Debating bringing my macbook in for broken fans. Input requested.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by afrankel96, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. afrankel96 macrumors newbie

    Apr 21, 2010
    OK. Here's the deal. I don't know if I should clean my macbook myself or bring it in as maybe there's a more serious problem (2 hour drive for me and a lot of trouble if they keep it for a day or two as I am VERY busy and dependant on it). Here are all the relevant facts I can think of.

    My computer: mid 2010 macbook pro 15" i7 w a SSD. I have a couple months more of warranty due to the extension thing my mom got me. There is definitely a dust buildup in my computer, since my f%$%ing room-mates smoke all the time and my cat sheds. There has been one spill, but I have a good keyboard cover and I sincerely doubt any liquid has made it inside except maybe some drops in the speakers (unlikely but I'm trying to be thorough with this post).

    Me: long-time nerd. Built/maintained multiple PCs. Haven't done it in a while but I am not afraid of the inside of my computer.

    My problem: smcFanControl reports that the left fan has stopped going higher than 242 rpm. My fans used to go pretty much all the time as I continuously game/program on this computer. Lately, it has been running hot which is not that crazy for a MBP. However, I have not heard the fans in months (that airplane whooshing sound we all know and love). There don't appear to be any artifacts of overheating (freezing, shutting off) but I did have an isolated incident about a week ago where I had to restart the SMC to make it turn on. That was a single incident and other than that no major issues. I have suspicions that my games are lagging more, but it's just a feeling.

    Unqualified diagnosis? I am sure my macbook needs an inner dusting, maybe (hopefully not) even new thermal paste. I am willing to dust, but not do anything more intense myself as I'm nervous bout that expensive warranty. I am scared that my fan is broken/needs replacement though and don't know how to tell the difference. How reliable is smcFancontrol's reporting of rpm?

    My Possible Solutions/Questions for the Forum: I either pop this thing open and spray everything down (carefully) with compressed air or bring it in and hope the genius bar can actually help me. What are suggestions from people who have had similar issues with their beginning to age macbooks? Does this sound like a simple dusting is in order? Can I tell while dusting whether my fan is working? Any tips other than the easily findable youtube vids and iFixit things on maintenance things I can do while opening my computer? Finally, am I being an idiot by not bringing it in? I am very suspicous of most repair shops as my experience has been they don't know very much and at first chance will ship off your product for repairs and charge you.
  2. Hamilton1963 macrumors regular

    Jun 19, 2010
    Since you still have the warranty I would take it to Apple and let them deal with it.
  3. GuitarG20 macrumors 65816


    Jun 3, 2011
    I think apple is your best/smartest bet, especially since you still have a warranty...
  4. killerrobot macrumors 68020


    Jun 7, 2007
    SmcFanControl is telling you what the systems is reporting so it should be accurate. If you want to double check it you could also install iStat to confirm the fan speeds. If you still want even more confirmation of the failing fan, run an Apple Hardware Test and search for the fail codes online.

    If you don't want to take it to the Apple store, call the AppleCare number, they'll ship out a box and you send it to them directly. And when they're done they'll ship it back. This is generally what the Apple store will do unless they have the parts on hand so it might be worth calling the store as well to see if they have the fan. If it's under warranty, you will not be charged anything for either way you do it.

    And yes, even though it's an inconvenience to be without your MBP for a few days, if the fan is failing it needs to get replaced ASAP, especially if you're gaming on it.

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