Lubricant for bearings in a case fan..

Hey fellas, I might have made a bit of a blunder here..

Just today the front 120mm fan on my "NZXT Guardian-921" case started making weird grinding noises. I took my case apart and found that the bearings were probably not lubricated well enough, and I sprayed silicon lube on it without a second thought. It worked, when I spun it by hand.. But how long will this last? Is this going to destroy my fan somehow?

I haven't put everything back together yet, and I need to know if I'll have to drive by the hardware store and pick up some 3-in-one, and use that instead.

Thanks in advance!
5 answers Last reply
More about lubricant bearings case
  1. lol i've had the same problem. dust gets into the ball bearings and eventually causes the fan to stop and the motor to burn out. dust filters are a great way to prevent the problem. the lube however shold keep the fan running for some time
  2. If you are on areas were dust is unavoidable then make sure you clean the fan or make sure your casing has a fan filter on it. Yes the lobe works but it really depends on the dust on your area.
  3. It will work for a while, but you might as well get ready to buy a new fan. If the bearings are making noise, putting lube on them will make them run quiet for a while, but the noise indicates the bearings are already worn, and they will only get worse.

    The oil initially will loosen up and help clean up any dust in the bearings, but moving forward, now dust is going to stick to and accumulate about 10 times faster than normal to the oily surfaces. There is dry lube which can work pretty well, but like I said, if the thing is making noise, it is only going to get worse, and fans don't cost much, I would just go get a new one.
  4. This sequence has worked for us:

    (1) remove the fan and clean it thoroughly e.g.
    using compressed air, then a cotton swab and
    isopropyl alcohol applied to the cotton tip;

    (2) lay the fan flat so that it exhausts upwards;

    (3) apply 3-in-1 oil to a clean cotton swab:

    (4) squeeze the cotton tip against the circular hub
    of the fan, so a small amount of oil flows into the
    area of the fan bearing; do NOT use too much oil;

    (5) turn the fan slowly and repeat (4) above;

    (6) let the fan sit about 24 hours, to allow the
    oil to permeate the plastic parts; because plastic
    comes from oil, the plastic will act like a sponge,
    but slowly;

    (7) next day, connect the fan to a separate PSU
    and spin it up so any excess oil is thrown against
    the fan housing;

    (8) remove that excess oil with a soft cotton cloth
    or toilet paper and continue testing until there is
    no excess oil being thrown against the fan housing;

    (9) re-install the fan in your chassis.

    What we think happens with this sequence is that
    the oil causes the plastic parts to "swell" slightly,
    which compensates for normal wear. Also, the
    oil obviously adds lubrication which may be absent
    from a worn-out fan. Lastly, thoroughly cleaning a
    fan will remove any accumulated dust that will surely
    cause the fan to spin out-of-balance, further increasing
    the wear in its bearing.

  5. I had fun ripping apart both the case fan and the PSU. both of which if you look closely in some cases there is a pin which hold the fan blades and a washer. That from what I can tell in some cases is what dries out. Some fans have plugs that go over them other just have stickers that go there. Either way, lube it, clean it up, hook it up and in some cases if the chassis fan is able to be left open. Watch its rotation and us a pin to flow a small amount of lube into the fan, no sense for excess. Recently had to do mine.
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