How easy is it to replace the fan on an MBA 13" 2012?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by usmaak, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. usmaak macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2012

    So I've had my latest MBA 13" 2012 replacement for a few days now, and all appears to be good with it, except for the fan. The screen is nice and even, with great contrast and blacks, the trackpad seems just fine, keyboard fully functional, all ports work fine. But the fan is relatively loud. Even when it's idling below 2000rpm, it makes this whiny buzzing sound that is audible. My wife's MBA 13" does not make that noise, and the only way to hear it when it is idling on low is to stick your ear right up to the keyboard. With mine, the buzzing is always audible.

    Because everything else is perfect, I do not want to return it. But I also don't want to put up with a fan that is too loud. So I was thinking of bringing it into the Apple store and seeing what they can do with it. But if they have to gut the thing to replace the fan or if the fan is not replaceable, then there's no reason for me to go there. I guess I'll just send it back and wait for a while.

  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I do not believe it is truly simple due to the overall construction; however, I think it voids your warranty.
  3. usmaak thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2012
    Bringing it to the Apple store and having them fix it voids the warranty? Then I'm not really sure what the purpose of the warranty is. I'll just return it. I like it and it has a nice screen, but really, it's just not worth the hassle.
  4. madsci954 macrumors 68030

    Oct 14, 2011
    She meant if you replace it yourself, it voids the warranty.
  5. usmaak thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2012
    Ahh, ok. Yea, that makes more sense. :)

    I'll have to make an appointment with them. I have until the 27th to return it. So if they can fix it in that amount of time, then good. If not, then I'll just return it. Hopefully dropping a new fan in it doesn't take multiple days to do.
  6. usmaak thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2012
    I thought of a couple of questions regarding the fan.

    1. Is the fan part of a heat sink that is attached to the processor? Or is it separate?
    2. If I go in and I do manage to get them to replace the fan, can I still return the computer to Apple for other reasons? Or once Apple opens it, do I own it. I'm still within my 14 days, and I'm still not 100 percent convinced that MBA is the way for me to go. I might end up waiting for a Mac Mini instead. But I'd hate to keep it past the 14 days and have them refuse to replace the fan.

  7. stchman macrumors 6502a

    Jul 16, 2012
    St. Louis, MO
    I cannot even hear my MBA fan at all. I wonder if it ever comes on?

    If you can hear it, tell Apple to fix it. For what Apple charges, the laptop better be near perfect.
  8. usmaak thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2012
    Yea. That's the way it is on my wife's MBA. If I didn't see it running on iStat, I wouldn't think it was even running at all.
  9. asting macrumors 6502

    Jun 10, 2012
    As far as your ability to return after they've repaired, I would find out from them. It may just be easier to get a replacement. Is it a BTO? if not then just back up via TM to an external drive, and return the one with the borked fan.
  10. usmaak thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2012
    Yea. I've considered that as an option. But right now, I'm on my fourth one. I had to return three of them for trackpad and screen issues. This one has a very nice screen and the trackpad is perfect. Everything about it seems good, except for the fan. I would hate to return it and end up with one that has a crap screen again. The last one I returned came complete with a scratched screen, and silver specks between the glass and the LCD. Other than that, it was a nice screen. But if there was any light behind me, it was easy to see the reflection from the silver specks.

    Perhaps it would be best to just call the store and see what they'd do to it. If they say that they won't replace the fan, then I guess I have a different decision to make.

    Does anyone know if they do these types of repairs in the store, or if they have to send them out?
  11. asting macrumors 6502

    Jun 10, 2012
    They typically do them in the store, at least, they replaced the top half of my laptop (bad webcam) in the store.
  12. usmaak thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2012
    Thank you for the information. I'd imagine a fan replacement is a bit easier than replacing the top half of the computer. From the iFixIt breakdown, it looks like it's a matter of taking the bottom off, removing the fan from a bracket, and putting the new one in.

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