the cpu temp to rise to around 75c and the pc turned off.

    So does it look like the cpu is damaged, or the board or both?
    May 15, 2008 3:34:13 PM

    hmm, 35C as your ambient case temp, I wouldnt be surprised if thats the problem. I know my Opteron loves to heat up if the case goes over 30.
    May 15, 2008 4:52:50 PM

    I'm guessing you still have some kind of thermal dissapation issue.
    September 21, 2009 1:29:17 PM

    Ok, this is what I did... We had a stuck CPU to a Heatsink. The thermal paste was so strong we were unable to put them apart. So a few searches through google and found out, that WD-40 will help me get them apart. IT DID! Yey! Now what? How to clean the WD-40? I went to the pharmacy to buy some etanol (etil alcohol) and cleaned most of WD-40 off the cpu.

    Now i have some thermal issues' but i think with time everything will be ok.. :) 

    Computer boots up corrctly i just got a report in the evnt long that CPU is running above normal temperature..


    Good luck guys, and thank you for all the help I found in this forum
    a b à CPUs
    September 19, 2012 6:43:05 PM

    This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
    !