Fixing the Nintendo Switch Fan at Home

January 09, 2023

Lately the cooling fan on my seven year old Nintendo Switch started making strange noises. As someone who has built computers and worked with electronics, I know this is bad news. The options were to either pay money and send the Switch to Nintendo for a week or two for official repair, or buy a kit and do it myself. I did not want to be a week without my Nintendo, and have experience building computers, so opted to do it myself.

Why It Matters

When your cooling fan dies your components can overheat. The noises from the fan are annoying, but a dead fan will mean a dead device.

iFixit is the Best Place for Tools

While the replacement part kit on Amazon had great reviews, the reviews of the included tools were less than stellar. I already have an old version of iFixit’s screwdriver set so based on the recommendations I picked up the correct bit and a pair of angled tweezers from them. iFixit’s screwdriver is magnetic so was much easier to pick up and manipulate screws with then the included one. I wish I also picked up some plastic cards for the thermal paste. I also wish I grabbed a FixMat.

The Hard Part is Small Parts and Cables

By far the most challenging thing about this repair were the tiny screws and cable connections. Too much force can rip something. When you try reconnecting things, the connectors are tiny. It can be challenging to line them up. These hard parts are neglected by the video I use and easy to miss if you do not have experience with small electronic parts.

Use YouTube and the iFixit Guide

I used this video to replace the fan. It forgot the step to replace the battery, and also was not always clear where each screw was. Fortunately iFixit also has a great repair guide. I wish I read the advice on thermal paste, which was largely neglected by the YouTube video. You need a different paste than the one included in the kit to work with the heat pipe.

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This work by Matt Zagaja is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.