LOUD fan noise in Macbook Pro 13

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by m0no, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. macrumors regular

    Jan 8, 2009
    I have a unibody macbook pro 13 (2.53 duo) that I got last year and recently the fan has gotten extremely loud even when there is no cpu usage. I was thinking I was still within my 1 year warranty, but that happened to end on Sept 17. I thought I purchased it in October and was starting to think about getting AppleCare before my year ran out, but I'm too late.

    I'm not really sure what to do. I've taken the back cover off to look to see if there is something stuck and causing the loud noise, but it appears fine. I figured I could replace the fan myself, but one of the fan screws looks like it might be stripped and I didn't want to mess with it.

    Does anybody know how much Apple would charge to change/fix it out of warranty? It is extremely loud and annoying. It almost sounds like it's about to die and occasionally will stop spinning altogether, even when the CPU temp is pushing 80C.

    I guess one bit of good news is that I did purchase it with my AMEX card, so perhaps I should call them to see about repair.

    Has anybody needed to replace a fan on their macbook pro before or have any advice to share?

  2. macrumors 68040


    Feb 24, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    Few things to do/check before taking it to Apple:

    1. SMC reset. There will be times where the fans will just randomly spin up to max even though the computer isn't being taxed. This used to happen to the first iMac's and SMC reset fixed that.

    2. Check system processes (ALL PROCESSES, not just user). Maybe there is that one process that you don't know that could be using up resources making your fans come on.
  3. thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 8, 2009
    Thanks for your reply. Even right now, the system is ~95% idle and the fan is spinning at around 2000rpm and it's loud and whiny. CPU temp is ~60C. So even when the fans aren't spinning fast (4000-6000rpm) it's still quite loud. I guess I'll just call Apple and see what they can do.
  4. macrumors regular

    Jul 29, 2010
    BC, Canada
    I replaced a defective fan on my mid-2009 13" MBP a few months ago. It was exhibiting the same symptoms you describe, and got progressively worse over time. I tried the SMC reset but it didn't help. I pulled the defective fan out of the computer and disassembled/cleaned it, but that didn't work either, so I just ended up ordering a fan online (cost about $50 US) and replaced it myself, with no problems.

    I actually do have AppleCare for this computer, but since I felt very confident in performing the repair myself and the cost was relatively small, I elected to avoid the hassle of taking the computer to Apple.

    Good luck!
  5. thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 8, 2009
    Thanks. That's what I was planning to do as well. The only problem I'm having is that one of the screws in the fan appears to be stripped. I didn't want to try too much to get it out because I didn't want to make it worse. That's the only concern I'm having about doing it myself. Where did you order your fan from?
  6. macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2012
    How to fix/clean loud Macbook Pro 13 fan (mid 2009) WITHOUT REPLACING

    Ok. I've had a very noisy fan in my MBP 13 (mid 2009). It was kind of a rattling and scratching sound. The low rpms would cause my mbp to overheat (100C in no time). I couldn't find a solution online that didn't involve replacing the fan nor a way to take apart the fan in order to clean it properly. Since I needed my computer back asap I found a solution.

    Some of you might say I'm crazy for doing this, but this does actually work! It is a solution for the desperate :D
    (If you have never taken off the cover of your macbook PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS. If you have not cleaned your macbook before please do that before you do this)

    1 Take off the back cover of your MBP 13

    2 unscrew the 3 black screws holding the fan (remember which holes they went into)

    3 take out the fan and unclip the cable (should unclip when you pull it away from the mother board)

    4 Unscrew the tiny srew in the corner of the fan housing

    5 pour some warm water into a large bowl (the warmest you can keep your hands in for for more than 1 minute) and add a bit of washing up liquid (dishwashing detergent)

    6 put the fan in the bowl and shake it around in the water for a couple of minutes. Take it out spin it with your finger a couple of times then put it back into the water and repeat the process until the fans does at least 1,5/2 rotations. (spinning it under water also helps to clean it)

    7 Rinse the fan under the water tap. Blow off excess water with something like an air compressor (I just blew on it) and leave it to dry in a warm place with the fan facing downward for at least 1 hour.

    8 If it seems dry, install it back into your mbp.

    And Voila - no noise whatsoever and my rpm range is back to normal (1994 - 6204), or at least pretty close

    Hope this helps someone.
  7. macrumors 65816


    Jun 8, 2012
    when trying to shut down certain system resources though, they just pop back up, what do you do then?

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