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Effective Way To Service Targus Laptop Dual Fan Chill Mat

By on April 16, 2018
how to fix targus laptop fan









targus laptop fan repair

This is my Targus 17” Dual-Fan Laptop Chill Mat. It is about five years old and is starting to get dirty. The fans will occasionally start making a rattling sound. The sound will quit after I tap on the mat. So I’m going to clean it up and put some fresh grease in the fans and see if I can get a few more years of service out of them.

I normally don’t write an article about something this simple, but I can’t remember seeing another article on Laptop Chill Mats here on the Electronics Repair blog. So I decided to write one.

The Chill Mat had eight screws holding it together: four at the front, and four at the back. The felt covering was hiding the screws and I had to cut little slits to remove the screws at the back.

targus fan repair

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targus fan fix

I cut the felt across the front to lift the top up and gain access. Then I could remove the fixture that retains the fans, then the fans.

It seems like most people just put a few drops of oil on these small brushless fans shafts. I’m going to use some white lithium grease and see how it works. The o-rings and nylon clip retainers look good.

** Side note: It turns out that I do have to redo the digitizer on the Samsung Tablet on my previous article. The tape that was on it seemed sticky enough to put the new tape on top of: that did not work. So I completely removed all of the tape and then re-taped it. After I placed the digitizer on the phone, made all the connections and replaced the back, I put the tablet into my press for a few hours. I will have to redo it again for a third time because the digitizer is a little loose in the corners. I may just use adhesive instead of tape next time.

fixing targus laptop

Above is my CKK molding press made with ¼ inch plate steel. You can find out about them here. The heat resistant foam pads are 24 inches wide, 8 inches deep and 1 inch thick. It is heavy! I have different strengths of foam. I think the foam that I’m using now is the standard ones.

The fans were using some kind of green grease for lubrication. In the following photos you can see it all, as well as the white lithium grease on one fan.

Both fans are identical so there is not much point in showing photos of them both being serviced. Of course I would show both had I found another problem with one of them. But everything looked fine with both of them, except for the old grease and dry shafts.

repair targus laptop fan problem

Here are some photos of the fans being serviced and showing the parts.

I’ve been using the serviced chill mat for a few days now and the fans are still whisper quiet with no rattling, just like when they were brand new! The chill mat is once again keeping my laptop nice and cool!

fixing laptop targus chill mat

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chill mat fan problem fix

chill mat fan problem repair

I have saved my chill mat from the garbage and saved myself some money since I don’t have to buy new fans yet, or a new chill mat. All it cost me was a little time and grease.

There are better chill mats at and elsewhere in the market that I could buy, but this one does the job just fine. And my laptop has 3 other USB ports available while the chill mat is plugged in, so this chill mat is adequate. I can’t ever remember using all 4 available USB ports at the same time anyway.

I hope you guys have enjoyed this article.

robert calk junior

Robert Calk is a hobbyist from the USA who loves Electronics, Leatherworking, and Watchmaking.

Please leave any comments you have below. Thanks.

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Please check out his previous repair article below:




  1. Parasuraman

    April 16, 2018 at 8:48 pm

    Well done! I do this service on every ATX SMPS. Fans should run smoothly. Good article!

    • Robert Calk

      April 17, 2018 at 4:39 am

      Thanks Parasuraman. Yes the fans are quiet and smooth running. Do you use grease or oil to lubricate them?

  2. J Denmark

    April 16, 2018 at 10:36 pm

    Loved your article
    We have a lot in common

    • Robert Calk

      April 17, 2018 at 10:26 am

      Thanks J Denmark.

  3. Suranga Electronics

    April 17, 2018 at 12:47 am

    Hello Mr,Robert
    Good Repair Service.

    • Robert Calk

      April 17, 2018 at 10:27 am

      Thanks Suranga.

  4. Andrew F. Ali

    April 17, 2018 at 2:20 am

    Nice service detail. Well done.

    • Robert Calk

      April 17, 2018 at 10:28 am

      Thanks Andrew.

  5. Anthony

    April 17, 2018 at 4:08 am

    Good servicing article Robert......dust, the enemy of most things electronic and household items !

    Thanks for sharing.

    Kind Regards

    • Robert Calk

      April 17, 2018 at 10:30 am

      Thanks Anthony. Yes dust is an enemy to electronics but fortunately it is easy to remove.

