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ThinkPad T60 Fan Repair

posted Jan 31, 2010, 10:32 PM by ms b0b   [ updated Mar 20, 2017, 5:56 PM ]

Or an illustrated guide to lubricate the ThinkPad T60 fan.


Just a CYA. This guide is for informational purpose only. I do not provide any warranty that this guide will fix the particular problem your computer may have. When working on or around an electronic part, please take electrostatic discharge precautions including wearing an anti-static bracelet and use an anti-static workstation. I am not responsible for any damage to your electronic or computer as a result of following this guide.


My ThinkPad T60's fan has been acting up since the New Year. At first, it was making noise and spins at a slower rate than new. Later, the fan would make noise on the high speed setting and would stop on the low speed setting. When the fan does not spin, ThinkPad BIOS showed "Fan Error" and refused to boot. If I use compressed air to make the fan spin and bypass the BIOS check, sometimes the computer would shut down for thermal protection.


Lenovo's Hardware Maintenance Manual's suggested method is to replace the Thermal Device and Fan. This item costs between $30 to $60 on ebay.

Since my fan stopped working over the weekend and I need my ThinkPad to do work, I decided to see if I can fix the fan myself.


  1. Follow the Hardware Maintenance Manual to remove the thermal device and fan. The link is for a T60 type 8743. Your model may vary.
  2. Once the thermal device and fan assembly is removed from the ThinkPad, place it upside-down on your work surface. The assembly consists of two parts: A copper piece that made up of heat sink, heat pipe and fins and a aluminum piece to which the fan is mounted. The two pieces are held together by four copper tabs and a piece of foil tape.
  3. Unbend the 4 copper tabs (circled in red) and remove the foil tape. I elected to cut through the foil tape along the red line. The copper tabs are very thin so you don't want to use too much force or introduce too much metal fatigue that may cause it to break.
  4. Separate the copper and aluminum parts. The power cable of the fan is still attached to both parts, so don't yank them apart.
  5. Remove the fan by lifting it straight up. It should come off easily.
  6. Put one drop lubricant in the middle of the electric motor. Mineral spirit is ideal. I used Singer brand all purpose machine oil. Do not use WD-40 or other spray lubricants, as its content is mostly propellant and solvent that evaporate.
  7. Reverse the steps to reassemble the Thermal Device and Fan, and the ThinkPad.

After the lubrication, the fan is back to completely silent operation.