It’s a familiar and frustrating scenario – you’re in the midst of an intense gaming session when suddenly your PlayStation 4 console begins to emit noises akin to a commercial airliner preparing for takeoff. The loud whirring and whooshing sounds are impossible to ignore, disrupting your gameplay immersion and even drowning out important in-game audio.
This bothersome jet engine-like noise is often a result of your PS4’s internal cooling fans spinning at abnormally high speeds in an attempt to lower the temperature inside the console. But what exactly causes the fans to work so hard, and what can you do to troubleshoot and fix the issue?
What Causes the Loud Fan Noise in a PS4?
There are a few common culprits behind the loud jet engine noises coming from a PS4:
The most prevalent cause of loud PS4 fans is a buildup of dust inside the console over time. The PS4 has vents along the side and rear that allow cool air to enter and hot air to escape. But these vents easily accumulate dust, pet hair, and other particles.
As debris collects on the internal components, it clogs up the airflow. This forces the cooling fans to spin faster to try to keep the temperature down. The result is the loud noise of fans working overtime.
Insufficient airflow and ventilation around the PS4 can also lead to overheating issues. If your console is confined in a tight space or cabinet without room for hot air to properly vent, the fans will strain to keep it running cool.
Be sure your PS4 has at least a few inches of clearance on all sides, and avoid placing it in enclosed TV stand compartments or cluttered areas.
Faulty or Failing Fan
In some cases, a fan component inside the PS4 may be failing and causing the noise issues. The high-speed spinning of a damaged fan can generate loud noises.
If cleaning the console and improving ventilation don’t quiet things down, this points to a potential hardware problem with the internal cooling fan.
Faulty hardware aside, when certain internal components of the PS4 overheat from extensive use, the fans will accelerate to try to compensate.
The most common causes of hardware overheating are the processor (APU) and graphics card (GPU). When these chipsets get too hot from demanding games, the fans spin faster to cool them down, resulting in noise.
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How to Fix a Loud PS4 Fan
If your PS4 sounds like a jet preparing for liftoff, try these troubleshooting tips to pinpoint and address the cause:
1. Clean the Fan
Cleaning dust buildup is the first step in quieting a noisy PS4 fan. Use a can of compressed air to blow out any debris from the vents along the rear and sides of the console. Hold the can a few inches away and spray short bursts into the vents.
You can also use a soft-bristled brush to dislodge any caked-on dust around the vents and fan openings. Avoid using tissues or paper towels, as these can leave behind fibers and shreds.
Be sure to also clean any external power bricks, as these can accumulate dust as well.
2. Check Location and Improve Ventilation
Next, take a look at where your PS4 is positioned. Is it confined in a tight cabinet or crammed into a media center? This restriction of airflow can lead to overheating.
Place the console in an open, ventilated area. If needed, elevate it by placing small spacers underneath to allow more airflow underneath. Also be sure the vents are not pushed up against any walls or surfaces.
Cleaning around entertainment centers, TV stands, and shelving can also improve airflow. Removing clutter and dust helps hot air readily escape.
3. Vacuum Internal Components
For a deeper clean, carefully open up the PS4 case to access the interior components. Use a vacuum hose with a soft brush head to clear away any dust buildup on the heat sinks, fan blades, power supply, and other parts.
Be very gentle when vacuuming and do not force or bend any delicate components. Using compressed air to blow away loosened debris is also safe for interior cleaning.
4. Replace Thermal Paste
The thermal paste between the processor and heat sink can dry out over time, reducing its heat conductivity. This forces the fans to work harder to compensate.
Replacing the existing paste with fresh, high-quality thermal paste helps transfer heat more efficiently from hardware components to the heatsink. Most pastes are non-conductive and safe to apply to electronics.
Follow detailed guides to properly remove any old paste residue and apply the right amount of new paste before re-assembling your PS4.
5. Elevate and Improve Airflow
Another helpful trick is to change the orientation of your PS4. The console can operate vertically or horizontally, so try switching it up.
The vertical position leaves more open space beneath and around the vents. You can also place it on a stand to raise it higher. More open space improves airflow.
Positioning the PS4 higher aids convection as warm air will naturally rise while cool air is drawn in through the bottom vents. A vertical orientation takes advantage of this.
6. Adjust Power Settings
Using Rest Mode on the PS4 can occasionally cause overheating and loud fan issues over time. Fully powering down the console allows components to completely cool.
Disable the “Stay Connected to the Internet” Rest Mode setting, as background updates can tax the system resources. Also set the PS4 to fully power off after 1 hour of inactivity. This prevents overheating while idle.
7. Replace Faulty Hardware
If you’ve tried the above solutions extensively and the jet engine fan noise persists, faulty hardware may be to blame. Common culprits are the fan itself or the heat sinks attached to chips.
Replacing these components can require advanced technical skills. Consulting a qualified repair technician to diagnose and replace any damaged internal hardware may be needed.
Best Practices to Avoid Loud Fan Noises
Implementing preventative maintenance and care is the best way to avoid PS4 overheating and loud fan issues in the first place:
- Clean the external vents at least every few months using compressed air. Avoid allowing dust to build up.
- Give the console ample breathing room rather than confining it in tight spaces.
- Vacuum out any internal dust buildup annually by opening up the case.
- Replace the thermal paste every 2-3 years to maintain heat conductivity.
- Keep the PS4 firmware updated for optimal performance and cooling capabilities.
- Adjust power settings to fully shutdown after periods of inactivity, rather than Rest Mode.
- Use vertical orientation to improve airflow and cooling.
- Keep the area around the PS4 entertainment center clean and dust-free.
- Ensure all cables are detached and clear of the console’s vents.
- Avoid playing graphically intense games for prolonged periods which can overtax the hardware.
- Install games rather than playing via disc, as the optical drive produces additional heat when active.
- If needed, invest in vertical cooling stands which orient the PS4 vertically and add extra cooling fans.
By being proactive regarding maintenance, ventilation, cleaning, and proper use, you can prevent the annoying jet engine noises before they occur. But should louder-than-normal fans arise, use the troubleshooting steps outlined to pinpoint and address the root cause. With some focused maintenance, your PS4 can return to running quietly and optimally.