Noisy fan-shim

Hi everyone,
I recently bought a set with an RPI4, PSU, Ninja Coupe’ cover and a fan-shim.

After assembling and powering up the device, I had to check 3 times to make sure the fan-shim was working (I’m using it without the script) as it was really silent. Amazing.

Now, after two weeks, it started buzzing too loud so I was wondering what could be the cause.
I disassembled it 2 times: checked everything, used some canned air to eventually clean the dust, and carefully put it in place again, but to no avail.

I have actually discovered that the RPI4 has an issue with the external powered USB HUB I was previously using. The HUB power-backs the RPI with the +5V pin, preventing it to start properly.

I was wondering if this issue could be related to the noisy fan-shim (somehow “super-powered”) or could be something different. In this case, could someone suggest what to check ?

Thank you in advance.

People on this forum have been claiming they’re having similar issues with using it on pi’s mounted vertically? Causing (Possibly ) a lubrication problem?

Hello NotAfan,
thank you for your answer.
Even though I have an horizontal mount, I was actually thinking to add some specific oil to the fan, but I don’t know if it could be a good idea or not. I can see some openings on the fan that could let the dust enter and this could mix up with the oil, exacerbating the issue.
Does anyone already tried this as a solution ?

Mine got noisy when it walked up the pins and touched my 3D printed case. I had to screw it down through the RPI mounting hole with a 2mm spacer.

Sorry, I’m not aware of anyone lubricating the fan, I have seen a datasheet on aliexpress stating the fan has a presumably “sealed” hydraulic bearing.I guess It would depend on whether the noise is from the bearing or just general rubbing of plastic parts. A little silicon grease maybe? @Rapa has been attempting to resolve this (running Libreelec) by controlling fan speed with PWM. There is working Python code for PWM using Raspbian Buster on Rpi4 written by GitHub user greyerbeard . Link:

There’s a video of someone fixing a different fan. It is the same make AVC and has hydraulic bearing. If the fan can’t be fixed why not try butchering it like this guy. A word of caution though be mindful of excess lubricant leaking back onto your pi.

Thank you all for the support, so far, and the posted links / videos:

@nophead: I will recheck for any possible small contacts that could have been going under the radar: maybe I missed something.

@NotAfan: honestly, the idea that I have to tamper with a brand new device in order to have it working as it is supposed to, is rather annoying. As a solution, I will try to implement the steps posted in the provided link to see if it’s going to get better or not.

Eventually, as a last resource, I will revert to the use of a simple small fan I previously bought for my RPIs 2 and 3 models that’s actually incredibly silent even with some small dust on it.

Will keep you posted :)

Cheers all.

Please do keep me posted.

I quite agree that a new device should be trouble free. If you haven’t done so already, I suggest you contact Pimoroni directly rather than via this forum which, to my knowledge , is in the main part manned by customers and users.

Nailed it !
I tried the other fan, but as stubborn as a Virgo could be, I decided to have the Pimoroni one working again, so I took my chances and pushed some beard razor’s oil (sigh !) into its shaft’s openings and the noise disappeared.

Now I’m happy again.

Thank you guys for the precious support so far. Wish you all the best. :)


Nothing like obtaining the perfect product for a hairy problem. Glad it’s resolved 😀

@Rapa here’s your solution beard oil.