  6. Gerald Musy

    April 17, 2018 at 1:02 pm

    Nice article Robert and well illustrated as always. Simple things are good to be reminded time to time and your article reminded me that it is about time for me to do the same cleaning job 🙂

    I prefer using an external power source for my chill mat as I don't want to add extra load to the USB ports, hence generating extra heat. Anyway I need all of the 3 USB ports, even use a USB extension with 4 extra ports...

    Enjoyed the article.

    • Robert Calk

      April 18, 2018 at 1:04 am

      Thanks Gerald. I rarely use all four of my USB ports at the same time. My chill mat only pulls a little less than 0.24 amps. I have been powering mine in the same USB port for years and have had no problems.

      • Gerald Musy

        April 18, 2018 at 8:24 am

        Thanks for your reply Robert. I don't think you will have any problem and it is definitely simpler this way. My chill mat takes a whopping 0.5A and with an ambient temperature of 32 to 35 degree C all the year around I prefer to keep all the chances on my side.
        I am currently doing PLC programing for a friend who is building a machine. I need two USB ports for the PLC and touch screen,one for the mouse and one for the printer. I also use one to download and recharge my golf GPS watch...

        • Robert Calk

          April 18, 2018 at 11:30 pm

          Yep, sometimes we need the ports. I will probably see about getting a PC based spectrum analyzer before too long.
          I wonder why your chill mat is needing so much current? Does it have 4 fans?

          • Gerald Musy

            April 19, 2018 at 10:00 am

            It has two fans only but is quite old. Maybe after cleaning and oiling the current will drop a bit.
            I will be interested to know more about your spectrum analyzer. Maybe you will write an article about it? Please keep in touch.

            • Robert Calk

              April 19, 2018 at 10:07 pm

              I will if I have to repair it. There's nothing special about them - they are all over the place.

  7. James

    April 17, 2018 at 6:25 pm

    You fan whisperer you' :[) LoL I didn't even know those were serviceable, so thanks for the article, much appreciated'.

    • Robert Calk

      April 18, 2018 at 1:10 am

      Thanks James, my pleasure. Yep, I think most are serviceable. Mine are still running whisper quiet and I have not heard one rattle yet. I'm happy that the article has been beneficial to you.

      • Karen

        July 31, 2021 at 1:45 pm

        Is 3-in-1 oil okay for this job?

  8. Paul

    April 18, 2018 at 1:48 am

    good work with better new skill used for servicing fans

    Thank you MrRobert Calk

    • Robert Calk

      April 18, 2018 at 8:51 am

      You are welcome Paul.

  9. Albert

    April 18, 2018 at 7:54 am

    Lithium grease was something I never heard about. Is it safe to use and where do you buy it?
    PS: today my Texas (eBay bought Tektronix) 2465 oscilloscope made a small bang and a lot of smoke filled my room this morning. One 2X 0.068uF 250VAC cap on the Power Board was unexpectedly and suddenly blown to kingdom come. Made a repair article about it today.

  10. Robert Calk

    April 18, 2018 at 9:12 am

    Thanks Albert. It seems to be pretty safe. Here is the SDS:
    I don't remember where I bought it. Probably from or
    I'm glad the problem with your scope was only a cap. I can't wait to read your article!

  11. Henrique Jorge Guimarães Ulbrich

    April 19, 2018 at 11:57 pm

    Robert, don´t worry about a "simple maintenance" as you referred to in the beginning of the article. It was really helpfull! See the number or comments. Very good!

    • Robert Calk

      April 20, 2018 at 11:20 pm

      Thanks Henrique. I almost didn't write it. I would still keep my photos though.

  12. Yogesh Panchal

    April 21, 2018 at 10:47 pm

    Good Job !Sir,

    extended the life of equipment.

    • Robert Calk

      April 22, 2018 at 2:47 am

      Thanks Yogesh.

  13. Emmanuel

    August 19, 2018 at 1:40 am

    Thank you so much Robert for your precious guide. My fans are now running at full speed again !

  14. Aldo

    May 7, 2019 at 4:04 am

    Thank you for this article-guide !!!
    Now i can clean my 6 years old chill mat properly.

    Greetings from Mexico !!!


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