Lenovo Yoga 2 13'' (20344) strange noise - possible fan problem and how to fix that

Discussion in 'Hardware Components and Aftermarket Upgrades' started by patrizioerre, Jan 19, 2021.

  1. patrizioerre

    patrizioerre Newbie

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    I bought my Lenovo Yoga 2 13'' Laptop (20344) in March 2015 and I've used almost only that one as personal laptop for these years (sometimes heavy use). During the last 2 months, I started to keep it shut off for longer period of times (days), differently from what happened in the past years when it was turned on or sleeping. In correspondence with that, I could clearly notice that especially when turning it back on, it was making very bad noises, for which I think the fan is responsible: the fan was already very loud during the last year or so (I think), to a point where it was almost covering the sounds played by the laptop even at full volume, but those "new" noises were clearly different from the one produced by a functioning fan. I was just kind of ignoring those noises (even for the reason that they were disappearing after some minutes from power on) until some days ago when the noises became very frightnening and at some point they were clearly telling me that the fan was stopping for some fractions of seconds and then moving again and then stopping and so on, as if something is mechanically making it hard for it rotate at all. This lead me to just don't use the laptop again and to think that dust accumulated to a point where it gives very considerable problems.

    My questions are:
    -Does it make sense that dust can stop fan rotation like that? Is it a common problem for this specific machine? -Is it easy and, in particular, is it safe to open the back of the laptop to remove the dust in excess? I've never operated on a laptop interior part and I'm afraid to mess something up. I've found two tutorials for fan replacement ( , https://it.ifixit.com/Guida/Lenovo+Yoga+2+13-Inch+Fan+Replacement/39460) but hopefully I just need to remove dust, do you think I can do this safely?

    TL;DR: Is it reasonable that the fan of my laptop suddenly starts making bad noises because of dust accumulation and is it safe to open the laptop to remove the dust? Would it solve the problem
  2. jotm

    jotm Notebook Evangelist

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    Yeah, the fan and heatsink need regular cleaning, otherwise dust will accumulate and damage the fan. The noise is likely because the bearing is grinding. And yes, it can lock up completely. I used to fix that with some automotive grease - pop the impeller and put some grease in there.

    The problem now is that newer fans are locked into place and you risk damaging it if you try to remove the impeller - some need just a bit of force, some you need to remove the lock piece at the other end of the fan, some are just unfixable sadly.

    Try to clean everything first, and at the same time try to remove the fan impeller if possible (just pull it up gently, see if it pops out).

    If you can take it off, use some automotive grease. NLGI 2 seems to be the best, not too thick, not too thin, lasts for years in a fan in my experience, but NLGI 1 might be better for really small fans.

    If you can't remove it, first see if the noise has improved after cleaning, then maybe look for a new fan, because that's the easiest way to fix it, just replace it.

    So I watched the video, you'll need to carefully remove the metal cover on the fan first, it's usually held by simple clips (push them out with a small screwdriver or knife) but I think I see single use clips there.
    What I would do is just break/cut them (no other choice really), and use small strips of electrical tape to affix the plate back.
    If they're small screws, that's better, since you can just unscrew them.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2021
    tilleroftheearth likes this.

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