Macbook is overheating and turning itself off.

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I have a 13" macbook that is about 3 1/2 years old and out of warranty. I don't have the money to get it fixed so I haven't taken it to the apple store yet.

Sometime last week it started randomly turning itself off. Now it turns itself off quite frequently, especially if I try to watch videos online. At the same time, it has been running extremely hot, and I haven't heard the fan turn on at all. I'm not even certain it's working any more.

I reset the PRAM and that did nothing. I downloaded this thing called smcFanControl which monitors the temperature and is supposed to allow you to change the minimum speed of your fan. It shows the active speed of my fan as 0 rpm all the time. If my computer has been off for over an hour when I turn it on it shows the temperature around 30 C and the bar is green indicating this is a safe temperature. Within 15 minutes of using the computer for light internet surfing use, the bar turns yellow and the temperature is around 78C. If I attempt to watch a video, the bar turns red, it will get up to 90 C and turn itself off.

Any suggestions?
 

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chscag

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I suspect either your Fan has died or it has become so clogged with dirt that it no longer functions properly or at all. If you think you can do the repairs yourself, go to this web site and follow their instructions for Fan removal and replacement for your model:

iFixit: Apple Mac, MacBook, iPod, and iPhone Repair Parts

You may have other problems also. Hard to say, however, if you keep operating your machine and letting it overheat and shut down, you won't have to worry about repairing it any longer. Because you'll very likely cause irrepairable damage.

Regards.
 
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I don't trust myself to try to fix it myself. For now I've just been using the smcFanControl to monitor the temperature and try to keep it in the green because I definitely don't want to do any irreparable damage. Does anyone know what the price would be to have Apple replace the fan out of warranty?
 
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I agree. Blow the thing out with a can of compressed air
 
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so after second thought and with help from my boyfriend, i decided to try and take apart my macbook using that site as a guide. we got the macbook apart and it was full of massive dust bunnies. one in particular about the size of a dime was in the fan. kinda makes sense that it couldn't spin with that in it and it was way to big to spray out with the air cans. I pulled it out with some tweezers, dusted off the inside and put it back together and now the smcfan thing is showing the fan as spinning at 2500ish rpm.

so at least the fan is fixed and spinning again, thank god. should solve the random shut down problem too, but if it doesn't, i'll be back.

Thanks so much for your help.
 

chscag

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Good job! Isn't it a great feeling to have saved yourself several hundred or more dollars - and repaired it yourself? (Well, maybe a little help from your BF) :D

Have fun.

Regards.
 
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Glad to hear our excessive geekiness helped. :) I knew that fan had to be filthy. Most people just take it for granted that their computer will work and don't even think it could be dirty. No one's fault but the PC industry's who are trying to push new hardware on you as often as possible so that they can make more dollarz.
 
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Back to my old 2.2GHz C2D MB after selling my MBP and wondering what my next Mac will be :)
Nice one....
Let this thread be a an example of how maintenance is essential, how a simple fix could save you from a potential nightmare and a costly repair bill, esp if your machine is out of warranty.
 

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