I bought a little mini fridge (ok, it's actually one of those wine cooler thingies) that buzzes loudly.

Took it apart and discovered the source of the problem: a little fan in there, similar to the type you'd find in a desktop computer. Applied some WD-40, bam, problem solved.

However, a few months later and it's buzzing louder than ever. Apparently WD-40 was the wrong oil to use.

[Never put WD-40 in] any electric motor, even if the rotor is stuck from filthy dried-up lubricant! It not only removes any remaining lube, but it can melt coil wires (the lightly-coated copper wires twisted up in electric motors) and cause an electrical short. New fan motor!

What can I do this time around to keep it lubricated and quiet?

2 Answers 2


WD-40 is a penetrating oil and corrosion preventative. As a lubricant, it is quite short term as it tends to evaporate.

And the lubrication type for an electric motor depends on the type of bearing.

Ball bearings require grease. Flush the bearing with solvent to clean out the old gunk and pack with a light bearing grease.

Oilite style sleeve bearings require oil with a viscosity in the SAE 10 to SAE 30 weight range. You can find what you need as Sewing Machine Oil or Supco Turbine Oil.

And if it's a regular muffin fan motor, I'd just replace it with a quality ball bearing fan. They come in common sizes and thicknesses. They often used plastic sleeve bearings and once the bearings have started to howl, the holes in them have gone oval shaped and it's an exercise in futility to make it go away by oiling.


WD40 is NOT an oil or lubricant, at least not longer term than a day or so.

You need an oil for motors, like this: http://www.laco.com/lubricants/zoom-spout-oiler/

Zoom Spout Oiler

EVERY household should have a bottle of this around.


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