My ceiling fan was working great till about twenty minutes ago. All of a sudden it slowed down to a halt. Now it doesn't start at all. If I push one of the wings a little, then it starts moving slowly (like 10% of actual speed).

Is there a way to figure out what might be the problem here that doesn't require me to take it out of its place?

  • With the fan off, can you spin it easily by hand? How old is the unit? How handy are you working with electricity? Do you own, and know how to use, a multimeter?
    – Tester101
    Mar 4, 2016 at 20:07
  • The grease in the bearings has probably dried out. This is common in older units some WD40 or a light penetrating oil may bring it back to life for a year or 2 and you will have to re lube the bearing.
    – Ed Beal
    Mar 4, 2016 at 21:24

2 Answers 2


I don't think you're skating by this one, unless it's new & not 10 or more years old. But, I could be wrong, try changing the speed setting or the spin direction & see if it will happily run slower. If not then it's likely meant for the trash as it'll just be best to get a new one with decades of life in it. Did it make a phew, ugh or grunt sound?

I mean, you can take the name & number & try to find parts, but unless it's something special it should be cheaper to start over with a nice short warranty. Sorry, I don't rebuild them & they're usually trouble free. I'd like to say it's a capacitor or a motor regulation control unit. But, I'd suspect that it's toast.

  • What are the chances it was just over heating? I can get parts changed, that should not be an issue. And no, it just slowed down. No sound at all. Mar 4, 2016 at 19:01
  • Overheating chances? Pretty darn good. Unfortunately, it's a fan thus overheating is extremely bad. If it's not working now, an hour later, then it wasn't just momentary overheating. Sorry, I think you're going to have to rebuild it (fully) or replace it. In my experience they only fail when they're actually dead. Maybe someone else comes by shortly with a better answer. And, I'm sure there's some way of forcing it to work, but it won't cool much when it's on fire.
    – Iggy
    Mar 4, 2016 at 19:14
  • 1
    I agree with Iggy unless you have an expensive very fancy ceiling fan it is not worth trying to fix. You can get a nice fan starting at $75. I doubt you will be able to find replacement parts and even if you could it would not be worth the cost.. To me it sounds like motor is burned out. You can waste your time soaking it in 3 in 1 oil but it normally is only a temporary fix.
    – justin j
    Mar 5, 2016 at 2:40

Sorry, I couldn't remember updating the thread last night, so doing it just as I woke up. I actually tried and tested couple things last night. There was no loss of greasing or other such problem. Turns out fan was overheating because it was running too slow. Actual problem was that white capacitor thing. Replaced it and it works pretty fine now. No overheating, no sounds, and same speed as usual.

Although I might open it up and clean it sometime.

  • tibcon.net/product.php?id=23 This is the capacitor or at least one like what I used. It was quite cheap to replace too. Took no time either. :) P.s. if motor burns out, I don't think it will run at all. But it ran at slow speed after I gave it a little push. Mar 6, 2016 at 5:47

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